Streaming now: Netflix’s Trainwreck: Woodstock ’99, an unmissable look at the infamous Carnival of Chaos
Woodstock ’99 has clearly been on the minds of many lately.
HBO Max premiered last July Woodstock 99: Peace, Love and Fury, a new documentary directed by Garret Price and Executive Produced by Bill Simmons as the first entry in MUSIC BOX, “a collection of documentaries exploring defining moments in the music world”. The document left nothing to be desired in describing the significant logistical problems and circumstances that played a role in the development of the weekend from a planned celebratory re-run of the original 1969 Woodstock concert and its 1994 sequel, each of which had its own problems, but seemed like utopian perfection compared to the events of ’99.
This past August 3, Netflix got its own look at the infamous three-day festival in Rome, New York — and Train wreck: Woodstock ’99 is not only a perfect complement to last year’s documentary, but perhaps even more detailed, split into three episodes that plunge headlong into the unbridled chaos of the whole thing.
The influence of train wreck particularly hard in light of the tragic events last November at Travis Scott’s Astroworld festival in Houston, where 10 concertgoers died of “compression asphyxia” after being caught in an immense, inescapable and terrifying crowd.
through train wreck, a lot is made of “It was bad, but it could have been so much worse” — which is definitely the case given the harsh conditions of more than 200,000 mostly intoxicated people crowding the 3,600-acre site of the former Griffiss Air Force Base true is . While many (mostly avoidable) aspects of Woodstock ’99 were truly disastrous, it somehow avoided circumstances like what happened to Astroworld, but this ongoing “what if?” makes the questions asked in the Netflix series all the more devastating.
Besides many interviews with people on the production side of the festival, train wreck features stories and reminiscences from Jewel, Korn singer Jonathan Davis, Bush lead singer Gavin Rossdale, Fatboy Slim, the late Woodstock co-founder Michael Lang and more, each providing first-hand memories of their experiences as part of the mess.
The whole thing contextualizes all of the elements that went into the show’s planning, development, and pop culture impact at the time, and it’s a hugely entertaining — and at times harrowing — viewing experience.
Watch the documentary series on Netflix.