In 1969, tens of thousands of musicians assembled in a field in upstate New York to celebrate peace, love, and music. Woodstock 69 was a movement, a statement about peace, war, and what the youth of America stood for. The organizers decided that another event, Woodstock 99, would help capture the same desire for a new generation to close the millennium.
A Netflix documentary reveals all of the ways things went horribly wrong at the music festival.
Woodstock 99 was completely on film, unlike its predecessor. It was broadcast on live television in real-time via MTVs coverage and pay-per-view subscriptions so that visitors at home could see things fall apart.
While Fyre Fest fell apart long before it even started, no music was ever played during the failed event Woodstock 99 was well underway when things started breaking down.
Between big crowds and a sluggish aggression, there was a rush in the air as bands as Korn took on the stage on the first night, bringing the crowd to an absolute encroachment.
Let''s take a look at what changed from a quiet music program to a global catastrophe.
What happened at Woodstock 99?
Everything that happened at Woodstock 99 is difficult to identify one significant cause. In many ways, it was just a perfect storm that forced things to fall apart.
After losing money in the 1994s Woodstock event, event organizers determined they needed to make profit. Price gouging, increasing the price of bottled water and beverages.
It was a game changer in television coverage. This was a time when cellphone phones were not commonplace, so no one was aware what they were going into until they were at the converted airfield. When they arrived and their supplies were confiscated at the gates, supporters realized that they were stuck with expensive food and drink choices.
When Sheryl Crow and Bush arrived at Woodstock 99, the crowd of predominantly white men turned into a raged mob. That was the first time when organizers realized that the crowd at Woodstock 99 was rather than the peace loving hippies thirty years ago.
The next day, the infrastructure of the event began to cause problems, resulting in frustration among fans. Fountains were so contaminated with human waste that fans ended up with trench mouth, a condition seen in battlefields where painful blisters form around the mouth and throat.
Water from broken drinking water and shower pipes combined with overflowing portable toilets evolved into mud soupy, poopy mud. It was blistering hot and there was very little shade. The festival, combined with frustration, heat, and alcohol, became a ticking time bomb.
When Limp Bizkit caught the stage on Saturday night, tens of thousands of people tossed bottles and broken plywood walls, allowing them to flee the crowds. Despite their concerns, there was no way to reach them.
By Sunday morning, the airfield appeared to be a battlefield. The music however stayed there.
The celebration of the Columbine High School shooting took place just a few months before. The decision to give candles to the spectators was the final blow as fires struck on Sunday night, fueled by an angry mob of people who felt like the show needed to continue following the event. The truth is that rumors of a surprise guest at the end of the event have been incorrect.
Angry mobs splintered camera towers and plywood walls, causing them to collapse. Trash was everywhere. The mob continued tearing apart vendor booths and supply tents.
The destruction happened the following morning.
A lot worse is that as soon as the festival passed, reports of rape and sexual assault from several women began to flow.
Woodstock 99 organizers sat down a concept that started in 1969 and stowed to make it work in 1999, but they didn''t count on engaging angry white men seeking for a fight rather than pacifist music lovers.
How many people died at Woodstock ''''99?
At Woodstock 99 and its predecessor, Woodstock 69, three people died (opens in a new tab).
One man died from severed asthma owing to the high temperatures at Woodstock 99, a woman was killed when she was struck by a car, and a man with a heart ailment died of cardiac arrest at the events camp.
Two men died at the 1969 event (opens in a new tab) after suffering drug overdoses. Another young man was killed when a tractor ran over him while he was sleeping.
When people gather big crowds, there is always the possibility of people getting hurt, but when people combine large crowds, heat, and alcohol the possibility increases. The 2019 Astroworld Festival in Texas grew when fans rushed the stage and ten people died (opens in a new tab).
Given the extreme temperatures and the lack of security, Woodstock 99 might have been significantly deadlier. There were only enough supplies to keep people safe from being scorched; there was very little shade and clean water was difficult to come by. When things turned violent, it was also impossible to control the crowds.
How hot was Woodstock ''''99?
During the weekend that Woodstock 99 took place, temperatures in Rome, New York, were very low. During the day, it was about a hundred degrees (opens in a new tab) and there was little shade and long strips of tarmac that amplified the heat.
Who played at Woodstock ''''99?
The lineup of musicians and guests during the three-day event was impressive. Take a look at some of the very famous musicians and bands who were present, according to a new tab.
- George Clinton
- The Offspring
- Sheryl Crow
- James Brown
- Insane Clown Posse
- The Roots
- Rage Against the Machine
- Limp Bizkit
- Alanis Morissette
- Dave Matthews Band
- Counting Crows
- Wyclef Jean
- Kid Rock
- Fatboy Slim
- Elvis Costello
On Sunday morning, legendary country singer Willie Nelson performed a set for the tired people who fought until the night. The Red Hot Chilli Peppers closed out the event, with Flea performing the entire set naked.
When did Woodstock ''''99 end?
It''s hard to believe that so much devastation has erupted over the course of four days, but yet it did. Woodstock 99 started on Thursday, July 22 and ended Sunday, July 25, 1999.
How to watch Trainwreck: Woodstock ''''99
This video is a three-part documentary that is available on Netflix exclusively. You may sign up for Netflix by clicking the link below.