|Genre||Rock, EDM and folk, including|
grunge, alternative rock, metal,
EDM, blues rock, folk rock,
jazz fusion, hard rock,
world music, latin rock, punk rock
|Dates||August 12–14, 1994|
|Location(s)||Saugerties, New York, U.S.|
|Years active||1994. 27 years ago|
original event: 1969
1979, 1989, 1994,
|Founded by||Michael Lang, John P. Roberts,|
|Attendance||about 550,000|
|Website||The Woodstock Festivals|
Woodstock '94 was an American music festival held in 1994 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 doves perched on the neck of an electric guitar, instead of the original one dove on an acoustic guitar.
The 1994 concert was scheduled for the weekend of August 13–14, with a third day (Friday, August 12) added later. Tickets to the festival cost $135 each. The weather was hot and dry on Friday but by early Saturday afternoon the storms rolled in. The rains turned much of the field into mud.
The event took place on Winston Farm, just west of Saugerties, New York, about 100 miles (160 km) north of New York City and 70 miles (110 km) northeast of the original 1969 festival site near Bethel, which had 12,000 on hand to celebrate the silver anniversary.
Though only 164,000 tickets were sold, the crowd at Woodstock '94 was estimated at 550,000. 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 with beer and other banned items. The security staff, along with the entrance and exit staff, could not continue reasonable monitoring of the increasing number of people entering, and exiting, while at the same time maintaining safety, security and a peaceful atmosphere.
Two deaths at the festival were confirmed. An unidentified 45-year-old male died on Saturday of suspected diabetes complications. On Sunday, 20-year-old Edward Chatfield died of a ruptured spleen. Organizers also confirmed 5,000 were treated at medical tents and 800 were taken to hospitals.
Performers and notable events during the festival
Friday, August 12
Notable events: Day 1
- Jackyl took the stage early on Friday. Lead singer, Jesse James Dupree, took the stage with a bottle of whiskey and poured alcohol onto the crowd. He then started smoking marijuana and on a close up he shotgunned the joint into the camera with copious amounts of smoke filling the screens and the stage, at which point the crowd cheered. The lead singer then lit a stool on fire onstage and cut it up with a chainsaw. He also pulled out a rifle and started firing into the air but cut his hand, which started bleeding, and as he wiped his forehead a streak of blood was left across his head. At this point security dragged him off the stage.
- 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.
Saturday, August 13
Notable events: Day 2
- Blind Melon frontman Shannon Hoon took the stage in his girlfriend's dress and appeared to be tripping on acid during the band's performance and post-show interview with MTV.
- Nine Inch Nails had the largest crowd density at the event, overshadowing many of the other performers. Just before going on stage they wrestled each other in the mud and went on to perform completely wet and covered in mud. In the interview after their performance, Nine Inch Nails frontman Trent Reznor claimed he thought his band's performance was "terrible" due to technical difficulties on stage. 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." Their performance of "Happiness in Slavery" at the festival won the Grammy Award for Best Metal Performance in 1996.
- Aerosmith's Joey Kramer, Joe Perry and Steven Tyler were all at the original Woodstock festival in 1969.. Aerosmith performed around 3 to 4 a.m., right after an extensive fireworks display from Metallica. Tyler said on the liner notes for the album during their set: "It rained like a cow pissing on a flat rock".
- 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 as late as 2014. Another memorable moment from Primus' set at Woodstock '94 was when Jerry Cantrell, guitarist and vocalist of the popular grunge band Alice in Chains, joined Primus onstage during their performance of the song, "Harold of the Rocks".
Sunday, August 14
- John Sebastian and the J-Band
- Country Joe McDonald
- Gil Scott-Heron
- Green Day
- Paul Rodgers Rock and Blues Revue featuring Slash, Neal Schon, Andy Fraser, and Jason Bonham
- Neville Brothers
- Santana featuring Eric Gales
- Jimmy Cliff's All Star Reggae Jam featuring Rita Marley, Eek A Mouse and Shabba Ranks
Notable events: Day 3
- Woodstock '94 has also been referred to as Mudstock, or Mudstock '94, partly due to the rainy weather that resulted in mud pits and the aforementioned performances of Nine Inch Nails and Primus. This culminated with Green Day's performance, during which guitarist and lead vocalist Billie Joe Armstrong started a mudfight during their song, “Paper Lanterns”, with the crowd. In the documentary VH1 Behind the Music: Green Day, bassist Mike Dirnt was mistaken for one of the fans jumping on stage, and was spear-tackled by a security guard, knocking out one of his teeth. It was this incident that caused Dirnt to need emergency orthodontia. A gag order was put in place regarding this incident. Due to the now-famous mud-fight and Dirnt's injury, Woodstock quickly propelled Green Day's then recently released album, Dookie, into success.
