Woodstock co-creator Michael Lang has announced that the official Woodstock 50th anniversary show will take place in Watkins Glen, New York on August 16th, 17th and 18th. This differs from the event that was recently announced that will take place at the original Woodstock site. ‘Big name’ headliners will be announced in February when tickets go on sale, and the event should hold around 100,000 fans.
Lang told Rolling Stone that some “newer bands” will stage “celebrations of artists from the original Woodstock” that will likely include tribute performances to Janis Joplin, the Band, Jefferson Airplane and Joe Cocker, among others. “Having contemporary artists interpret that music would be a really interesting and exciting idea,” he says. “We’re also looking for unique collaborations, maybe some reunions and a lot of new and up-and-coming talent.”
He also said he’d like to recreate the feeling of the 1994 festival, which took place during the Grunge era.
“I want it to be multi-generational,” he says. “Woodstock ’94 was a nice mix of young and old and that’s kind of what we’re going for here.”
“There will be ‘glamping’ tents and stuff like that,” he says. “There will be those types of experiences in various forms where there’s a real bed, and there’s a chair to sit in and a light bulb. There will also easier access to portable toilets.”
Lang said he had regrets about Woodstock 1999.
“I shouldn’t have left the booking to others,” he says, noting that he’s booking many of the acts himself this time. “And the water situation was ridiculous. As soon as I saw that, I tried to get everyone to lower the prices and I couldn’t. I did order tractor trailers of water and put them out for free. I do think a lot of people had a good time, but the fires at the end became the imagery of it. It was just about 200 kids who went on a rampage. They exploded some of the cooling systems in the tractor trailers and just wreaked havoc.”
Lang goes on to dismiss Woodstock ’99 as an “MTV event” and says that Woodstock 50 will be its antithesis. “Woodstock ’99 was just a musical experience with no social significance,” he says. “It was just a big party. With this one, we’re going back to our roots and our original intent. And this time around, we’ll have control of everything.”