Woodstock '94 was a music festival organized to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the original Woodstock festival of 1969. It was promoted as "2 More Days of Peace and Music." The poster used to promote the first concert was revised to feature two birds perched on a guitar fretboard, instead of the original one.
The 1994 concert was scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, August 13 and 14, with a third day (Friday, August 12) added later. The weather was rainy that weekend, and by Saturday much of the field had turned into mud. Amazingly for August, Saturday night the temperature dipped down to 32 degrees F.
The event took place on Winston Farm in Saugerties, New York, about 100 miles (160 km) north of New York City. The site is 10 miles (16 km) from Woodstock, New York and it was originally proposed as the location for the 1969 concert. Permission to use the property was not granted the first time around, so the first concert was instead held in Sullivan County, much farther from the namesake town of Woodstock.
The crowd at Woodstock '94 was estimated at 350,000. The size of the crowd was larger than concert organizers had planned for and by the second night many of the event policies were logistically unenforceable. The major issues related to security, when attendees arrived, left or returned to the site, and the official concert food-beverage-vendor policy initially restricting attendees from entering with supplies of food, drinks and above all, alcohol. With the concert site mostly enclosed by simple chain link fences, there was hardly any difficulty for many attendees to enter freely along with carrying beer and other banned items. The security staff, along with the entrance and exit staff, could not continue reasonable monitoring of increasingly vast numbers entering, exiting, inspecting, while at the same time maintaining safety, security and peaceful atmosphere.
The festival was followed by Woodstock 1999.
Friday, August 12
- Blues Traveler
- Del Amitri
- Collective Soul
- King's X
- Sheryl Crow
- Violent Femmes
- Aphex Twin
- DJ Spooky
- Doc Martin
- Frankie Bones
- Kevin Saunderson
- Little Louie Vega
- The Orb
- Soul Slinger
Saturday, August 13
- Joe Cocker
- Blind Melon
- Cypress Hill
- Rollins Band
- Melissa Etheridge
- Crosby, Stills, & Nash featuring John Sebastian
- Nine Inch Nails
- Nenad Bach
- The Cranberries
- Youssou N'Dour
- The Band featuring Hot Tuna, Bruce Hornsby, Roger McGuinn, Rob Wasserman, and Bob Weir
- Primus featuring Jerry Cantrell
- Salt 'N Pepa
Sunday, August 14
- Country Joe McDonald
- Sisters of Glory featuring Thelma Houston, CeCe Peniston, Phoebe Snow, Mavis Staples, and Lois Walden
- Arrested Development
- Allman Brothers Band
- Spin Doctors
- Porno For Pyros
- Bob Dylan
- Red Hot Chili Peppers
- Peter Gabriel
- John Sebastian and the J-Band
- Country Joe McDonald
- Gil Scott-Heron
- Nenad Bach
- Green Day
- Paul Rodgers Rock and Blues Revue featuring Slash, Neal Schon, Andy Fraser, and Jason Bonham
- Neville Brothers
- Jimmy Cliff's All Star Reggae Jam featuring Rita Marley, Eek A Mouse and Shabba Ranks
Notes on performers
- Performers from the original Woodstock appearing at Woodstock '94 were The Band, Santana, Joe Cocker, Country Joe McDonald, John Sebastian, surviving members of Sweetwater, and Crosby, Stills, & Nash. Additionally, Jorma Kaukonen and Jack Casady of Jefferson Airplane, and Bob Weir of the Grateful Dead, all Woodstock alumni, also appeared at the latter festival, performing with the Band on guitar; bass; and guitar and vocals, respectively.
- Nine Inch Nails were considered to have the largest crowd density at the event, overshadowing many of the more mainstream bands of the time. Just before going on stage they had wrestled each other in the mud and they went on to perform completely wet and covered in mud as can be seen in the video.
- The Red Hot Chili Peppers performed in lightbulb costumes for the first few songs of their set. Later in the set they would all dress up as Jimi Hendrix had at the original Woodstock. The lightbulb costumes are now on display at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada.
- Several of the artists, including Green Day and Cypress Hill, skipped at least one Lollapalooza tour date in order to appear at Woodstock '94.
- Peter Gabriel headlined the North Stage on the last night and closed Woodstock '94.
