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The Victor Voice

The Student News Site of Victor Senior High School

The Victor Voice

The Student News Site of Victor Senior High School

The Victor Voice

Peace, Love, Music, and Arson?!

A review of “Trainwreck: Woodstock ’99”


A festival consisting of thousands of hippies gathered at a farm in a small town in Bethel, New York proved to be not only a symbol of the 60’s, but a turning point for music culture as a whole.So attempting to recreate the vibe and culture of Woodstock for it’s 30th anniversary seems like a good idea right? Apparently it wasn’t.

Initially, they did an anniversary in 1994, but that didn’t go well and just ended in a mud-fight. However it was the 1999 festival that completely went off the rails.

The documentary itself does a great job displaying the perspectives of a wide variety of people to get their views on how the chaos went down. From people who attended the festival, bands who performed, to even the founder of Woodstock himself, Michael Lang, viewers were able to get enough perspectives to form an opinion themselves by the time the film is over.

I personally think that by doing this it allowed for better viewing as they were able to remain neutral in their opinions as producers by showing both sides of the story

As far as how the festival itself unfolded, here is the rundown:

Considering that the original Woodstock had such a cultural impact, many people wanted the founder, Michael Lang, to recreate it but with more modern bands. However, this became an issue at nu-metal bands like Limp Bizkit, Korn, and Rage Against the Machine were what was popular at the time and let’s just say that their style didn’t align with the demographic that Lang originally assimilated himself with. So instead of attracting flower power hippies, a bunch of enraged, young, party goers came to go all out for 3 days of partying.

Now, this isn’t exactly what made the riots that Woodstock ’99 is known for come about. What truly enraged them was the fact that it was held at a retired Air Force Base and the stages were on the tarmac, leaving festival goers baking alive. It didn’t help that they price gouged all food and beverages charging upwards of $12.00 for a singular bottle of water (equivalent of $21.00 today). This, combined with the angered music of the late 90’s, instigated a full on riot during the Red Hot Chili Peppers set. It didn’t help that they proceeded to play Jimi Hendrix’s “Fire” whilst people were literally lighting the whole festival grounds on fire.

Ultimately, law enforcement got notified of what was happening so they sent reinforcements putting the train back on the rails and into the station thus putting an end to Woodstock ’99

In my opinion, I loved this documentary because I like the concept of music festivals and I used to be obsessed with Woodstock because, random fact, my grandmother lived in the town that the original Woodstock took place. I’d highly recommend this documentary because it’s very interesting and does a fantastic job conveying its message.

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About the Contributor
Michael Kirsch
Michael Kirsch, Staff Writer
  Michael is a junior at Victor High School. This is his first year as a student journalist and is excited to start making content for the Victor Voice. At Victor, Michael is a DECA member and plays hockey as well. In his spare time, he enjoys watching sports with his favorites being the Rochester Americans, Buffalo Sabres and the Buffalo Bills.

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