CBC Digital Archives

Woodstock '94: 'cleaner and more corporate'

They say if you can remember Woodstock, you weren't really there. Of course, that's not entirely true. More than 400,000 people gathered in a farmer's field in upstate New York to attend the three-day music festival in August of 1969, and many have extremely fond - and relatively clear - memories of the event. CBC Digital Archives looks at how the legendary festival has been remembered over the years.

media clip
Similarities? Teens in tie-dye, frolicking in the mud, grooving to the music. Differences? Haagen Dazs ice cream and expensive grilled chicken sandwiches for sale. Woodstock '94 is attempting to invoke the spirit of the original Woodstock, but it's clear that the 1969 festival can never quite be duplicated. The 1994 event is "cleaner and more corporate than the original," according to this CBC-TV report.
• Woodstock '94 took place in Saugerties, N.Y., from Aug. 12 to 14, 1994. It was staged to commemorate the 25th anniversary of Woodstock. Approximately 350,000 people attended.
  • Several bands from the original Woodstock performed at the 1994 festival, including Santana, The Band, Joe Cocker, Country Joe McDonald, John Sebastian and Crosby, Stills and Nash.

• Other more contemporary performers included: The Cranberries, Sheryl Crow, Arrested Development, Green Day, Primus, The Spin Doctors, Porno for Pyros, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Peter Gabriel, Nine Inch Nails, Blind Melon, Salt-N-Pepa, Aerosmith and Metallica.

• Woodstock '94 was later dubbed "Mudstock." Much like the original Woodstock, lots of rain throughout the weekend led to very muddy conditions. But unlike the original, Woodstock '94's attendees took to throwing mud at the stage. In fact, during Green Day's performance, the band had a mud fight with the audience. Also, "moshing" - where audience members smash into each other - was very popular in 1994, and the mixture of mud and moshing led to some injuries.

• The mud-related incidents of 1994, however, were mild in comparison to the disaster that befell Woodstock 1999 five years later. Woodstock '99 took place in Rome, N.Y., from July 23 to 25, 1999. It was a blisteringly hot weekend and the festival devolved into angry violence. Fires were started. Riots occurred. The Toronto Star's Ben Rayner later called Woodstock '99 "an orgy of violence, looting and multiple allegations of rape." And MTV host Kurt Loder told USA Today, "It was dangerous to be around. The whole scene was scary. There were just waves of hatred bouncing around the place ... It was clear we had to get out of there."

Medium: Television
Program: Saturday Report
Broadcast Date: Aug. 13, 1994
Reporter: John Northcott
Duration: 1:52

Last updated: February 13, 2012

Page consulted on September 10, 2014

All Clips from this Topic

Related Content

Woodstock Remembered

They say if you can remember Woodstock, you weren't really there. Of course, that's not entire...

Lepine's mother breaks her silence

In 2006, Monique Lepine discusses what it's like to be the mother of someone who caused so muc...

Marc Garneau looks back twenty years later

The first Canadian to travel in space reflects back on his trip.

South Africa: Ten years after apartheid

MacInnes-Rae looks at how South Africa was, and how much it has changed.

Rwanda: Anniversary of a genocide

A news report looks at the ceremonies, and the emotions, on hand for the 10th anniversary of t...

Juno Beach Centre opens its doors

A museum honouring Canadians in the Second World War opens 59 years after D-Day.