A music event called Woodstock 99 was held in Rome, New York, in July 1999 to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the first Woodstock gathering. The festival’s Woodstock 99 lineup was attended by approximately 400,000 people over three days and featured diverse artists from various genres.
Music festivals were growing in popularity in the late 1990s because they allowed fans to see various acts in one location and develop a sense of community with other music enthusiasts. The roster for Woodstock 99, one of the era’s biggest and most anticipated festivals, was considered a representation of the musical and cultural fads of the late 1990s.
Day 1 (Friday, July 23) of Woodstock 99:
The festival’s opening day began with various pop, rock, funk, and rap artists. Sugar Ray entertained the audience on the main stage by playing hits, including “Every Morning” and “Fly,” to energize the crowd. Popular indie music band Guster imitated this, demonstrating their lively and musical style.
As DMX, George Clinton, and the P-Funk All-Stars entered the stage, the day veered towards rap and funk. Rapper DMX, one of the most popular and divisive artists of the late 1990s, performed hits like “Ruff Ryders’ Anthem” and “Party Up (Up in Here).”
On the other hand, George Clinton and the P-Funk All-Stars provided their distinctive funk sound, performing timeless songs like “Flashlight” and “One Nation Under a Groove.”
James Brown, the Godfather of Soul, also performed on Day 1 of Woodstock 99, showcasing his famed dance routines and singing songs like “I Got You (I Feel Good)” and “Sex Machine.” The festival’s opening day was finally finished by Jamiroquai, who entertained the crowd with their distinctive blend of acid jazz, funk, and pop. Their singles “Virtual Insanity” and “Cosmic Girl” kept the crowd on the dance floor long into the night.
Day 2 (Saturday, July 24) of Woodstock 99:
Rock, pop, and metal performers were on Day 2 of the festival’s schedule. The day began with Kid Rock’s exhilarating performance, which featured his singles “Bawitdaba” and “Cowboy.” Live then performed their alternative rock songs, including “Lightning Crashes” and “All Over You.”
Megadeth performed at the festival, bringing their brand of heavy metal with songs like “Trust” and “Symphony of Destruction.” Next came Elvis Costello, who performed a more subdued and reflective set that included songs like “Alison” and “Watching the Detectives.” With their distinctive vocals, Jewel and Sheryl Crow sang favorites, including “Who Will Save Your Soul” and “All I Wanna Do,” respectively.
Bush demonstrated their grunge-influenced style with classics like “Glycerine” and “Comedown,” while Creed, one of the most popular post-grunge bands of the time, played hits like “My Own Prison” and “Higher.” The Tragically Hip, known for their alternative rock sound, finished the festival’s second day by performing favorites like “New Orleans Is Sinking” and “Ahead by a Century.”
Day 3 (Sunday, July 25) of Woodstock 99:
The festival’s last day, which included a roster of heavy metal and alternative performers, was undoubtedly the most intense. The provocative and theatrical Insane Clown Posse entered the stage and performed songs, including “Hokus Pokus” and “Boogie Woogie Wu.” With their punk rock sound, The Offspring came next, playing singles like “Self Esteem” and “Pretty Fly (for a White Guy).”
A powerful performance was given by Limp Bizkit, one of the biggest bands of the late 1990s, with their rap-metal sound and classics including “Nookie” and “Break Stuff.” With singles like “Killing in the Name” and “Bulls on Parade,” Rage against the Machine, noted for their politically charged lyrics and electrifying live performances, came next.
Heavy metal icons Metallica performed during the festival’s conclusion, playing songs including “Enter Sandman” and “Master of Puppets.” Their powerful and passionate performance left the audience in awe, making their show a suitable way to close the festival. Overall, Woodstock 99’s roster showcased the finest of the late 1990s musical landscape, offering various genres and styles.
Legacy of Woodstock 99:
Despite its enormous attendance and varied roster, Woodstock 99 was not without controversy and criticism. One of the main complaints was that the festival was poorly organized and planned, which led to crowded, filthy conditions and limited access to food and water. Some people questioned the event’s general safety after hearing allegations of violence, sexual assault, and theft.
The festival’s commercialization, corporate sponsorship, high admission costs, and expensive goods were also criticized by several critics and spectators. Many believed the festival had become too commercialized and had drifted too far from the original Woodstock ideals of peace, love, and music. A cultural milestone for the late 1990s, Woodstock 99 also reflected the attitudes and issues of the time. The festival’s powerful and occasionally contentious performances expressed a generation dealing with problems like social inequity, political cynicism, and economic uncertainty.
As a result, even though Woodstock 99’s implementation may have been poor, its influence on music festivals and culture is no denying it. As a reminder of music’s ability and capacity to unite and divide, its legacy continues to reverberate with music lovers and cultural critics.
In conclusion, the Woodstock 99 lineup featured some of the day’s largest and most recognizable performers. It represented various musical genres and styles in the late 1990s. It cannot be disputed that the festival, despite its fair share of controversy and complaints, had a huge impact on music festivals and culture in the late 1990s and beyond.
The festival’s huge program and attendance established a new benchmark for music festivals’ scale and scope, and its legacy still influences and inspires festivals today. Additionally, the festival became a cultural and political milestone of the late 1990s thanks to its dramatic and contentious performances.
Woodstock 99 commemorated the original Woodstock festival’s cultural and musical legacy and recognized its 30th anniversary in terms of importance in music history. Both festivals were held when music was a potent force for social and cultural transformation, despite the fact that they differed greatly in scale, ambition, and execution. This was all about Woodstock 99 lineup.
Related: Owen Gray