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Woodstock '09 In the Works To Celebrate 40th Anniversary of 1969 Festival

March 2, 2009 4:00 PM ET

With the 40th anniversary of the original Woodstock festival coming this August, organizers are hoping to honor the famed musical event with a pair of free two-day concerts taking place in both New York and Berlin, Germany, TheRockRadio.com reports. The site cites a press release in which promoter Michael Lang says he hopes the New York festival will take place exactly on the 40th anniversary, August 15-16th, while the Berlin event will go down August 22-23rd at an abandoned airport. The exact location for the U.S. festival has not been determined, and Lang tells RS he hasn't confirmed dates for either event to anyone. "We're exploring several options. But nothing is confirmed," Lang tells Rolling Stone of all plans for the events, which he is now categorizing as "rumors."

According to TheRockRadio, no bands have yet been named for either festival, but organizers reportedly hope to recruit some of the acts that played the original fest in 1969, namely the Who, Santana, the Grateful Dead and many more. The official Woodstock Website offers no details as it's currently "under construction." Lang is credited as a co-creator of the original Woodstock, showing up numerous times in the documentary about the festival. He also played a role in producing both the Woodstock '94 and the Woodstock '99 festivals.

Woodstock '09, if it comes to be, would be the first big festival under the Woodstock moniker since the '99 weekend. That three-day event became more infamous for its unruly crowds than the actual music and helped negate the whole "peace & love" spirit of the original festival thanks to a weekend's worth of violence and looting. Artists like Insane Clown Posse, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Kid Rock and Limp Bizkit were accused of inciting the crowd, leading to bonfires and melee in what in retrospect is regarded as a disaster.

Related Stories:

50 Moments That Changed the History of Rock & Roll: Woodstock
Producer James Schamus Says Ang Lee's Taking Woodstock Will Capture "Hopeful Spirit"

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Song Stories

“San Francisco Mabel Joy”

Mickey Newbury | 1969

A country-folk song of epic proportions, "San Francisco Mabel Joy" tells the tale of a poor Georgia farmboy who wound up in prison after a move to the Bay Area found love turning into tragedy. First released by Mickey Newbury in 1969, it might be more familiar through covers by Waylon Jennings, Joan Baez and Kenny Rogers. "It was a five-minute song written in a two-minute world," Newbury said. "I was told it would never be cut by any artist ... I was told you could not use the term 'redneck' in a song and get it recorded."

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