As we reported about a month ago, chief Woodstock promoter Michael Lang is planning two free Woodstock concerts in Berlin, Germany and in New York to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the original 1969 festival. Back in March, the New York show didn’t have a venue, but they were hoping it would take place on the actual anniversary of August 15 and 16. Now reports have Lang eying Brooklyn’s Prospect Park as the NY destination, although the 15 and 16 of August would be out of the equation.
According to a report in Sunday’s NY Daily News, Lang is hoping to stage a massive Woodstock 40th anniversary concert in Prospect Park’s Long Meadow this summer and Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe confirmed the city is in talks with Lang about the event — if he can find enough sponsors.
Lang, who is a Brooklyn native, said he knows the clock is ticking and that to make the free daylong show work, he has to find the necessary $8 million to $10 million to pay for it by the end of the month. “It’s big, it’s convenient. There’s public transportation — and Brooklyn’s cool,” said Lang, 64, to the Daily News. “I’d love to do it. But it’s been a very tough year.”
With more open space on the Long Meadow lawn than any area park, Lang is hoping to attract up to 150,000 people and feature a mix of Woodstock legends like Crosby, Stills and Nash, and Neil Young, Joe Cocker and Joan Baez, as well as newer bands that fit the vibe, like Dave Matthews and Phish. Citing a desire to get back to the peaceful origins of the festival and get away from what Lang called an “MTV event” of the 25th and 30th anniversary festivals. “The music was much too angry for me” he concluded.
The only other hitch besides the money would be the timing, as the August 15 date has already been secured. Although, according to the Daily News, Lang would rather do it at Prospect Park than worry about the actual date of the anniversary.
Ironically, The Berlin show will take place at the now-closed Tempelhof Airport on August 22 and August 23 — once a Nazi stronghold and used regularly by Adolf Hitler and his cohorts, leaving many to wonder how much peace and love can be found at the site.