The organisers behind the 1969 Woodstock Festival have announced plans for an official anniversary festival to mark Woodstock’s 50th anniversary later this year.
The 1969 festival has long entered into music legend, with the Bethel, New York-located event – which took place from August 15-18, 1969 and attracted an estimated 400,000 people – seeing iconic sets from the likes of Jimi Hendrix, The Who, Janis Joplin and Sly and The Family Stone.
Michael Lang, the co-founder and co-producer of the original Woodstock, has today (January 9) confirmed plans for a 50th anniversary festival which will be held this summer and promises to be “the only authorised commemoration of the iconic 1969 festival”.
The three-day Woodstock Music and Arts Fair 2019 will be held from August 16-18 on a 1000-acre site in Watkins Glen, upstate New York (rather than in Bethel), with over 60 acts (apparently consisting of the “biggest names and emerging talent in rock, hip hop, pop and country”) set to play across three main stages. The first acts on the bill will be announced next month.
“It’s time to put the speculation to rest and officially announce that Woodstock 50 is happening,” Lang said in a press release. “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.
“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.”
Speaking to The New York Times, Lang voiced his hopes for activism to be a key takeaway from Woodstock 50: “We want this to be more than just coming to a concert. And hopefully a lot of the bands will become part of this effort to get people to stand up and make themselves heard, to get and out vote. And if they don’t have a candidate that represents their feelings, to find one -or to run themselves.”
A limited number of discounted pre-sale tickets will be available to college students (aged between 18-25) by the end of January, the release also confirms. A general sale of 100,000 passes will be announced in the coming weeks.
Last month, the town of Bethel announced an unofficial 50th anniversary event to celebrate Woodstock’s special milestone.