Woodstock ’99: The annoying true tale in the back of the disastrous song competition

Cause caution: This text comprises connection with violence and sexual attack.

Whilst fairs will also be probably the most best possible reports of an entire life, Netflix’s new three-part documentary, Trainwreck: Woodstock ’99, presentations simply how improper they are able to move when shockingly deficient organisation is mixed with just about 1/2 1,000,000 other folks. “If you happen to concept the 6am scene at Glastonbury’s Stone Circle used to be messy, you ain’t observed not anything but,” wrote Leonie Cooper in The Impartial’s assessment of the documentary, which depicts the “absolute horror display that used to be Woodstock ’99”.

Held in Rome, New York, the four-day match used to be an try to reflect the historical team spirit of 1969’s “3 days of peace, love and song”. In what could be the understatement of the yr, 1999’s Woodstock failed. With an estimated 400,000 other folks on web page, temperatures attaining just about 40 levels, a loss of to be had water and a feisty lineup (suppose Rage In opposition to The Gadget, Limp Bizkit, Crimson Scorching Chilli Peppers), issues began to get awfully heated. Fires, violence, and sexual attack have been all within the image – and MTV captured all of it on digicam. From charged crowds of chaos to the promoter’s sheer incompetence, Woodstock 1999 used to be about as a long way from peace and love because it bodily will have been. Right here’s what came about.

The warmth

Set on a difficult tarmac ex air-force base, Woodstock ’99’s grounds equipped little to no coloration. Top temperatures quickly were given to the group, who had restricted get right of entry to to water. Small bottles have been priced at $4 a pop (that will be $7 these days), with the corporate provider rumoured to be co-owned via the promoter. There have been some loose water faucets, however they have been round half of one mile from the primary levels. They temporarily were given damaged, seeping into a mixture of human waste that used to be overflowing from the restricted 2500 bathrooms that have been intended to serve just about 1/2 1,000,000 competition goers. The mix of warmth, exhaustion and dehydration left other folks distressed and due to this fact in poor health; because the overflowing bathrooms were given worse, the human waste cocktail started spilling into the campsite spaces, inflicting disenchanted stomachs and illness amongst attendees.

Safety (or loss of)

Forward of the competition, promoters have been reportedly in violation of the rules that have been installed position to forestall a repeat of 1969’s chaos (whilst the former version of the competition used to be observed as a cultural second of peace and creativity, it lacked water and sanitation too). On the other hand, promoters ducked the specter of cancellation and fines via promising greater safety. What came about ended up even worse than ’69; the loss of organisation intended the “peace patrol” weren’t skilled correctly, with Spin reporting that 100 workforce had surrender via Friday evening. There used to be a loss of drug searches too, and as a substitute other folks have been conscientiously patted down for their very own foods and drinks, which used to be due to this fact taken off them at access in order that they have been pressured to buy extra when within. Because the competition went on, safety workforce lessened whilst attendance grew (the “Peace Wall” used to be knocked over, which means other folks with out tickets have been ready to wreck in – a grim metaphor for the weekend as an entire).

Sexual attack

Misogyny used to be rife around the competition, with a herd mentality encouraging bad behaviour amongst some male attendees. Calls for of “display your titties” have been shouted at feminine performers similar to Sheryl Crow, whilst Limp Bizkit’s set used to be stated to have had probably the most violence towards ladies around the weekend. MTV reported two alleged gang rapes within the mosh-pits of headline units “as concert-goers across the crime cheered her assailants on”. 4 rapes have been additionally recorded around the weekend and a police officer running onsite used to be suspended after he “recommended” ladies to take nude footage along fellow officials. Discussing accounts from the competition, YWCA Rape Disaster director Rosemary Vennero advised MTV: “You listen other folks announcing such things as, ‘After we went to sleep at evening within the tent, I simply heard other folks screaming, they usually weren’t screams of enjoyment, they have been screams of terror.’”


As competition goers grew angrier and angrier with the stipulations, the violence were given worse. MTV scrapped recording Limp Bizkit’s set as stones and watermelons have been hurled on the tent, they usually as a substitute reported from the clinical space – described as a mosh triage. Frontman Fred Durst has been criticised for allegedly encouraging the crowds’ animalistic behaviours: he’s reported to have stated “what number of people have ever woken up within the morning and simply made up our minds you’re going to wreck some sh*t?”, ahead of acting their track “Damage Stuff”. Spin’s protection of the competition printed that the group took his sentiments a long way too actually: “They broke palms, legs, tooth, noses, collarbones. Scalps have been lacerated via flying, half-full bottles. One mosher suffered a compression fracture of the backbone. Any other broke two ribs and prodded the medic treating him to complete temporarily so he may just go back to the pit.” The group even amassed picket from the damaged fence and catapulted each other folks and picket within the air because the set endured.


In what can handiest be described as a heated finale to the weekend from hell, the enraged crowd, as “bad as they have been inclined”, introduced the chaotic competition to a ferocious finish. After 100,000 candles for an anti-gun violence vigil have been passed out with out the information of the fireplace marshall, they have been used to start out massive fires within the crowd. Vans and tankers or even a Mercedes have been set ablaze whilst the Crimson Scorching Chili Peppers lined Jimi Hendrix’s “Fireplace”. The fires ultimately unfold to each levels and set an audio tower alight. It’s stated that the 12-foot fence surrounding the ex air-force base used to be damaged down additional via crowds, no longer seeking to get in, however determined to get out.

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