- 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 to 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 1969. 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". Although he was an hour and a half late to his performance, his set was considered one of the greater moments of the festival by various critics, and represented the beginning of another new phase in his lengthy career. Uncharacteristically for the time, Dylan played lead guitar in a more rock-oriented electric set.
- The Red Hot Chili Peppers performed in lightbulb costumes for the first song 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.
- Peter Gabriel headlined the North Stage on the last night and closed Woodstock '94.
Other notes on performers
- Several of the artists, including Green Day and Cypress Hill, skipped at least one Lollapalooza tour date in order to appear at Woodstock '94.
- 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/Hot Tuna, and Bob Weir of the Grateful Dead, all Woodstock alumni, also appeared, performing with the Band on guitar, bass, and guitar and vocals, respectively.
- Six local, unsigned bands performed at Woodstock '94, including Futu Futu and Lunch Meat, of Saugerties, and Straight Wired, of Westchester County.
Declined invitations or missed connections
- Guns N' Roses were asked to appear at the festival, but the band declined due to internal problems as well as feeling the concert was too 'commercial.' However, lead guitarist Slash made an appearance with Paul Rodgers.
- 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.
- 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 on the last day of Woodstock '94, 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.
- Todd Rundgren had a multimedia performance in the festival's "Surreal Field" several times during the course of the entire festival.
- Promoters pursued Nirvana to perform at the festival. At the time, the band pulled out of Lollapalooza due to singer Kurt Cobain's health. Cobain later died by suicide on April 5, 1994, four months before the festival.
Broadcast and recordings
The Woodstock '94 festival was shot using the early analog HD 1125-line Hi-Vision system in a 16:9 aspect ratio. The footage would be used for later home packages and a planned theatrical documentary about the event. The HD footage was mixed live into standard definition 4:3 NTSC for cable TV broadcast.
Highlights from the concert were later released as a double album set on November 4, 1994, on CD and cassette. The film about the event, directed by Bruce Gowers, was also released straight to video the same year on VHS and Laserdisc. Currently, there is no DVD, Blu-ray or digital media release.
Since the release of the official album, various recordings of songs performed have been released officially; however, complete performances of entire sets have only been released unofficially as bootlegs. In 2019, a limited edition vinyl only release of Green Day's performance was released for Record Store Day, making this one of the first official releases of an entire Woodstock '94 set.
Video and discography
- Woodstock '94 at IMDb – a film directed by Bruce Gowers with the highlights of performances
- Woodstock 94 – a live album released by A&M Records
- Live! Woodstock '94 - Green Day (587282-1) - a 2019 Record Store Day vinyl release of their set.
- Woodstock Festival (1969)
- Woodstock '79 (1979)
- Woodstock '89 (1989)
- Przystanek Woodstock (1995– )
- Woodstock '99 (1999)
- Woodstock '09 (2009)
- Written at Saugerties, New York. "Nonstop party consumes Woodstock nation". The Register-Guard. Eugene, Oregon. Los Angeles Times. August 14, 1994. p. 5A.
- Braun, Stephen; Goldman, John (August 15, 1994). Written at Saugerties, New York. "Woodstock revelers slog home". The Register-Guard. Eugene, Oregon. Los Angeles Times. p. 1A.
- "Woodstock Revisited?". Electronic Gaming Monthly (59). EGM Media, LLC. June 1994. p. 212.
- Newman, Melinda (July 9, 1994). "Expensive Tickets Don't Hinder Sales for Woodstock '94 : Big Ticket Sales for Woodstock '94". Billboard. p. 78. Retrieved December 25, 2018.
- Written at Bethel, New York. "12,000 revisit Woodstock". The Register-Guard. Eugene, Oregon. Associated Press. August 14, 1994. p. 5A.
