40 years this August will mark the 40th anniversary of the now iconic Woodstock Music Festival, and as one would come to expect based on latter incarnations of Woodstock, a few people are planning to take advantage of the occasion.
In March, news surfaced that Michael Lang, one of the creators behind the original Woodstock, had begun work on two two-day events, one in upstate New York on the exact anniversary of the original Woodstock (August 15-16) and the other one week later in Berlin. Adding to speculation was the a new woodstock.com, which sported a banner reading “coming soon.”
However one month later, the Daily News published an interview with Lang, in which the organizer downplayed any real anticipation, noting that some $8-10 million would have to be raised by the end of the month. “I’d love to do it. But it’s been a very tough year,” he said. Still, Lang wouldn’t say no to the possibility, and revealed that Brooklyn’s Prospect Park, Coney Island, and Queens’ Flushing Meadows were being considered as other locations for a possible Woodstock reincarnation.
In the weeks that followed, the “coming soon” banner on woodstock.com would be taken down and replaced by a press release announcing the arrival of a website that will act as a cutting edge live music social network for all concerts.” Per Rolling Stone:
Woodstock.com will also be the major destination for all things Woodstock, collecting exclusive interviews, guest editors, audio-visual content, rare photographs, encyclopedia, Wiki and an online store dedicated to Woodstock 69, 94 and 99. The site will also house concert information, access to ticketing, show reviews, blogs and a forum.
In other words, not a website for a 2009 Woodstock, which essentially ended any hope for a Lang-organized event for this summer.
But as it now turns out, that doesn’t mean there won’t be any music celebrating the 40th anniversary. According to the New York Times, Levon Helm, Paul Kantner, and Country Joe McDonald, all of whom played the original Woodstock, are organizing a “new” show for August 15th at the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts in upstate New York – the site of first Woodstock festival took place. The current lineup includes the Levon Helm Band, Jefferson Airplane, Big Brother and the Holding Company, Ten Years After, Canned Heat, and Mountain. Also, Rolling Stone points out that one day prior at Bethel, Richie Havens will play a Woodstock-related even – so maybe we’re looking a two-day even?
So, to summarize, there probably won’t be an “official” Woodstock ’09, but there will be an anniversary show featuring many of the festivals orginial members. Confusing? You betcha, but hey, that’s Woodstock for you!