Much has been made of the 50th anniversary of the original Woodstock, which turns 50 on August 15. There was even to be a celebration this year in New York (and then Maryland) and well, now there is none.
It got us thinking: what about the Woodstock to perhaps end all Woodstocks, the one that took place in 1994?
As we celebrate the “25th Anniversary of The 25th Anniversary of Woodstock” this weekend on The Colorado Sound, here are 25 facts from those fateful days in 1994.
- Woodstock ’94 was promoted as “2 More Days of Peace and Music” and took place August 13 and 14, 1994 – almost, but not quite to the day, that the original Woodstock took place: August 15 through 18, 1969.
- Tickets to the festival cost $135 each, compared to $18 in 1969.
- The event took place on an 800-acre farm, Winston Farm, in Saugerties, NY, in what was by far the “venue’s” largest event to date.
- The site was about 70 miles northeast of the original 1969 festival site in Bethel, NY.
- Though only about 164,000 tickets were sold, the crowd at was estimated at about 550,000.
- Two festival-goers died in 1994, compared to three in 1969.
- If you weren’t able to attend, the music was available on pay-per-view for $49.
- To prevent a stream of free concert-goes from breaking through, the site featured about nine miles of chained link fence.
- It didn’t help; concert-goers flooded in by the thousands by Sunday’s performances, as rain and mud crippled the festival’s infrastructure and performances.
- The lineup introduced new genres, including grunge, and EDM, that were unknown 25 years earlier.
- Woodstock ’94 also helped launch the careers of newcomers like Green Day, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Blues Traveller, and many others, who put on memorable performances in the elements.
- Several 1969 bands came back to play, such as Santana, Joe Cocker, Country Joe McDonald and Crosby, Stills and Nash.
- And one artist who turned down an invitation in 1969 – Bob Dylan.
- Dylan received a rousing introduction: “We waited twenty-five years to hear this. Ladies and gentlemen, Mr. Bob Dylan”.
- In what may not have been a coincidence, Dylan opened his set with “Jokerman”.
- Appropriately, he played “Rain Day Women #12 & 35” before closing with “It Ain’t Me Babe”.
- Blind Melon’s Saturday show goes down as one of the most unforgettable, as singer Shannon Hoon, reportedly on acid, hurled conga drums into the audience.
- He also showed up in his girlfriend’s dress.
- On Sunday, as tensions (and rain) escalated, fans hurled mud at Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong, and he responded by throwing back chunks of turf.
- In the fray, bassist Mike Dirnt, was tackled by a security guard, reportedly losing five teeth.
- More issues arose when newcomer Aphex Twin’s performance stopped. He had signed a fake name on the contract, canceling his label’s rights to his performance.
- During Primus’ performance of the song “My Name Is Mud” the audience responded by pelting the band with, you guessed, it… mud.
- Les Claypool ended the Primus set by saying: “You know, when you throw things on stage, it’s a sign of small and insignificant genitalia.”
- Memorably, during The Red Hot Chili Peppers show on Sunday, the band performed in lightbulb costumes for the first song. Later in the set, they dressed up as Jimi Hendrix from the original Woodstock.
- Finally, Peter Gabriel closed Woodstock ’94, with “Biko”, a 1980 b-side.
And on Saturday on Sunday, we revisit it all, with performances from Woodstock ’94, and the music from the bands that played. It all begins on Saturday at 6 am.