- Flick, Larry (July 7, 1999). "POST-WOODSTOCK ACTIVITY ON TRACK". Billboard. Retrieved December 25, 2018.
- Hill, Michael (February 23, 1997). "Getting Back To the Garden in Bethel". Bethel, N.Y.: Associated Press. Archived from the original on May 8, 2009. Retrieved August 15, 2009. (Article archived on Woodstock Nation Web site.)
- Hughes, John (August 15, 1994). Written at Saugerties, New York. "MUDSTOCK". South Florida Sun-Sentinel. Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Retrieved June 26, 2021 – via newspapers.com.
- Hill, David (July 27, 2019). "Woodstock 1999: When Rome was on the world's biggest stage". Rome Sentinel. Rome, New York. Retrieved June 26, 2021.
- "Peace, Love, Roguish Armament? Oh, Well, Woodstock '94 Is Open Nudity and Drugs Bring Back the Past at Festival". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. St. Louis, Missouri. Associated Press. August 13, 1994.
About 75,000 people had arrived by the noon opening act at Woodstock '94 - a local heavy metal band called Roguish Armament with Rekk.
- Considine, J. D. "This Woodstock, promoters say, all bases are covered WOODSTOCK -- THE TRIP BACK". Baltimoresun.com.
- "Paul D. Miller/DJ Spooky That Subliminal Kid – Some Career Highlights" (PDF). musicandart.net. Archived from the original (PDF) on July 23, 2011. Retrieved August 24, 2010.
Performed at Woodstock ’94: set turntables on fire at climax of Hendirx’s National Anthem
- "Woodstock '94: Day of the Jackyl". Entertainment Weekly. August 26, 1994. Retrieved June 26, 2021.
- Weisel, Al (September 22, 1994). "Ravestock". Rolling Stone. No. 691. p. 64. Archived from the original on January 26, 2010 – via web.archive.org.
- Bach, Nenad (February 28, 2010). "Memory Lane - Woodstock Festival". Everything Is Forever - Nenad Bach. Retrieved June 26, 2021 – via Nenadbach.blogspot.com.
- Greene, Andy (June 6, 2013). "Dazed and Confused: 10 Classic Drugged-Out Shows, Blind Melon at Woodstock, 1994 – LSD". Rolling Stone. Retrieved October 21, 2015 – via rollingstone.com. Cite magazine requires
- Shannon Hoon; Rogers Stevens (August 13, 1994). "Blind Melon Woodstock '94 Interview". MTV (Interview). Interviewed by Chris Connelly. Retrieved June 26, 2021 – via YouTube.
- Cultice, Joseph (March 5, 2019). "MUD, PISS, CATHARSIS: INSIDE NINE INCH NAILS' ICONIC PERFORMANCE AT WOODSTOCK '94". revolver.com. Retrieved June 26, 2021.
I remember saying to the guys, it would be great if you guys were like the mud men, like all the crazy kids out there covered in mud. So time passes, and then the stage manager was like, How do we get these guys muddy? They started getting these [ice buckets] and filling them up with mud from around the dressing room trailers. Sitting right across from us while they were doing that were like Henry Rollins and the guys from Alice in Chains. And [Nine Inch Nails] were all like, "Those guys are gonna totally know what we are doing." So in between all that someone found a mud pit at the edge of the stage. So we all got in a sixteen-passenger van and went down to the stage and the band jumped in the mud. It was this big cathartic thing, and then they went onstage.
- Reznor, Trent. "NIN – woodstock 1994 interview". MTV. Interviewed by Juliette Hohnen – via YouTube.
- Gold, Jonathan (September 8, 1994). "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 March 31, 2007.
- "1995 Grammy Winners - 38th Annual GRAMMY Awards". Grammy.com. November 28, 2017.
GRAMMY winners ranged from distinguished musical veterans including Frank Sinatra (who won Best Traditional Pop Vocal Performance for Duets II, his first win in GRAMMY competition since the 9th Annual GRAMMY Awards in 1966) to edgier acts like Nine Inch Nails (Best Metal Performance for “Happiness In Slavery” from Woodstock 94) and Nirvana (Best Alternative Music Performance for MTV Unplugged In New York).
- Harrington, Richard (August 26, 1994). "AEROSMITH DREAMS ON". washingtonpost.com. Retrieved June 26, 2021.
