Whatever Happened to Alternative Nation? Part 10: By the Time We Got to Woodstock ’99
After losing money on the first Woodstock sequel in 1994, Scher told reporters at Woodstock 99 that he was determined “to try and make a profit on this one.” Organizers were later criticized for charging $150 a ticket ($180 at the gate) and $5 for beer, though those prices now seem comparable to festivals of similar size and stature. Less excusable was how decisions vital to the functionality of Woodstock 99 were made according to the tightest of tightwad standards. According to an exhaustive on-site report by Spin, Scher and his partners dutifully cut every corner to save money. Vendors weren’t provided with proper plumbing, so they were forced to create their own makeshift set-ups. Teenagers hired to pick up the garbage quit after the first day when they weren’t given water; the detritus rapidly overflowed out of trash bins when nobody was hired to replace them. Worst of all was the site itself, a former toxic waste dump located about 200 miles from the original Woodstock site. Griffiss was a stark, treeless, triangle-shaped terrain composed mostly of concrete and formed by two runway strips lined with junk-food stands and corporate hawkers of youth-oriented crapola.
By Steven Hyden, The AV Club