10 Insane Things That Happened In Woodstock ’99
Wide-angle overall of huge crowd facing the distant stage, during the Woodstock Music & Art Fair. (Photo by John Dominis/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)
Woodstock ’99, envisioned as a three-day celebration of love and music in homage to the iconic sixties festival, took the stage with aspirations to recapture the spirit of the original Woodstock of 1969. However, the unfolding events over those three days painted a different picture.
Let’s delve into ten remarkable incidents that left an indelible mark on Woodstock ’99, revealing a tapestry of challenges, contrasts, and unforeseen chaos amidst the quest for a musical and communal experience.
10. Security Was Not Enough
Despite attempts to address security issues from the 1994 edition, where insufficient guards and a mere wire fence allowed unauthorized substances, Woodstock ’99 encountered persistent challenges right from the start.
9. Not Enough Provisions
The festival faced logistical problems in providing basic services, particularly water, leading to a breeding ground for unruly behavior among a portion of the attendees.
8. 90’s Youth Was Different From the Hippie Era
Although promoted as a tribute to the free-spirited hippie era, the vast venue, reminiscent of a Cold War relic, revealed a stark contrast between the expectations of the early ’90s youth and the ideals of the bygone era.
7. A Flag on Fire
In a stark departure from the iconic 1969 Woodstock, where Jimi Hendrix played an electric version of the U.S. anthem, Woodstock ’99 saw a national symbol aflame during Rage Against the Machine’s performance, reflecting the heightened tensions following Limp Bizkit’s intense show.
6. The Extreme Heat
The three-day event in July, amid scorching temperatures reaching 37ºC, subjected attendees to burning asphalt, dehydration, and a scarcity of shade, aggravated by the considerable distance between the main stages, forcing uncomfortable walks.
5. Water Supply and The Cost
The festival faced criticism for insufficient water supply, leading to approximately 700 people seeking treatment for heat-related issues. Attendees were further frustrated by the high cost of water bottles and long lines at free water sources.
4. Thousands of Bottles Thrown onto the Stage
Kid Rock’s invitation for the audience to throw anything in the air resulted in a relentless hailstorm of thousands of bottles onto the stage, providing a chaotic and unexpected moment during the performance.
3. Others were Less Fortunate
The Offspring’s performance witnessed bottles being thrown onto the stage, with one hitting vocalist Dexter Holland. Despite the impact, Holland maintained his composure and humor, even as he lost his sunglasses during the incident.
2. Disasters Overcoming Disasters
Woodstock ’99 faced a cascade of issues, including long lines at ATMs turning into looting, overflowing toilets, thefts from supply trucks, car overturns, and a collapsed sound tower. These challenges painted a stark contrast to the peace and love associated with the original Woodstock.
1. Fire, Drunk Riot, and Looting
As the evacuation efforts began, the festival descended into chaos, with intoxicated attendees engaging in uncontrolled behavior. Souvenir shops were attacked, cars overturned, and fires set, marking a stark departure from the festival’s original spirit of peace and love.