- Blind Melon frontman Shannon Hoon played Woodstock in his girlfriend's dress, while tripping on LSD.
- In the interview after their performance, Nine Inch Nails frontman Trent Reznor claimed he thought his band's performance was "terrible". Reznor admitted that while he disliked playing at such a large show, it was done for the money: "To be quite frank, it's basically to offset the cost of the tour we're doing right now."
- Aphex Twin's performance was cut short when promoters "disconnected" him mid-show for signing a fake name on a contract, which would forfeit PolyGram's rights to his performance.
- Aerosmith's Joey Kramer, Joe Perry and Steven Tyler were at the original Woodstock festival in 1969.. Aerosmith performed around 3 to 4 a.m. during an extensive fireworks display, creating a notable sound and light show.
- After being injured in a traffic accident in 1966, and his subsequent disappearance from the popular music scene, Bob Dylan declined to go to the original Woodstock Festival of 1969, even though he lived in the area at the time and the festival had been put in his backyard to try and get him to come out and play. He set off for the Isle of Wight Festival the day the Woodstock festival started, and performed at Woodside Bay on 31 August 69. Dylan, however, did accept an invitation to perform at Woodstock '94, and was introduced with the phrase: "We waited twenty-five years to hear this. Ladies and gentlemen, Mr. Bob Dylan". According to various critics, Dylan's performance was one of the greater moments of the festival, and represented the beginning of another one of the new phases in his lengthy career.
- During Primus' performance of the song "My Name Is Mud" the audience responded by pelting the band with mud, which singer /bassist Les Claypool ended by informing the crowd that "You know, when you throw things on stage, it's a sign of small and insignificant genitalia." Claypool claims that he still has mud in his bass cabinets to this day.
- Rumors circulated during the festival that The Rolling Stones were to make a surprise appearance because they were scheduled to play a concert in New York that weekend.
- Woodstock '94 has also been referred to as Mudstock, or Mudstock '94, partly due to Green Day's performance, during which guitarist and lead vocalist Billie Joe Armstrong started a mudfight with the crowd. The situation quickly spiraled out of control, with many fans jumping onstage. This resulted in the security team mistaking bassist Mike Dirnt for a fan and tackling him, resulting in Dirnt requiring emergency orthodontia.
- Johnny Cash, the only living person at that time to be inducted into both the Country Music Hall of Fame and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, was also invited to perform but, after learning that he would not be performing on the main stage, declined to appear.
- Alice in Chains were on the initial bill of the festival. However, the band pulled out due to the continuing drug problems of lead singer Layne Staley. Guitarist Jerry Cantrell made a special guest appearance with Primus on the song "Harold Of The Rocks".
- Todd Rundgren had a multimedia performance in the festival's "Surreal Field" several times during the course of the entire festival.
- Woodstock '94 at the Internet Movie Database - a film directed by Bruce Gowers with the highlights of performances
- Hill, Michael (1997-02-23). "Getting Back To the Garden in Bethel". Bethel, N.Y.: Associated Press. Retrieved 2009-08-15.[dead link] (Article archived on Woodstock Nation Web site.)
- Paul D. Miller/DJ Spooky That Subliminal Kid – Some Career Highlights
- Everything Is Forever - Nenad Bach
- ram.org: Woodstock 1994 concert review
- "YouTube - NIN - woodstock 1994 interview".
- Jonathan Gold (1994-09-08). "Love It To Death: Trent Reznor Of Nine Inch Nails Preaches The Dark Gospel Of Sex, Pain, And Rock & Roll". Rolling Stone Issue #690, archived on Painful Convictions. Retrieved 2007-03-31.
- "Al Weisel - Ravestock at Woodstock '94".
- veoh.com: Bob Dylan Woodstock '94
- TR at Woodstock '94
- Woodstock Festival (1969)
- Woodstock '79 (1979)
- Woodstock '89 (1989)
- Przystanek Woodstock (1995- )
- Woodstock '99 (1999)
- Woodstock '09 (2009)
- Woodstock Summer of 94 documentary
- Woodstock '94 @ The WELL Notes and messages from festival attendees, generated on-site in 1994.
- Woodstock Museum
- Saugerties, NY - Town where Woodstock '94 was held