Pack away your galoshes: Woodstock anniversary show gets cancelled

Rolling Stone is reporting that Woodstock promoter Michael Lang has abandoned his plans to hold a concert that would have marked the 40th anniversary of the peace-and-love festival. Lang had hoped to stage an event in September to coincide with Climate Week, but a lack of sponsors has caused him to cancel the show.

While it’s a shame that Lang’s plans have gone up in smoke there are no shortage of ways that you can mark the festival’s 40th anniversary. Ang Lee will release his new, Demetri Martin-starring, movie Taking Woodstock on August 28 and there are a plethora of commemorative music releases, including a six-CD Woodstock: 40 Years On box set that will be reviewed in the next issue of EW. Or you can just check out the footage of a fantastically-sideburned Joe Cocker totally losing control of his arms while performing “With A Little Help From My Friends” at the original event below.

So, Music Mixers, are you bummed that there will be no Woodstock 2009? Were any of you at the first Woodstock or its pair of sequels? And how have you been enjoying this year’s festival season?

More from EW’s Music Mix:
Matisyahu: Exclusive stream

Bad Veins, “Fake Baby”: Music Mix exclusive
Tim Buckley: Exclusive track
Adam Duritz talks with the Music Mix


Comments (24 total) Add your comment
Page: 1 2
  • Leland Stein

    No worries. Check out “Boston Celebrates Woodstock” Aug 12-16 featuring Richie Havens, Jocko from Sha Na Na, Free film screenings, Panel discussions and more. Details at

  • mark in nyc

    Yay for it being canceled!
    From the way the event was “celebrated” last time. Fires, riots, bad bad bad music.

    To the way the woodstock generation have given up any pretense of what the event was supposed to be about, and instead have all sold out for money money money.
    The whole thing was 40% great bands 60% nostalgia.

  • Jean Genie

    GOOD!! I was hoping it would!

  • mscisluv

    It’s better this way. Woodstock 99 was such a tragedy.

  • Smith

    You can always go to the REAL woodstock anniversary at the REAL site of the original concert in Bethel.. Levon Helm Band, Jefferson Starship, Ten Years After, Canned Heat, Big Brother and the Holding Company, Mountain, Tom Constanten and Country Joe McDonald will be there along with an entire festival.. great reporting EW.. how the hell did you miss that..

  • flossmore

    Does anyone really care about Starship, Canned Heat, Big Brother etc….they all sucked from the very git anyhow !!

    • Dominic Potenza

      What an idiotic obviously are very young and don’t know anything about the music of the times, and the influence it had on our lives and music..

    • mark

      you don’t get it.

  • Scott Lifshine

    I’m not sad to see it cancelled. I did a show bigger and better than Woodstock in 1974 called California Jam. Woodstock never float my boat. If anything they should revive the California Jam. I’m doing my part; I don’t know what everyone else is doing. For starters I wholeheartedly agree with flossmore. That about sums it up. I saw The Beatles in 1964. I saw Janis, Jimi, The Momas & The Popas, The Doors, several other ancients…that’s good enough for me!

    • David

      California Jam was bigger and better than Woodstock? In what way? Certainly not bigger in attendance or number and quality of acts. The biggest act on the ticket, Deep Purple, had just gone through such a lineup overhaul that it was basically a Deep Purple cover band. And Seals and Croft? I’m sure they gave Sha Na Na a run for their money.
      You want bigger, how about 600,000 at Summer Jam in 73. The Grateful Dead, The Allman Brothers Band and The Band were the only acts. Not sure it was better than Woodstock since I’ve only ever got to hear The Grateful Dead’s legendary 2+ hour soundcheck from Friday and their not so legendary 4+ hour performance the next day.

    • mark

      you don’t get it either

  • CG13

    That’s sad. Do you remember the music, the mud, and the masses of Woodstock? Too young to recall the summer of 1969? Either way, watch VH1’s Rock Doc, Woodstock: Then and Now on Friday, August 14th at 9 pm. Be sure to visit to enter the Peace Love & Hi-Def Sweepstakes to win a brand new Vizio HDTV and soundsystem!

