Next time you see people diving in the mud at a music festival, don’t join them. And if the water from the bottle filling stations is off in color or taste, don’t drink it.
That’s one of the many haunting lessons of Woodstock ’99, the disastrous music festival that’s the subject of a new Netflix series “Trainwreck: Woodstock ’99.”
The port-a-potties overflowed near the showers, leading to a plumbing catastrophe and tons of “mud” that festival-goers happily dove into and slathered over their bodies. Except it wasn’t just mud. It was a mix of mud and poop.
“Multiple mud-covered people, grinning ear to ear, stopped to pose for pictures,” said entertainment reporter David Blaustein, who covered the event for radio and was featured in the documentary. “I can only imagine the look on their faces when they found out they spent hours rolling around in shit.”
It even got into the water stations.
While the fecal nightmare was one of the most memorable parts of the series, it was not even the worst part of the event, which was marked by at least three deaths and multiple sexual assaults.
Promoter John Scher tried to downplay the assaults.
“Woodstock was like a small city, you know?” he said in the Netflix documentary. “All things considered, I’d say that there would probably be as many or more rapes in any sized city of that… but it wasn’t anything that gained enough momentum so that it caused any on-site issues, other than, of course, the women it happened to.”
Blaustein described Scher’s level of denial as “Trumpian.”
“I almost feel bad for him,” Blaustein said via email. “I bet if he came out and said, ’I fucked up, and I’m sorry,′ the victims and their families might get some closure or satisfaction. I think he owes them that.”
Blaustein also pointed out that if Scher believed the event was like a small city, he should’ve staffed it accordingly.
“If they knew they would have the population of a small city, why didn’t they secure the event like a small city, you know, with ample law enforcement and proper infrastructure?” Blaustein asked. “If it was a small city and he was the mayor, he probably would’ve been arrested for criminal negligence.”
“Trainwreck: Woodstock ’99” is currently streaming on Netflix.
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