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 acoustic one.
Woodstock '94 poster design
|Genre||Rock, EDM and folk, including|
grunge, alt-rock, metal,
EDM, blues rock, folk rock,
jazz fusion, hard rock,
world music, latin rock.
|Dates||August 12–14, 1994|
|Location(s)||Saugerties, New York, U.S.|
|Years active||1994. 25 years ago|
original event: 1969
1979, 1989, 1994,
|Founded by||Michael Lang, John P. Roberts,|
|Website||The Woodstock Festivals|
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 rainy that weekend, and by Saturday much of the field had turned 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 increasingly vast numbers entering, exiting, inspecting, while at the same time maintaining safety, security and peaceful atmosphere.
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 this point the crowd roared and in within a few minutes the entire crowd was drinking and partying hard. The lead singer then lit a stool on fire in the center of the stage and started using a chain saw to cut it up. He also pulled out a rifle and started shooting it in the air but cut his hand or finger, which started bleeding heavily and as he wiped his forehead a streak of blood was left across his head. At this point security dragged him off the stage. Jackyl turned in one of the most acclaimed performances at the festival, and the resulting double album ‘Woodstock 94’ went platinum and included "Headed For Destruction" (a track from Push Comes To Shove).
- 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 played Woodstock in his girlfriend's dress, while tripping on LSD.
- 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.
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. In spite of 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". According to various critics, Dylan's performance was one of the greater moments of the festival, and represented the beginning of another new phase in his lengthy career. Dylan, often in this show, played lead guitar and hard electric rock
- 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.
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, 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.
- 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 April 5, 1994.
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.
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- Braun, Stephen; Goldman, John (August 15, 1994). "Woodstock revelers slog home". Eugene Register-Guard. (Oregon). (Los Angeles Times). p. 1A.
- "Woodstock Revisited?". Electronic Gaming Monthly (59). EGM Media, LLC. June 1994. p. 212.
- "BIG TICKET SALES FOR WOODSTOCK '94". Billboard. Retrieved December 25, 2018.
- "12,000 revisit Woodstock". Eugene Register-Guard. (Oregon). Associated Press. August 14, 1994. p. 5A.
- "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.)
- "Paul D. Miller/DJ Spooky That Subliminal Kid – Some Career Highlights" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on July 23, 2011. Retrieved August 24, 2010.
- "Al Weisel – Ravestock at Woodstock '94".
- Everything Is Forever – Nenad Bach
- "Dazed and Confused: 10 Classic Drugged-Out Shows, Blind Melon at Woodstock, 1994 – LSD". Rolling Stone Magazine. Retrieved October 21, 2015.
- "YouTube – NIN – woodstock 1994 interview".
- Jonathan Gold (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.
- "38th Annual Grammy Awards".
- Les Claypool interviewed by Billboard: Exclusive : Primus' Les Claypool talks Woodstock 94' 20 years later
- veoh.com: Bob Dylan Woodstock '94
- ram.org: Woodstock 1994 concert review
- TR at Woodstock '94
- "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.
- 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