Aerosmith was still a year away -- Tyler was still in Top 40 New York City club bands like the Chain Reaction and William Proud -- and it's at Woodstock he met Joey Kramer, who would become the band's drummer.
- Tyler, Steven (August 17, 2019). "Steven Tyler Remembers Meeting His Aerosmith Bandmate at Woodstock (2016)" (Interview). Interviewed by Howard Stern. Retrieved June 26, 2021 – via YouTube.
I met Joey Kramer walking down the path.
- Claypool, Les. "Exclusive : Primus' Les Claypool talks Woodstock 94' 20 years later". Billboard (Interview). Interviewed by Joe Lynch. Retrieved June 26, 2021.
- "Bob Dylan Woodstock '94]". veoh.com.
- Samudrala, Ram (August 15, 1994). "Woodstock '94". ram.org. Retrieved July 13, 2021.
Bob Dylan was simply amazing! He was 1.5 hours late but it was worth the wait.
- Samudrala, Ram (August 15, 1994). "Woodstock 1994". ram.org. Retrieved June 26, 2021.
- Fisher, Marc (August 14, 1994). "CHAOS RAINS AT WOODSTOCK". washingtonpost.com. Retrieved June 26, 2021.
State police spokesman Lt. James O'Donnell said it will take at least 20 to 25 hours to clear the site after Peter Gabriel's last song sometime after midnight Monday morning.
- Goggin, David; Stone, Chris (November 1, 2012). "Epilogue: Woodstock '94—A Major Pro Audio Case History". Audio Recording for Profit. Burlington, Massachusetts: Focal Press. ISBN 9780240803869.
Friday morning, everybody got up shaking because the downbeat of the festival was at 11 AM. It was like going into battle—very detailed preparations had been made, and now we had to do it. All working personnel were delivered early to the site because the first act was due to start that morning on the North Stage. Twenty acts followed, including unsigned local bands and a “rave” that began at midnight and continued until 6:30 AM the next morning.
- Spevak, Jeff (August 12, 1994). "Revolving stage set to rock 'n' roll". Democrat and Chronicle. Rochester, New York – via newspapers.com.
Mostly unsigned, unknown bands from the Saugerties area open at 11 a.m., bearing names such as Lunch Meat and Futu Futu.
- Leopold, Jason (August 11, 1994). "Local band to be part of Woodstock '94". The Daily Item. Port Chester, New York. p. 3 – via Newspapers.com.
The ignored: Six unsigned bands - one of them from Westchester. They call themselves Straight Wired, and they're a group of unknowns who only last week played for 100 people in a Hoboken bar.
- The Associated Press (August 7, 1994). "Johnny Cash Says He's Out" (Press release). The New York Times. Retrieved July 12, 2021.
Johnny Cash, the country and western singer, says he has decided to withdraw from Woodstock '94 next weekend because of disagreements with the festival's promoters.
- Hajari, Nisid; Appelo, Tim (August 4, 1994). "Alice in Chains No More? Rumors of the band's breakup continue to spread". ew.com. Retrieved June 26, 2021.
Buzz on Alice in Chains’ withdrawal from their Metallica tour and Woodstock ’94 dates has it that the multiplatinum Seattle act is riven by internal strife and by frontman Layne Staley’s reported heroin habit.
- "Philips Media celebrates music and multimedia at Woodstock '94" (Press release). PR Newswire. July 20, 1994. Retrieved June 26, 2021 – via trconnection.com.
The Philips Multimedia Village will feature a variety of interactive experiences, including a multiple-screen, multimedia show that highlights Philips Media's hot new software titles; a 90-station CD-i play tent where visitors can experience those titles hands-on, guided by cyberpunk arcade "gamers"; and the "Todd Pod," where multimedia musician Todd Rundgren will perform five live shows daily.
- Seidenberg, Robert (April 15, 1994). "Woodstock in 1994". EW.com. Retrieved April 15, 2019.
- Caillouet, C.R; Charles Pantuso (1995). "WOODSTOCK ‘94": A LIVE MULTI-FORMAT PRODUCTION (Technical report). NHK Enterprises, USA and NHK (Japan Broadcast Corporation). New York, NY and Tokyo, Japan.