What is non-Hodgkin's lymphoma? Michael Lang's cause of death explored as tributes pour in for Woodstock festival co-founder

Michael Lang recently passed away at the age of 77 (Image via Jennifer Lourie/Getty Images)
Michael Lang recently passed away at the age of 77 (Image via Jennifer Lourie/Getty Images)

The Woodstock Music & Art Fair's co-creator, Michael Lang, recently passed away on January 8. He was 77 years old at the time of his death.

Lang died at New York City’s Sloan Kettering Hospital from a rare form of Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. The news was confirmed by his representative and family friend Michael Pagnotta.

Michael Lang’s cause of death

The concert promoter was suffering from Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma which led to his death.

RIP to one of the chief architects of the mythology of the 1960s (who later helped bury the ‘90s)… via @variety

Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma refers to a kind of cancer that starts in the lymphatic system which is the human body’s germ-fighting immune system. In this situation, white blood cells grow abnormally and could form tumors across the body.

It is a general category of lymphoma and several subtypes are included under this. The most common among them are large B-cell lymphoma and follicular lymphoma.

Common signs and symptoms include swollen lymph nodes in the neck, armpits, and groin, abdominal pain and swelling, chest pain, fever, night sweats, coughing, trouble breathing, weight loss, and fatigue.

Life and career of Michael Lang

Michael Lang in 1969 in Woodstock, New York (Image via Ginny Winn/Getty Images)
Michael Lang in 1969 in Woodstock, New York (Image via Ginny Winn/Getty Images)

Born on December 11, 1944, Michael Lang dropped out of New York University in 1967 and produced the Miami Pop Festival in 1968.

Lang met Artie Kornfeld in Woodstock, New York, and planned to open a recording studio. Michael then planned the Woodstock Festival with John P. Roberts and Joel Rosenman, which was held on Max Yasgur’s farm in New York from August 15 to August 18, 1969.

The Brooklyn, New York native was seen in the documentary film, Woodstock: 3 Days of Peace & Music in 1970. He then produced two music festivals, Woodstock ’94 and Woodstock ’99.


Michael was the owner and operator of Just Sunshine Records, which produced and released several albums by different musical artists. He managed many successful international recording artists like Tarkan, Joe Cocker, Willie DeVille, and others.

Lang was the manager of Joe Cocker from 1969 and their relationship continued for 20 years. He was also an associate producer of the 1996 crime comedy film, Bottle Rocket.

Netizens pay tribute to Michael Lang on Twitter

Michael Lang’s concerts were one of the reasons why he was loved by the public. Social networking site Twitter was flooded with tributes as people heard the news of his death.

This one hurts.RIP Michael Lang.
RIP MICHAEL LANG - WOODSTOCK ORGAN ISER without whom............. by the time I got to |WOODSTOCK they were half a million strong.....
RIP Michael Lang - I was there! Here is a poem for the Beautiful People of Woodstock
RIP Michael Lang. Record producer, manager & concert promoter…Popular culture tends to tag one with a label that follows to the grave, no matter what else one accomplishes. But organizing Woodstock Festival in 1969 was pretty “larger-than-life.”…Gimme an F! Gimme a U…✌️
#RIP Woodstock promoter Michael Lang has passed.
RIP Michael Lang. If you love music you probably owe him a debt of gratitude.…
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 F'n Cancer. RIP Michael 🙏
RIP Michael LangWithout him, there would have been no 3 days of peace, love and understanding. Woodstock was his…
RIPWoodstock Impresario Michael Lang Dead at 77 - Rolling Stone…

The artistic manager is survived by his wife Tamara, sons Harry and Laszlo, and daughters LariAnn, Shala, and Molly.

Edited by Danyal Arabi
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