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Behind The Scenes Of How Woodstock '99 Went Off The Rails

Updated 11 Sep 2019 66.1k views18 items

The 30th anniversary celebration of the Woodstock music festival took place in Rome, NY, from July 22-25, 1999. But what was originally conceived as a modern homage to the landmark hippie-fueled musical lovefest of the 1960s ended up mutating into a disaster marked by aggression and mayhem. By the end, Woodstock '99 was being referred to as "The Woodstock '99 Riots."

What caused Woodstock '99 to become such a low point in music history? The major culprits were oppressive summer heat, jacked-up prices, violent party crashers, and a lack of logistical oversight. When more than 220,000 people arrived to Oneida County that weekend, no one - especially the festival's organizers - were prepared for what was about to happen.

There's also the music. While there was a diverse lineup - ranging from classic artists like James Brown and Willie Nelson to electronic acts like Fatboy Slim - much of the media pointed fingers at emerging nu-metal acts like Korn, Limp Bizkit, and Kid Rock for riling up an already aggressive horde of concertgoers. By the final night, thousands of attendees were rioting, erecting huge fires, and tearing stages apart.

By the end of the weekend, there was extensive havoc, mounds of trash and refuse, thousands of injuries and assaults, and even two lives lost from heat exhaustion. This list digs deep into how Woodstock '99 veered so off course.

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