Original Woodstock organizer Michael Lang announced his plan earlier this week to stage another Woodstock in Watkins Glen, New York to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the first one. It’ll be the first Woodstock since the disastrous Woodstock 99, but he swears things will be different this time. “Woodstock ’99 was just a musical experience with no social significance,” he said. “It was just a big party. With this one, we’re going back to our roots and our original intent.”
He pointed to Woodstock 94 as an example of the kind of event he hopes to achieve where “legacy bands” are balanced out with newer musical acts. That Woodstock had not only Green Day, Nine Inch Nails, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Blind Melon, but also Crosby, Stills and Nash, Joe Cocker, the Band, John Sebastian and Country Joe McDonald from the original one. Check out video right here of CSN playing “Deja Vu” at the event. “This feels like deja vu all over again,” Graham Nash said before kicking into the song.
It’s unclear what returning acts from the first Woodstock will be at this new one, but CSNY or even CSN feels like a real long shot. Neil Young and Stephen Stills remain close friends, but there’s tension between basically everyone else in the group and they haven’t performed since 2015. “I’ve talked to them all individually,” Michael Lang said. “And it’s a mess.”
Short of an extremely unlikely CSN/CSNY reunion, other legacy Woodstock acts that still attract large crowds include the Who, Santana, Dead and Co and/or Phil Lesh and Friends, John Fogerty (a Creedence reunion is even more unlikely than a CSN one) and Joan Baez. Whatever happens, this Woodstock will probably go better than the last one. It’s hard to imagine what could make it worst though short of some sort of undead army rising from the ground and turning everyone there into zombies. And even that might be better than Limp Bizkit’s set at Woodstock 99.