Of course there are irritations at a music mega festival like the Osheaga. Don’t walk away on style glitter makeup euphoria in Saint-Jérôme, the angry crowds forming in the traffic corridors (keep it up, ordeal!), the $15 aperitif spritz that tastes of water, or the ubiquity of clothing sponsored by garage boutiques.
Posted at 7:15am
But at least Parc Jean-Drapeau isn’t crumbling under mountains of plastic waste, security watches over festival-goers, and chemical toilets don’t pour into a sea of brown mud stoned music lovers bathe in.
In short, unrelated to the July 1999 Woodstock fiasco, as revealed in Netflix’s disturbing documentary miniseries Train wreck: Woodstock 99 (Classic Mayhem: Woodstock 99) which can be devoured in French, in English and in one evening.
Barely three hour-long episodes, each telling a day in the frightening story of this gigantic gathering orchestrated at a military base in the city of Rome, New York state. It’s both captivating and repulsive. It is better than Woodstock 99: Peace, Love and Furyoffered on Crave.
The structure of the consequences of Train wreck: Woodstock 99 Deftly reproduces the tension rising above the scorching asphalt of a former airstrip that has hosted the likes of Korn, Metallica, Limp Bizkit, Rage Against the Machine, Megadeath and Kid Rock. On Fridays it doesn’t smell of patchouli like in 1969, but of optimism. The young people pitch their tents, sip beer and happily roam around like their parents did 30 years ago.
Things get bad on Saturday, especially when Limp Bizkit singer Fred Durst encourages his 250,000 fans – who are already mad to the bones – to wreak havoc on the track’s sheet music destroy things. The collective mood darkened. And on Sunday, it goes straight into chaos and destruction. Riots, rapes, vandalism, gigantic fires, the vast country of Woodstock is turning into a war zone.
Even today, the organizers of Woodstock 99 pass the buck when it comes to naming those responsible for the disaster. A handful of spoilsports poison the atmosphere! To be honest, those were just isolated cases! The aggressive music groups themselves caused the defections!
This excellent Netflix documentary rightly highlights the greed of the Woodstock 99 organizing committee, which siphoned off young people’s money and then left them on a vacant lot. By cutting garbage collection, hiring incompetent security guards, raising food prices to ridiculous levels and neglecting basic sanitation, the festival’s masterminds struck the first match in front of a huge keg of powder filled to the top.
Add to these irritating elements the suffocating heat, drug use, exhaustion, contaminated drinking water and lack of adequate security that it all explodes with violence. The third episode looks like a horror movie.
Archival footage from the Netflix miniseries details a problematic and majority group in the Woodstock 99 crowd: angry young white men. You know, the ones running around in belly, in cargo shorts, yelling at women, show me your balls, Tabarnak! These. Surely members of some fraternity, these atrophied brain “brothers” exploited the bacchanalian spirit to attack women and destroy everything. Nice squad of champions.
In front of the camera, these young specimens can be seen waving, destroying, jumping, screaming and spitting out their anger. They contaminate their comrades with their poisonous energy, which erupts at the sound newbieLimp Bizkit or Freak on a leashof grain.
We understand each other: The “Testosterone” and “Nu-Metal” poster didn’t help spread love and peace at Woodstock 99. When Jewel and Sheryl Crow took the stage with their softer pop-rock, they were booed and insulted at length. Boo, get out, ladies, we want to see your boobs!
And the worst idea in the world: The organizers distributed 100,000 candles during the performance of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, who last sang at Woodstock 99. Of course the candles were used to start fires, hello. Rather than calming the crowd, Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Anthony Kiedis followed up with the cover Fire, by Jimi Hendrix. Viewers took it as a sign of scrapping encouragement, while Kiedis swears he wanted to honor Jimi Hendrix’s sister by re-enacting this classic.
Train wreck: Woodstock 99 doesn’t watch himself laughing like the documentaries fabricated at the Fyre Festival. There is a dark and grimy aspect to Woodstock 99 that makes you sick. Perched on her guitar neck, the little dove of 1969, who in her time saw others nonetheless, had to close her eyes tight at this sad spectacle of debauchery.