Carson Daly says the 1999 Woodstock car crash was “male toxicity at its finest” and thought he was going to die at the music festival, the horrors of which are now being revealed for the first time by a new Netflix docuseries.
The TV host was among a group of young correspondents sent by MTV to cover the 1999 music festival in upstate New York. The festival – which billed itself as the modern reincarnation of the legendary 1970s Woodstock – was a disaster from the start.
Three people died, dozens were hospitalized and there were multiple reports of women being sexually assaulted in the crowd.
Mickey Mouse security teams were immediately outnumbered and overwhelmed, and in the end festival organizers, along with musicians and journalists, ran away from the event while angry crowds set fire to stalls, broke into ATMs, and destroyed equipment.
It was a global news story at the time, but is now being revisited with a #MeToo blend post thanks to the new Netflix docuseries Trainwreck: Woodstock ’99.
Daly, now 49, was 26 when he covered the festival for MTV.
Carson Daly was a 26-year-old MTV host at the time. He is shown having bottles thrown at him (right) and MTV (left) covering the event
Around 300,000 spectators overtook the organizers of the Woodstock ’99 Festival in Rome, New York
By the end of the weekend, the unruly crowd began knocking over equipment and setting stalls on fire
Finally, at the end of the disastrous three-day festival, the crowd set fire to the stalls and star trailers on the site
An aerial view of the overwhelming crowd at Woodstock ’99 in Rome, NY
The documentary shows how garbage and plastic bottles were thrown at him once.
Taking to Instagram this weekend, after being inundated with questions from friends and fans about it, Daly admitted he thought he was “dying”.
“All I can say is I thought I was going to die. It started out great…then bottles, rocks, lighters and all were thrown at us.
“It got crazy. Nightfall and the prisoners officially ran the prison. My boss Dave says to our staff/crew backstage, “We can no longer guarantee your safety.”
“I remember driving recklessly through corn fields in a production truck to get to safety. It was so crazy and fuzzy now.
“I just remember feeling like I was in a different country in a military conflict. I have so many fun memories from that time, this wasn’t one of them.”
Carson, now 49 (right), told Today’s co-hosts that the festival was “male toxicity at its worst”.
There have been several reports of women being groped and sexually assaulted in the crowd
On Monday morning, Daly told Today Show colleagues the festival was “male toxicity at its worst.”
“Everything that could have gone wrong, went wrong. It was male toxicity at its worst… it was unhealthy.”
The documentary aired on Netflix on August 3 and has already garnered hundreds of thousands of views.
It paints a picture of a poorly organized event where the key players tasked with putting it together cared more about profit than the safety or welfare of the people there.
Musical performances were treated well backstage, but the sprawling festival grounds didn’t give kids space to find shade, dispose of rubbish or even fill up their water bottles.
The artists who performed, namely Korn and Limp Bizkit, are portrayed as carelessly driving the crowd into a frenzy.
Kid Rock during Woodstock ’99 in Saugerties, New York in Saugerties, New York, USA
Rioting fans broke into ATMs to steal cash after being charged more than $20 for a bottle of water
One of the most shocking events at the three-day event was when the crowd impounded a van and drove it through the mosh pit during Fatboy Slim’s performance at the ‘rave tent’.
When police got to the van and opened it, they found an unconscious girl inside and a man standing over her, pulling up his pants. The implication in the documentary is that she was raped in the back of the vehicle, hidden from view of the crowd.
One of the organizers of the event, Michael Scott Lang, died in January before the documentaries aired.
He and show promoter John Scher are held largely responsible for the chaos.
In one scene, he attempts to explain away the crimes committed at the festival, saying that they are on par with those in a city with a population of crowds.
Three people died at the festival, including David Derosia, a 24-year-old who died of heat stroke after collapsing in the crowd. His mother filed a lawsuit against the organizers in 2001, which is still unresolved.
Tara Weaver, a 28-year-old woman, died at the festival after being hit by a car while exiting a performance. An unidentified 44-year-old man also died at the festival.
A handful of lawsuits have been filed against the festival and settled privately, but no one has been criminally charged.
A chilling MTV report from 1999 describes that there were “several” incidents of rape and sexual assault being investigated by police.
It is unclear if anyone has ever been arrested in connection with the events.
“At least two women were raped in the Woodstock ’99 mosh pit last weekend, according to a volunteer who witnessed an assault and a rape counselor who was involved in assisting the other’s victim.
“In each incident, which occurred on different nights of the three-day Woodstock ’99 30th anniversary festival, the woman was allegedly raped and assaulted by multiple men while concert-goers near the crime cheered on their attackers.
“Meanwhile, the New York State Police’s Internal Investigations Office in Albany announced Wednesday that the on-site constable warden was suspended without pay after allegations that he had asked female Woodstock attendees to pose nude for photos with the police posing for police, Jamie Mills, director of public information, said. The investigations are ongoing.
“While the New York State Police have been vague on reports of sexual assault cases at Woodstock, officials finally confirmed on Thursday (July 29) that they are investigating four alleged rapes that allegedly took place during the outdoor concert at the former Griffiss Air Force Base in Rome “New York,” the report says.