Woodstock musical festival co-creator Michael Lang died on Saturday in New York at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center at the age of 77.
According to The Washington Examiner, Lang was battling non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, which is a cancer that begins in the lymphatic system and impacts white blood cell growth.
“He was absolutely an historic figure, and also a great guy,” Michael Pagnotta, a family friend, told the Associated Press. “Both of those thing go hand in hand.”
Lang, along with partners Artie Kornfield, John Roberts, and Joel Rosenman created Woodstock during the summer of 1969.
The group created the festival during the Vietnam War calling it “three days of peace and music” and it has continued as an iconic festival to this day.
“From the beginning, I believed that if we did our job right and from the heart, prepared the ground and set the right tone, people would reveal their higher selves and create something amazing,” Lang wrote in his memoir, The Road to Woodstock.
The festival has grown into an event that has attracted musicians and groups such as Jimi Hendrix, The Who, Carlos Santana, Janis Joplin, the Grateful Dead, and Santana with as many as 400,000 attendees.
According to Lang, they did something entirely unique when creating their festival saying that others “modeled after Woodstock — Bonnaroo and Coachella, in particular,” adding that “there was a ritual that was created that keeps getting replicated.”