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So, watched this last night, not quite all the way through, and it's a painful watch and potentially upsetting. And I thought the modern "woke" talk was unnecessary, but it's only a small part of the interviews.

They talk about how the festival was aimed at the "frat boy" type of young men, 18 - 25.

There were young women walking around topless to be "empowered" - and those that didn't sometimes had their clothing ripped off, and women were groped and raped right in the middle of the festival surrounded by people.

They ended up setting everything on fire. I'd heard about the violence and the rapes - but not the fact they burned everything down at the end.

As I watched this - I couldn't help it - the comments, the interviews and videos of the men, the things the men were saying...

It was everything you see online today. I hear a lot that the "manosphere" is somehow new, not something that existed before, and it frustrated me - because back in the 90's, teenage boys talked the same way. They just learned it in person.

Anyways - if you think the online "manosphere" must be new - then I challenge you to watch this, because even though Woodstock was more over the top, and men were more out in the open - it was an extreme version of what I saw from men at parties, at spring break, at concerts - it just was done out in the open where it was being video taped for once.

I think one of the things it did really well was talk about Grunge and Riot Grrl and it's messages - and the swing to violent anti-women music that came later. That resonates with me too.

So, watched this last night, not quite all the way through, and it's a painful watch and potentially upsetting. And I thought the modern "woke" talk was unnecessary, but it's only a small part of the interviews. They talk about how the festival was aimed at the "frat boy" type of young men, 18 - 25. There were young women walking around topless to be "empowered" - and those that didn't sometimes had their clothing ripped off, and women were groped and raped right in the middle of the festival surrounded by people. They ended up setting everything on fire. I'd heard about the violence and the rapes - but not the fact they burned everything down at the end. As I watched this - I couldn't help it - the comments, the interviews and videos of the men, the things the men were saying... It was everything you see online today. I hear a lot that the "manosphere" is somehow new, not something that existed before, and it frustrated me - because back in the 90's, teenage boys talked the same way. They just learned it in person. Anyways - if you think the online "manosphere" must be new - then I challenge you to watch this, because even though Woodstock was more over the top, and men were more out in the open - it was an extreme version of what I saw from men at parties, at spring break, at concerts - it just was done out in the open where it was being video taped for once. I think one of the things it did really well was talk about Grunge and Riot Grrl and it's messages - and the swing to violent anti-women music that came later. That resonates with me too.

9 comments

[–] elleelle 11 points (+11|-0)

I was there. It felt like the apocalypse.

Did you end up leaving early? Would you mind telling us some more? (Sorry, I don’t mean to come off as ghoulish, I’d just love to hear your perspective, especially before I watch the documentary).

I would have loved (a lot of) the music, but would’ve felt so unwelcome and intimidated. I guess by the time I was old enough to go to gigs and concerts, the emo scene was underway, where the sexism wasn’t so… violent.

[–] elleelle 4 points (+4|-0) Edited

We struggled to buy tickets. We had planned ahead and had to be so, so determined to go. It was me, and two close girlfriends. I was 21, J was 20, A was 21. J's dad had just won a massive lawsuit and his end was $500,000. J's dad asked if he could come with us so that he could bring J's little brother, JJ, and his bestie, S. They were both 15.

As our reward for allowing boys to come, J's dad bought a class A RV for us to take. This surprise absolutely saved our bacon.

The concert was at an old air force base. The tent campers had to camp inside the base and couldn't leave once inside. The RV campers were parked outside in a meadow and so were allowed to do whatever we wanted. Because we were all lower middle class kids (and A & S were probably a class below that) we saw the nastiness of this immediately. We kept to ourselves because the other RV campers around us were rich assholes.

Inside the base, water was $3/bottle. There were no bathrooms, just rows and rows of portapotties. Showers? Forget it. Food was insane- the only time I ate inside, I spent $6 on a premade 6" Subway veggie.

At first we all were going to walk around topless but then we invited J's family, and when we got there, gross dudes would follow you and take pictures. So none of us did.

We were SO lucky. We went grocery shopping and packed the RV well. We had plenty of food and water. We packed 2 gallons per person per day in jugs, plus we had the tank. Our tank ran dry but you could flush the toilet with anything, so we'd use the water from bathing (bird bath style).

A was entrepreneurial and started charging folks in water to use our bathroom.

It was so incredibly hot.

By day three, the tempo inside the base was ANGRY. You had people who had been trapped like refugees for 3 days.

