For those keeping track of the disastrous Fyre Festival last year, you’ll know what a disastrous festival looks like. Looting, insufficient food, absent performers, and broken promises made the event descend into chaos.
But Fyrefest was absolutely nothing compared to the disaster that was Woodstock 1999.
Anyone who was around during the 60s will know the significance of the original Woodstock, which took place in 1969. It was a legendary festival that featured sets from now legendary acts such as Jimi Hendrix and Creedence Clearwater Revival.
As well as the music, the original Woodstock was all about peace and love. Unfortunately, Woodstock ’99 ended up being the absolute opposite – a festival of destruction, danger, and unfettered corporate greed. Have you seen Mad Max? Yeah, kind of like that.
So what was it that made the festival so unbearable? Well, let’s start with the weather conditions.
The heat hovered around a sweltering 100 °F for the entire weekend, which would have been bad enough on its own to cause problems at any festival, let alone a festival as badly organised as this one.
The site was on an old airstrip, which had no trees and was covered in sun-absorbing tarmac, and the two main stages were 1.5 miles away from each other. So basically, there was no shade whatsoever from the relentless heat. Add in excessive alcohol consumption and you have a serious public health risk.
In fact, after the first couple of days, almost a thousand people had already been treated for heat exhaustion. But as it turned out, the heat was going to be the least of people’s worries.
The organisers of the festival might have known that this was going to be a one-off, because they seemed only to care about maximising profits, rather than keeping the festival attendees safe.
The whole site was overcrowded, especially around the main stage, where some of the most popular bands of the day performed, such as Korn, Limp Bizkit, Kid Rock, and DMX.
First of all, the organizers failed to, well, organize. There weren’t enough showers, toilets, or drinking fountains, and the drainage was bad enough that most of the dirty water flooded people’s tents.
However, it wasn’t just the organisers that were to blame. The crowd committed acts senseless destruction throughout the whole weekend, including the unbelievably stupid action of destroying the festival’s water fountains.