Woodstock 99: Peace Love and Rage (Review)
The upcoming documentary based on Woodstock 99 releases this Friday, July 23rd on HBO Max.
Home Box Office (HBO) | Release Date (Streaming): July 23, 2021
Summary: Woodstock 99, a three-day music festival promoted to echo unity and counterculture idealism of the original 1969 concert but instead devolved into riots, looting and sexual assaults.
Director: Garret Price Genre(s): Documentary
The film opens with a clip from a 1969 interview with Woodstock Music Festival's co-founder Michael Lang. He boyishly fusses with his motorcycle while trying to answer the question from an ABC News reporter "what's the worst part about running one of these things".
Fast forward to July 23rd, 1999 - "My Own Worst Enemy" by Lit sets the tone for this nearly two hour journey into frat boy, rock doc debauchery.
Directed by Garret Price and executive produced by Bill Simmons (Andre The Giant, Showbiz Kids) the film lays out a well executed visual road map of contrast between the original peace, love and music concept of 69', the folk rock adaptation of 94' and the metal rap catastrophe of 99'.
A massive mixture of boobs, beer and drugs paired well with the hardest rock bands and music on the planet at first it seemed. By day two the lack of water, food and usable toilets quickly led to what would become sustained anarchy by festival goers who were less than pleased to pay $10 for a bottle of water.
Multiple accounts of sexual assault and medical emergencies follow on day three with the film focusing on one specific festival goer, David DeRosia, who died from heat exhaustion according to New York State Police.
John Schere, promoter of Woodstock 94 & 99, offers multiple sound bites throughout the documentary which includes pointing blame at Limp Bizkit frontman Fred Durst for inciting riots in-between and during songs of their live performance. Also blaming MTV's media coverage as the vehicle that brought overwhelming negative post festival press.
A combination of great archival footage from the festival's production company, MTV News coverage, clips from never before seen media tent press conferences and exclusive interviews make this film a must see for music doc's and 90's lovers.