For weeks, original Woodstock producer Michael Lang has been talking about staging a massive 40th anniversary celebration of the original festival in both New York and Berlin, striking fear into the hearts of anyone who witnessed—firsthand or on TV—the calamitous end of Woodstock ’99. Creating further consternation: the possibility that organisers were looking for corporate sponsors, a major source of ire 10 years ago.
Fortunately, the recession may prevent Woodstock ’09 from happening.
“[Staging multiple Woodstocks around the world was] an ambitious format that we conceived of at a time when the tide was coming in in the world economy,” Lang’s business partner Joel Rosenman tells Rolling Stone. “It’s a much different world a year later.”
But plans aren’t dead yet. And Rosenman’s onboard with the whole corporate sponsors thing, which he claims would lower tickets to below market value or possibly nothing, hopefully preventing another Woodstock from descending into ’99’s melee.
And he doesn’t think Woodstock ’99 ended that badly. “Hundreds of thousands of people had a great time at the last one. There were some who didn’t. There is no Woodstock that we’ve had that has been uniformly regarded.”
Perhaps he should read this harrowing recollection from MTV News producer Gil Kaufman who was there and, Kaufman says, lucky to get out alive.
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