Woodstock creator Michael Lang talks about the legendary festival

Nadiah Abuswai

Nadiah AbuswaiReporter

Lang sat down to discuss the role the music festival played in a nation in the midst of change.

In August of 1969, Woodstock brought approximately 500,000 concert-goers together for three days of peace, love and music.

Michael Lang, one of the creators of Woodstock, talked about his experiences Feb. 24 at the Performing Arts Center.

Woodstock was a venue at which many popular, up and coming musical acts presented themselves to what Michael Lang referred to as “a gathering of a whole counter culture.”

“The scene of the counter culture started to develop in the “60s,” Lang said. “We felt strongly that we could make a change.”

Thirty two acts, inlucing Jimi Hendrix, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Sly and the Family Stone and Janis Joplin were present at the festival which took place in New York.

Lang has recently been featured in an Academy Award winning documentary titled Woodstock: 3 Days of Peace and Music.

Lang spoke about his involvement in putting the legendary festival together and signed copies of his 2009 bestselling book, The Road to Woodstock, after the event.

At the event, Lang talked about the cultural impact Woodstock had during times of war.

“We were all about ending the war in Vietnam,” Lang said. “Bands were singing about these things, and it was reflecting the voice of the counterculture.”

Dreams of creating a different world were the driving force in creating Woodstock, Lang said.

“We wanted to see if this idyllic society we wanted so badly could work,” Lang said. “We wanted to put politics aside and live the dream.”

Lang said Woodstock was created to have a positive impact on a culture that was focusing too much on anger and war.

“People were turning to violence as a solution to our problems, and we just lost our way,” he said.

Lang said he is happy with what Woodstock did for people inside and outside of the counter culture at the time.

When asked about what impact Woodstock might have had on today’s musical culture, Lang said it was a defining moment in the history of art and activism.

“It was something people remember, and I think it definitely inspired people,” Lang said.

Lang said there are certain points of today’s musical culture that he wasn’t exactly pleased with.

When asked by a member of the audience how he felt about one of today’s current stars, Lang smirked and said, “I am definitely not a fan of Justin Bieber.”

#1.2042967:1240034434.png:woodstock.png:Woodstock creator, Michael Lang, speaks with Kyle Jameson. Lang spoke of his involvement in putting the legendary festival together back in 1969.:Collegian Photo by Robyn Mcclaury