  • oonasong

    In the spirit of Woodstock, I have released a remake of Joni’s hit on my new CD Honey and Holy Water.

    It seems to me more imperative than ever that we get back to the garden!

  • Jack

    Just look at the contrast. The Woodstock generation vs the Greatest generation of WWII. I’ll take the Greatest generation any day.

  • robert bud

    woodstock ’69 … it was about “let’s end the war..” / the protest songs included one with the lyrics, “it’s one, two, three what are we fightin’ for… you know i don’t give a damn about the war in vietnam…” / Well, here we are in 2oo9, and i don’t give a damn about the war in afghanistan… it’s ironic isn’t it. the U.S. is involved in a same kind of war.

  • Old hippie

    Bud, if you are going to quote a song, at least get the lyrics right. And its one two three, what are we fighting for, don’t ask me I don’t give a damn, our next stop is Vietnam. There will never be another woodstock because we will never repeat the events of 1967, 1968, and 1969 ever again.

  • Reflecting_Pool

    The trash YouTube recording of Joe Cocker’s 1969 Woodstock performance, presented on this “Music Mix” webpage, perfectly illustrates the enormous divide that separates the 1969 music mentality from the 2009 music mentality. The slack YouTube recording on this 2009 “Music Mix” webpage is a chince, dingy, low-quality monaural piece of lazy garbage that comes nowhere near the respectable quality of the original Woodstock performance. It is a perfect example of the downward spiral in music from 1969 to 2009. No matter whether you’re talking about the making of automobiles or the making of music, what we have today is a chince, dingy, low-quality plastic–aluminum replica of the timeless top-quality original. If you want to look at QUALITY, you have to look BACKWARD, not forward. This is visible evidence of the DECLINE of a once great society where, unlike today, QUALITY was NOT “dispensible” in the name of profits and pretense.

  • Cary Robyn

    Might not be too late for 2009. Perhaps some wealthy Woodstock alumnus or younger fan will hear about the cancellation and step forward to claim a heroic role in Countercultural history. Mobilize volunteers who share the vision, in order to cut costs, and, for the first time, put the festival profits into buying land and building permanent sustainable ecotopian sanctuaries for bohemian subcultures. Green Design habitat technology and cultural innovations have been sufficiently refined to make it practical once there are capital resources available. Four decades of tuned-in people are ready and eager for a warmer, freer, friendlier way of life. Let’s build our Neo-Hippie tribe a home!

  • Ed

    WW2 was a war of survival and not a war of choice for the US, the Vietnam War was one of choice, and by the 60s, long suppressed problems with society burst forth. Woodstock became a counterculture event, meaning by definition, the generation was deeply divided over what American culture should be like–many, like GW Bush, favored the War and the status quo. That is why the same generation that struggled over Vietnam allowed itself to be conned by fear mongering into the same mistakes in Iraq. Woodstock was conceived for profit unlike Monterey Pop but became an accidental high water mark for the counterculture almost by accident. The mistake is to think that the lesson of Woodstock is that music or music festivals themselves are the solution, when in fact time has shown the opposite is true. In today’s profit driven world where the ideals have changed, Woodstock can’t be repeated because the times have changed. However, in the SF Bay Area, there are still periodically large, free music festivals in Golden Gate Park which because of long tradition in the area are true to the vision of that era. The upcoming festival commemorating Woodstock in SF will have many musicians from the era and will recreate the atmosphere for a day. That is the best you can expect.

    • dr. gonzo

      well said!

Page: 1 2
Add your comment
The rules: Keep it clean, and stay on the subject - or we may delete your comment. If you see inappropriate language, e-mail us. An asterisk (*) indicates a required field.

When you click on the "Post Comment" button above to submit your comments, you are indicating your acceptance of and are agreeing to the Terms of Service. You can also read our Privacy Policy.

Latest Videos in Music


From Our Partners

TV Recaps

Powered by VIP