How Many People Died at Woodstock '99?

January 28, 2024

The original Woodstock music festival was three days of euphoric hippie bliss and tunes from The Who, Jimi Hendrix, and Janis Joplin. It was a moment that forged modern pop culture and left its mark on the psychedelic era. But in 1999, original organizer Michael Lang and others attempted to recreate the magic of 1969, and it turned into a disaster. Three people died at the event, and a new three-part Netflix docuseries, Trainwreck: Woodstock '99, will recount the chaos that followed.

The 1999 edition of the festival took place in Rome, NY, about 100 miles from the original site of the legendary music gathering. 400,000 attendees showed up to see bands from the Red Hot Chili Peppers to Limp Bizkit and Metallica. But the event quickly devolved into riots, fires, and sexual assault.

By the time the festival ended, 44 people had been arrested and a number of women reported being sexually assaulted. Attendees torched audio towers, flipped cars, and threw trash onto the stage at the main event. State troopers were brought in to quell the riot, but the damage was already done.

There were also several deaths tied to the festival, including a 44-year-old man with a preexisting heart condition who died at the campground site and a 28-year-old woman who was hit by two cars while walking on one of the roads leading out of the concert site. But it was the third death that truly tarnished the legacy of the event.


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