The 50th anniversary of the Woodstock music festival, one of the watersheds of the 1960s counterculture movement, will be celebrated in August with two competing events.
Michael Lang, the co-producer of the 1969 Woodstock festival, announced on Wednesday that the official Woodstock Music and Arts Fair would take place from August 16-18 at a motor-racing venue in upstate New York.
Last month the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts, the current owners of the field where the 1969 festival took place, announced it would mark the 50th anniversary with a “pan-generational event” on the same dates.
“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 anti-war movement, and it gave way to our mission to share peace, love and music,” Lang said in a statement.
“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.”
The August 1969 Woodstock festival, billed as “three days of peace and music,” is regarded as one of the pivotal moments in music history.
Over three sometimes rainy days, more than 30 acts – including Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, The Who, The Band, and the Grateful Dead performed around the clock to a 400 000-strong audience; most of whom watched for free and camped onsite in the mud.
The festival was documented in the 1970 film “Woodstock,” which won an Oscar.