The Woodstock Festival had its first edition in 1969 and was associated with a myth of rock culture and of the United States, with its ideals of peace and love as a frame. However, few know that there was a second edition, in 1999, where everything went wrong and ended in chaos, destruction and violence of all kinds.
However, before Woodstock ’99 was planned, Woodstock ’94 commemorated the 25th anniversary of the original festival. More than nostalgia, the need to do a big business didn’t end well either.
In that 1994 event, which also promised three days of music and entertainment for concertgoers, more attendees managed to sneak in, so an estimated 350,000which was more than double the estimated amount for ticket sales.
Moreover, thousands of people were treated for various medical reasons and there were three deaths during the festival.
Two productions based on this event are currently visible on the HBO and Netflix platforms: Woodstock 99: peace, love and anger AND Trainwreck: Woodstock ’99.
Woodstock 99: the festival ended in chaos
However, Woodstock 99 had its struggles, and it’s the sequel to the 1969 event that’s still talked about. for the debacle and ill-treatment to which thousands of Americans have been subjected.
There were many things that contributed to the overall failure of Woodstock ’99, which was held at the now defunct air force base called Rome.
Although the festival lasted for the planned three days, outside temperatures were rising, excessive prices for food, especially water, and mob violence added to the tragedy.
It was nowhere near the three days of music and peace which festival-goers came to expect when they bought the tickets they cost $150 for the weekend. about 266 based on current prices.
Woodstock 99: From Peace and Love to Tragedy
The first problem was that Woodstock ’99, even though it was in upstate New York, like the 1969 festival, It took place on an old airstrip, then most of the areas where you could walk and even pitch camper tents it was hot asphalt like it was in a hot July in the northern hemisphere.
And the price of food and water at the event was notoriously high.. For example, participants had to shell out $4 for bottles of water or soda, which is equivalent to $7 today, $12 or $21 in 2022 for pizza and $5, or about $9 today, for sandwiches.
Also, there was violence. After the festival, several cases of sexual assault by festival-goers were reported.
They also reported cases of violence in the audience during the show Limp Bizkit on stage, during which frontman Fred Durst told the audience for the first time release negative energybut then he reminded them: It’s time to let go. And everything got out of control.
The bonfires were lit after the festival organization handed out candles to burn during the song under the bridge by the Red Hot Chili Peppers.
HBO and Netflix documentaries about Woodstock 99
Scher cites a moment in which Durst was carried away from the audience on a piece of wood as evidence of the band’s violent intentions, but the actual rioting didn’t occur until twenty-four hours after Limp Bizkit’s performance.
However, Durst’s gang only led the way. Instead, it all exploded at Woodstock 99 when the Red Hot Chili Peppers played a cover of Fire, by Jimi Hendrix.
Woodstock 99: a disaster from the start
“It couldn’t be further from the original Woodstock,” says Scott, one of many who went to the meeting with the idea of camping thinking it would be an open field from ‘Lord of the Rings’ and stumbled upon a military industrial complex, with lots of concrete and no trees.
The temperatures that have reached 40 degrees, the lack of controls in the safety and hygiene standards have put together a lethal combo. the second day, medical services were collapsing, no one dared to use the restrooms, and the property stank from the garbage that had been piled up.
“This, added to the typical effervescence of each play, raised the levels of anger until everything got out of hand,” wrote Clarín journalist Juan Tomás Erbiti..
On the third day of the festival, the excesses took root. The police intervened and repressed and removed the young people in the worst possible way. In the following days, organizers received allegations of sexual abuse from at least several women.
Obviously, None of the producers responsible for one of the worst festivals in history has assumed their responsibilities. Naturally, they pocketed several million dollars in their accounts.
Mary Ortiz is a seasoned journalist with a passion for world events. As a writer for News Rebeat, she brings a fresh perspective to the latest global happenings and provides in-depth coverage that offers a deeper understanding of the world around us.