Woodstock ’99 included performances from Korn, Rage Against the Machine, Limp Bizkit, Sheryl Crow, and Red Hot Chili Peppers. But that peak late-1990s lineup is not what anyone remembers about the troubled festival. The HBO original documentary Woodstock 99: Peace, Love, and Rage will examine “how the festival eventually collapsed under the weight of its own misguided ambition,” according to the network.
The musical lineup reflected acts that dominated MTV and radio airwaves at the time and leaned heavily towards artists catering to a young, male demographic. Intense heat, lack of adequate sanitation and access to free drinking water agitated a crowd already at a breaking point. Shortcuts and cost-cutting measures had diminished security, allowing the anger and frustration of the mob to explode into unchecked rioting and destruction. As much as Woodstock 69 became known as a celebration of peace and inclusion, Woodstock 99 became a flashpoint for burgeoning white toxic masculinity.
Woodstock 99: Peace, Love, and Rage, which premieres on July 23 on HBO Max, is the first installment in HBO and The Ringer‘s six-part “Music Box” series. The other episodes will cover Alanis Morissette, Juice WRLD, Kenny G, Robert Stigwood, and DMX. For much more on Woodstock ’99, check out our own Steven Hyden’s Break Stuff: The Story of Woodstock ’99 podcast.