Forty years ago, 500,000 people who wanted to hear great music and change the world descended on a farm in upstate New York.
One of the organizers of the event says even he never imagined that four decades later, Woodstock would be such a major part of his life.
In 1969, Michael Lang was an experienced concert promoter. The year before, he organized the Miami Pop Festival, which drew 100,000 people and acts like Steppenwolf, Jim Hendrix and Chuck Berry.
Michael says he saw what a great effect that concert had on young people and he knew he wanted to organized something else to keep the movement going.
Michael says the late ’60s were a really empowering time for young people. People were speaking up against an unpopular war and marching for civil rights, women’s rights and the beginning of the green movement.
In the summer of 1969, all those elements came together at the right time, at the right place — Woodstock.
Coming up with the idea for the concert was simple, Michael says. Implementing was the hard part.
In his new memoir, “The Road to Woodstock,” Michael looks back on that chaotic and world-changing time and recalls what it was like to be one of the people behind one of the greatest cultural moments in history.
“It was a magical moment and the fact that it could have happened gave me hope that the world could become a safer and kinder place. That’s what I take away from it,” Michael tells Growing Bolder.
In this interview, Michael reveals his plans for a musical based around Woodstock and how the Woodstock brand may soon be associated with sustainable development and green products.
Plus, find out what Michael believes was the single highlight of the entire Woodstock weekend.