It's been 20 Years Since Woodstock 1999

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Woodstock 1999 was held on July 22-25 and was the second attempt at emulating the original concert of 1969. Unfortunately, unlike its more peaceful predecessor, the 99 festival was marred by violence, sexual assault, multiple fires, and chaos.

Initial footage and reviews of the festival were positive. However, as environmental conditions began to deteriorate, the crowd became increasingly agitated. As tempers flared regarding prices for water and food, long lines formed around free water fountains. Eventually, the piping to those fountains broke, causing large mud pits to form. There was not an adequate number of bathrooms provided and sanitation became increasingly problematic.

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Following Limp Bizkit’s live performance, the crowd began breaking pieces from the stage and acting violently. The band’s lead singer egged the crowd’s anger on, stating “Don't let anybody get hurt. But I don't think you should mellow out.” He later said he hadn’t noticed the sexual assaults which began to occur during their performance.

Things worsened the next night, when concert-goers had been provided candles to use during The Red Hot Chili Peppers’ performance of “Under the Bridge” as a candlelight vigil. Instead, the crowd began lighting bonfires, which eventually grew in size, allowing chaos to ensue.

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In the aftermath of the festival, several rapes and other assaults were reported. These incidents left a stain on Woodstock 99’s legacy, overshadowing some of the great musical performances that had occurred there.

There is currently an attempt to hold a Woodstock 50 concert in NY in honor of the 50th anniversary of the original this year, however, it was initially denied approval by a site plan board. An appeal is in place, but even if the denial is overturned, it would only leave a month to plan and setup before the planned August 16th start date. One would have to question if the entire event would become another Fyre Festival disaster.

Brittany Berliere