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Michael Lang (born December 11, 1944 in Brooklynmarker, New Yorkmarker) is a musical Concert promoter, producer and artistic manager who is best known as the co-creator of the Woodstock Music & Art Festivalmarker in 1969.

Early life

In 1967 Lang left NYUmarker and moved to Coconut Grove, Floridamarker to open a head shop. In 1968 after promoting a series of concert events in the Miamimarker area, Lang produced the '"Miami Pop Festival", probably the largest music festival of its time. It drew 80,000 people over two days with such acts as Jimi Hendrix, Santana, Janis Joplin, Mothers of Invention, John Lee Hooker, Arthur Brown, and Blue Cheer.

Woodstock

After he moved to Woodstock, NYmarker and met Artie Kornfeld in New Yorkmarker, the two developed the concept for a major festival event to celebrate the '60s social movements, and planned to open a recording studio in the town of Woodstock. With Kornfeld and partners John P. Roberts and Joel Rosenman, Lang set into motion the Woodstock festival, which was held on Max Yasgur's farm in Bethel, New Yorkmarker, from August 15 to August 18, 1969.

Michael Lang was featured in many scenes of the 1970 Academy Award winning documentary film Woodstock : 3 Days of Peace & Music.Lang also produced Woodstock 94 with partners Roberts, Rosenman and co-producer John Scher, and Woodstock 99 With John Scher and Ossie Kilkenny. Michael was associate producer of Wes Anderson's "Bottle Rocket".

Altamont Free Concert

Lang was not among the producers of the December 6, 1969,Altamont Free Concertmarker which some had billed as a "Woodstock West", but was asked by the Rolling Stones and the Grateful Dead to assist with the last-moment re-location, from Sears Point Racewaymarker to the Altamont Speedwaymarker, near Tracy, CAmarker. The concert was initially planned for Golden Gate Parkmarker, and was to feature the Rolling Stones, Grateful Dead, Santana, Jefferson Airplane, The Flying Burrito Brothers, and Crosby, Stills & Nash. The City of San Francisco revoked the permits for the Golden Gate venue, ostensibly due to a San Francisco 49ers football game at Kezar Stadiummarker, located in the park, on the scheduled date. The concert was subsequently moved to Sears Point Racewaymarker. However, a dispute over film rights led to its cancellation. Lang and Grateful Dead manager Rock Scully was then offered the Altamont Speedway - a rival to Sears Point Raceway - by owner Dick Carter. After the venue was set for the concert, Lang appeared, with his experience in moving the much-larger Woodstock festival. The venue was moved on December 4 to the racetrack with the concert starting December 6.

The venue change created major technical problems, including a stage built too low and close to the fans. The Hells Angels were then hired for stage security, which resulted in numerous fights with concertgoers, as well as an on-stage altercation with members of the Jefferson Airplane, in which singer Marty Balin was hit unconscious. Audience member Meredith Hunter was stabbed and killed when he rushed the stage with a gun while the Rolling Stones were performing.(These incidents, including the Jefferson Airplane frackas and the Meredith Hunter murder, were captured on film and appear in the Maysles Brothers documentary film Gimme Shelter. There were also three accidental deaths among the crowd of 300,000.

Lang, also, is seen in the film. (He last appears, on-stage, seen walking away during the Hells Angels/Jefferson Airplane on-stage fight.)

Just Sunshine Records

Lang owned and operated Just Sunshine Records, which produced and released more than 40 albums by such diverse musical artists as Billy Joel, Betty Davis and Mississippi Fred McDowell. Lang also managed several successful international recording artists, including Joe Cocker, Ricki Lee Jones, Willie DeVille, Tarkan, and Spanish recording artists El Ultimo de la Fila.

Current

The Michael Lang Organization (MLO) encompasses live event production, film production and artist management. Current projects include A 50th anniversary event for the Lincoln Centermarker featuring the French Theater company Royal Delux, A 40th anniversary event for Woodstock in summer 2009, a movie version of the cult classic novel, "The Master and Margarita" and theater projects in Turkeymarker and South Koreamarker. Additionally, with his partners in Woodstock Ventures, Lang is developing future projects which include a Broadway musicalmarker based on Woodstock the musical and a Woodstock lifestyle brand.

In August 2005, MLO produced sold out Festival event for Heineken at Randall’s Islandmarker called Amsterjam which featured mash ups from artists such as Snoop Dogg, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Wyclef Jean.

MLO also has worked with the following artists: Outkast, Prince, Missy Elliott, Snoop Dog, Steely Dan, The Fugees, Wyclef Jean, Tarkan, Shakira, Madonna, Norah Jones, Marc Anthony, Twista, Dave Matthews, Bruce Springsteen, Alicia Keys, Kid Rock, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Christina Aguilera, Linkin Park, and Avril Lavigne.

In 2009, Woodstock Ventures (Michael Lang, Joel Rosenman, and the John Roberts estate) formed joint venture with Sony Music Entertainment and launched a new woodstock.com. The site celebrates the history of the original Woodstock Festivals and serves as a live music social network.

In the 2009 Ang Lee film, Taking Woodstock Michael Lang is played by stage/TV actor Jonathan Groff.

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