Netflix Developing Documentary Series on the Disastrous Woodstock '99

A new docuseries focused on the disastrous Woodstock '99 music festival is in development at Netflix. According to a new report from Deadline, the project is already in production and comes from Raw, the company that also produced Don't F**k with Cats and Fear City: New York vs. The Mafia for the streamer along with BBH Entertainment and will dig into the culture that created the infamous festival to tell the story of how it all ended up going so wrong.

Taking place over four days in July 1999, Woodstock '99 was meant to be an event to celebrate the 30-year anniversary of the iconic original Woodstock festival which took place in 1969 on Max Yasgur's dairy farm in Bethel, New York. Woodstock '99, which was actually held about 100 miles away from the original site in Rome, new York, saw roughly 400,000 attendees over the course of four days and was extensively covered by MTV. It featured a wide range of acts including George Clinton, Jamiroquai, James Brown, Limp Bizkit, Insane Clown Posse, Rage Against the Machine, Kid Rock, and many more. However, despite the event's promise the event was plagued by issues including extreme heat, high concession prices, overflowing and insufficient toilets, violence, sexual assault, and looting. The final day of the festival saw candles intended for a candlelight vigil during the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ festival closing set used instead to light bonfires, which led to sections of a plywood fence intended to keep out non-ticketholders being used as fuel as well and chaos ensued.

Think of it as the Fyre Festival of the late nineties, except there was actually a festival and things were far, far, far worse. Then MTV host Kurt Loder later described the situation to USA Today as being "like a concentration camp".

According to the report, the series will "tell the real story behind how 'three days of peace, love and music' went down in flames". The series will reportedly feature unseen archive footage as well as testimony from those who were part of Woodstock '99, from behind the scenes, on the stages, and even in the crowd. The report says that "the series aims at telling the untold story of a landmark musical moment that shaped the cultural landscape for a generation."

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Header photo: Getty Images/John Atashian