May 9, 2009
The promoters of the original Woodstock concert have dropped plans
for a 40th anniversary concert in August, but are now eyeing the last
week in September for a one-day event in Brooklyn's Prospect Park,
said Michael Lang, who has been the public face for official
Woodstock concerts held in 1969, 1994 and 1999.
Lang, along with several partners, staged the historic Woodstock
Music and Art Fair Aug. 15-18 in Bethel, Sullivan County. He had been
hoping to stage a free anniversary concert this coming August, but
has had trouble finding sponsors because of the bad economy.
However, Lang, who lives in the Town of Woodstock in Ulster County,
told the Journal today that plans for a concert in September remain
"a longshot" and that he hopes to "pull something off." He said today
that he has not booked any bands.
Lang and the New York City Parks Department have held discussions
about staging a Woodstock concert in Prospect Park. No formal plans
for a concert have been submitted to the parks department.
Lang has been in discussions with potential sponsors, who he said
have expressed "serious interest," for months. But, he said a
"critical mass" of sponsors is needed if the concert is to occur. He
estimated the cost of the concert to be $8-$10 million.
Far from certain but being discussed, Lang said, is the staging of a
Woodstock concert for an online audience only, on the anniversary of
the concert. This could potentially be broadcast over
www.woodstock.com, a new Website that Woodstock Ventures, the company
Lang and his partners run, plans to launch in early June.
Such an event would be separate from the concert being considered for
Prospect Park in September, Lang said.
Bethel Woods Center for the Arts, a concert pavilion and museum built
on the original concert site in Bethel, will host its own Woodstock
anniversary concert on Aug. 15, featuring the Levon Helm Band,
Jefferson Starship, Big Brother and the Holding Co., Ten Years After,
Canned Heat, Tom Constanten and Country Joe McDonald. These bands and
musicians feature members who performed at Woodstock in 1969.
Richie Havens, whose show-stopping performance opened Woodstock, will
perform at Bethel Woods, for the media only, on Aug. 14.