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Woodstock '99
Report By Steven R. Rochlin

 

Concert field.
Seen to the right are the many, but not all, fires located on the field of the East (main) stage. This photo was taken approximately 30 minutes after the final tribute to Jimi Hendrix.

 

Mr. Fireman
Here is a guy i call Mr. Fireman. Showing his, well, personal spirit he tried to single-handedly put out the fire. Of course i could always be wrong. This photo was the fire to the furthest left (stage right) and closet to the East stage. People were using the wood from the barrier around the Woodstock '99 show to help fuel the fire. The rioters also used various garbage and whatever they could find that was flammable as well. In fact they even threw in pieces of metal fencing! The entire scene was out of hand. As much as i wished it would stop, with a mob like this my feelings were it best to photograph what i could.

 

Speaker/Light tower in mid fall.
Sadly, there was much property damage of course. Seen above is a large satellite setup which holds large, heavy PA speakers and lighting equipment. Seen above in the tower in mid fall. The rioters worked extremely hard for about 10 minutes in trying to push this well designed and normally extremely stable structure over. After the crowd removed some of the parts which keep the tower upright, they succeeded in toppling over the tower. Fortunately no one was injured when it fell (as much as i could see because i was deeply concerned about this).

 

Speaker/Light tower on the ground.
Here is the same speaker and light tower now on the ground. While not shown here, i have photos of the concert goers on the now grounded tower rejoicing at their accomplishment. The heavy speaker and lighting equipment still secured to this tower was their next target for destruction. i believe this consisted of three large speaker monitors and various lighting gear.

 

Speaker in the fire.
The rioters succeeded in unhooking the speakers from the tower and about four of them carried the speakers into the fire. They also carried an amplifier rack with Crown equipment into the fire as well.  Sad, but true. While all this was going on other new fires were started while still others were being fed wood, flammable garbage, and whatever else was accessible.

 

PAX Peace Candle Notice
It seems some people, as i overhear them here, are blaming the PAX Peace Candles which were handed out at the show. In my humble opinion, candles do not start fires per se, people do. Personally, i find it quite sad how the PAX Peace Candle which is a "Youth petition to End Gun Violence" has now come into the controversy of mass arson.

 

Upright speaker and light structure.
To help give the Enjoy the Music.com readership a better perspective on the famous speaker tower destruction, here is one of them fully assembled. The structure itself is held down with large green drums filled with material to give weight for stability. As you can also see, there is still only part of the wooden wall which normally goes all the way around the structure. This structure could normally stand virtual hurricane forces, yet when youth riot even a hurricane could seem like a calm summer breeze.

 

Toppled over speaker and light structure.
Here is the morning after shot of the toppled over speaker and light stand. For scale i added a few people on the far left of the photo. The large "X" to the right are the footholdings of the structure.

 

Speakers the morning after.
Seen here is the remains of the speakers which were mounted on the tower. The only recognizable parts are the metal grills and to their left are the industrial mounting apparatus which the speakers are attached to for hanging them from the tower itself. On the right near-bottom is one one the handles which is used for normal grabbing of the speaker during transportation. The large metal piping were parts of the structure which surrounded the tower.

 

Burnt Trailers
A total of approximately twelve trailers were burnt in this riot as well. The fire inside them was so extreme that the metal of the trailers themselves seemingly melted away! Will post some close-ups of this shortly.

 

Mercedes
Lastly for now, here is a Mercedes car which was turned over and vandalized. The car looks as though it had been chewed up and spit out. The interior suffers from extreme damage with rips, missing parts, and wired dangling all about.

 

Click here to go back to the main Enjoy the Music.com Woodstock '99 page.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

     
 

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