Woodstock ’99: Who was Michael Lang and how did he die?

Michael Lang was one of the driving forces behind the ill-fated Woodstock ’99 (Picture: Getty Images for Focus Features)

A new documentary showing the chaos of the infamous has shocked viewers since its release.

Following in the footsteps of , Trainwreck: Woodstock ’99 chronicles the events of the third iteration of the iconic which featured sets from the likes of Red Hot Chili Peppers, Metallica, Rage Against The Machine, Kid Rock, Korn and Limp Bizkit.

Litter, high prices, and soaring temperatures saw fans become disgruntled during the three-day event, culminating in fires breaking out across the festival site and riots, with women particularly at risk.

The documentary sees interviews with various acts that performed as well as behind-the-scenes crew and co-creator Michael Lang.

But what happened to Michael following Woodstock ’99?

Who is Michael Lang?

Michael Lang was an American concert promoter, producer, and artistic manager.

He was best known as a co-creator of the iconic

Michael was just 24 when he became involved with creating Woodstock in 1969, which was widely regarded as a pivotal moment in music history and the culmination of the Sixties counterculture movement.

He later became a producer of records, films, and other concerts, as well as a manager for artists such as Joe Cocker who performed at the original Woodstock.

He was also a critically acclaimed author and a sculptor.

Michael had planned for an event to commemorate 50 years since the original festival in 2019, with performers from Jay Z to Halsey, though it ended up

Michael Lang is best known as one of the organisers behind the 1969 Woodstock Festival (Picture: Getty Images)

How did he die?

Michael aged 77 after a battle with Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.

He made his final public appearance several months before the Covid pandemic unfolded, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the music and arts festival.

What was his reaction to the events of Woodstock ’99

As well as organising the original Woodstock, Michael also organised Woodstock ‘94 and the ill-fated 1999 event which dissolved into riots that saw many arrested as the festival site was destroyed.

over the course of the three-day event and multiple sexual abuse allegations were raised.

In a statement at the time, Michael said: ‘We are saddened that a series of unforeseen setbacks has made it impossible to put on the Festival we imagined with the great line-up we had booked and the social engagement we were anticipating.’

Woodstock ’99 broke down into fires and rioting by the end of the festival (Picture by: Getty Images)

He is interviewed for Trainwreck: Woodstock ’99 in which he shoulders much of the blame for what happened across the festival.

One spectator  at the time: ‘At one point I saw this girl, a very petite girl, maybe 100 pounds, who was body-surfing above the crowd and either fell in or was pulled into a circle in the mosh pit.

‘These gentlemen, probably in the 25–32 age range, looked as though they were holding her down. They were holding her arms; you could see she was struggling.’

The same person added to the publication that he witnessed a gang rape.

‘Five rapes and numerous cases of sexual harassment and assault’ took place, according to an , while MTV elsewhere reported that two women were allegedly gang-raped.

Trainwreck: Woodstock ’99 is available to stream now on Netflix.


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