The whole base was wrapped in a haphazard mural- it was scaffold, covered in OSB and latex paint. When we went in for the last show, JJ and S wanted to see Jewel (I believe)- bless them, they were 15, and J & I wanted to see the chili peppers. A & J's dad were exhausted and A had injured her ankle so they stayed at "home" in the RV.

Before the Chillis, we were supposed to have the world's largest peace vigil and everyone was holding candles.

No cars were allowed in the base, but right behind us, on the edge of an ocean of people - 200,000 people is a sight to behold- a white car drove up and people tore it apart. Like barehanded. They were drunk and it was terrifying. Someone screamed, "It's gonna blow!" and you could smell the gas, so the crowd thronged away, and in that throb of people, a little girl got hurt.

The Chilies started playing and people mellowed a bit, Flea paused to ask the crowd to stop tearing girls clothes off, and then, those dumbasses- they tore into a cover of Jimi Hendrix's "Fire".

Then it was ON like Donkey Kong.

The miles of mural went up like a lantern. All those candles, the car's gas, the glue in the OSB, the latex paint- it chugged out so much choking black smoke that J and I, who had been through a lot together and were undoubtedly the two toughest people of our group- looked at each other and said, "We have to get the fuck out of here."

We started the 2.5 mile walk back to the RV and we were so scared, we held hands the whole time.

Clouds of smoke, fire sirens, clusters of people obviously fleeing with their backpacks, people running, crying, and then- I think it was the airbus for the injured little girl but it may have been journalists- a helicopter showed up. It felt like walking through the apocalypse.

We got to the RV and started crying because the 15 year old boys weren't home yet. We started breaking camp and then, like angels, they appeared, unhurt, within 10 minutes of our arrival. We were so relieved.

They were offended- "Of course we left! We obviously aren't idiots!" You know how teenagers are.

Then we just had to get out of the campsite. That's a story in and of itself

A very late thank you for such an amazing post!

It was stressful to read; I felt almost like I was there! I can hardly imagine what it must have been like to have ACTUALLY been there. A war zone perhaps.

Wow.

[–] VirginiaWolfberry 10 points (+10|-0)

I remember reading about what happened at the time with the rapes and no one wanted to talk about it; it was the same thing with the Cologne NYE rapes.

Really interested in watching this documentary!

I remember watching a video of the Offspring when I was a teenager and feeling so grateful to Dexter Holland for saying the following at Woodstock 99. It made me feel like I belonged at rock concerts too.

I see a lot of girls coming over the top here, crowdsurfing, and some of them are getting really groped, you know what I mean? And I think, just because a girl wants to go crowdsurfing or whatever, that doesn’t give a guy the right to molest her, you know what I’m saying? [cheers] So if you’re a guy and you see a girl passing overhead, just give her a break all right, you know what I’m saying? And if you’re a girl and you see a guy passing overhead, I want you to grab his fucking balls! [loud cheers and whoops]

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=tkirNHOAgt8

Until now I didn’t know about the wider events of Woodstock 99, but I remembered the video (it was seared into my 15 year old brain the first time I saw it 🥲) and looked it up, and lo and behold! Of course it was from Woodstock 99.

I could say, what a damning indictment of Woodstock that it was so bad it took a pop punk band most famous for songs consisting of “woah-ohs!” to point out the problems [you know what I mean?]… but Dexter Holland is really smart, has a PhD in biology, a pilots license, a hot sauce company… and apparently the balls to stand up to tens of thousands of rioting misogynists.

[–] armwontset 6 points (+6|-0)

I remember wanting to go to this so badly... Thankful my big sister took me to Lilith Fair instead.

[–] elleelle 2 points (+2|-0)

I was there, too. It is not as compelling of a story but it was super fun.

[–] cupcakes_and_shiraz 3 points (+3|-0) Edited

I was super into all things '60s/70s back then and wanted to attend Woodstock '99, but couldn't afford the tickets (I think they were over $100 at the time).

When the news came out about the rapes and other acts of violence (the local news where I lived at the time also reported beatings and the fire at the end of the festival), I was horrified, but not shocked.
What I didn't know then was that promoters were attracting the frat boy demographic. It completely makes sense now why Woodstock 99 turned into such a shitshow*.

If they had such an event now, it would probably be like Coachella or Burning Man, which may be a blessing since most people would be too busy stunting for the 'gram to commit violence.

90s music had a strong start in the beginning (I was more into new jack swing and R&B back then, but did listen to some alternative music); however, around the mid 90s, I stopped listening to most contemporary music because of the misogyny and materialism in most of the lyrics.

*Frat boys are well known for raping, vandalism and killing their pledges through hazing, even back in the 90s.