It’s been 50 years since an estimated 400,000 people gathered together in Bethel, New York, to attend the original Woodstock Music & Art Fair where they listened to music and pushed peace.
That’s the hope for this year’s celebratory event, too, said organizer Michael Lang who also helped create the first Woodstock. According to National Public Radio, 74-year-old Lang intends to book “a mixture of legacy bands, current pop and rap stars, and possibly, some news-making combinations.”
The 2019 Woodstock will be held August 16-18 on a 1,000-acre green space in Watkins Glen, upstate New York, near the Finger Lakes. So far, more than 40 acts have been scheduled to appear, Lang told Rolling Stone. There even will be tributes honoring some of the original Woodstock festival artists such as Janis Joplin, Joe Cocker, and Jefferson Airplane.
Woodstock 1969 was billed as “3 Days of Peace & Music.” Woodstock 50 will “give generations of fans the opportunity to join together in the festival’s foundational intent of harmony and compassion.”
There will be three main stages at Woodstock 50 and three areas set up as “neighborhoods” that will offer their own style of music, comedy, artwork, film, and food. Lang hopes to recreate the same spirit that jump-started the historic 1969 event during such a challenging time.
Woodstock returns: Fifty years later, one of the original organizers of iconic event is putting together a three-day festival set for August in upstate New York. https://t.co/e3Q2pnADxV pic.twitter.com/VILE1o0U7z
— NPR Music (@nprmusic) January 9, 2019
“The original festival in ’69 was a reaction by the youth of the time to the causes we felt compelled to fight for – civil rights, women’s rights, and the antiwar movement, and it gave way to our mission to share peace, love and music,” Lang said in the release. “Today, we’re experiencing similar disconnects in our country, and one thing we’ve learned is that music has the power to bring people together. So, it’s time to bring the Woodstock spirit back, get involved and make our voices heard.”
But organizers understand that 2019 is vastly different than 1969 and will offer “glamping” tents, as well as other modern amenities and services. Lang also plans to welcome a variety of organizations such as HeadCount, which will register young voters in attendance, he told the New York Times.
“Coachella’s got its thing, as does Bonnaroo and Lollapalooza,” Lang told the Times. “But I think they’re all missing an opportunity to make a difference in the world. They’re all perfect places for social engagement and for fostering ideas, and I think that’s lost.”
Lang hopes this is more than just a concert, more than just a reunion of sorts.
“…hopefully a lot of the bands will become part of this effort to get people to stand up and make themselves heard, to get out and vote. And if they don’t have a candidate that represents their feelings, to find one — or to run themselves,” Lang said.
College-aged students will have the opportunity to purchase tickets this month, while the general public can buy their tickets in February.