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Trainwreck: Woodstock 99: what happened to late co-creator Michael Lang?

Find out more about the Woodstock co-creator 

trainwreck michael
Emmy Griffiths
TV & Film Editor
August 5, 2022
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Netflix’s new documentary Trainwreck: Woodstock 99 has definitely gotten viewers talking as it looks at the disastrous music festival that resulted in looting, sexual assaults and vandalism. The festival’s co-creator, Michael Lang, appeared on the documentary, which later confirmed that he had sadly passed away before the documentary was released. 

MORE: Netflix's Trainwreck: Woodstock 99: Viewers saying the same thing about shocking documentary

Michael passed away from Non-Hodgkin lymphoma at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Centre in New York City on 8 January 2022, just three months after he appeared on the Netflix documentary. 

WATCH: Have you watched the documentary yet?

Social media was flooded with tributes following the news, with one person writing: "RIP Michael Lang. If you love music you probably owe him a debt of gratitude," while another added: "I just woke up to the start of another day and am truly heartbroken and saddened by this news that just smacked me in the face. Michael Lang who was my first friend when I worked as Art Director of Paramount Records passed away today from… cancer." 

Michael is survived by five children, Harry, Laszlo, LariAnn, Shala and Molly.

The Woodstock co-founder’s participation in the documentary - which looks at various perspectives on what happened during the infamous festival - was met with criticism from some viewers, who felt that they weren’t taking responsibility for festival’s failings. 

One person wrote: "I think Michael Lang and John Scher's inability to take responsibility for the conditions during Woodstock 99 is a great example of how Hippy boomers sold out their 'peace and love' to uninhibited capitalism. They really think they did nothin wrong it's baffling." 

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Another person added: "Michael Lang really just said the kids in the 90s 'weren’t ready to embrace the social issues of the day' but meanwhile they were charging $4 for a bottle of water ($7 with inflation). There was trash everywhere, the free water was contaminated." 

woodstock founder

Michael was the co-creator of Woodstock

Have you checked out the documentary yet? The official synopsis reads: "Woodstock ‘99 was supposed to be a millennium-defining celebration of peace, love and great music. Instead, the festival degenerated into an epic trainwreck of fires, riots and destruction.

"Utilising rare insider footage and eyewitness interviews with an impressive list of festival staffers, performers and attendees, this docuseries goes behind the scenes to reveal the egos, greed and music that fuelled three days of utter chaos." 

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