There were hundreds of injuries and three deaths reported at Woodstock 99, a festival reboot that was aimed at celebrating peace and love.
Netflix captured the disintegration of the festival organizers’ mission in its three-part docuseries, “Trainwreck: Woodstock 99,” which covered one day of the festival per episode. The documentary casts much of the blame on the organizers’ focus on turning a profit, which resulted in poor management, price gouging for necessities like food and water and unsanitary conditions, the documentary says.
Because of the poor living environment, the documentary asserts, many of the festivalgoers resorted to hostility. There were 60 concertgoers hospitalized, according to a 1999 article by the San Francisco Gate.
Lee Rosenblatt, a member of the festival’s production team who appeared on the documentary, said the attendees were “treated like animals,” and so began to act like animals.
Here are the three people who died at Woodstock 99:
David G. DeRosia Died at 24 From a Heat-Related Illness
DeRosia was flown from the festival grounds to University Hospital in Syracuse where he died from hyperthermia, a condition caused by overheating of the body, MTV reported at the time of his death. He was a 24-year-old Connecticut man and died July 26, 1999, the day after the festival ended. He was transported on the third day of the festival.
Mary Jumbelic, chief medical examiner of Onondaga County, ruled his cause of death as accidental, and said drugs and alcohol were not suspected.
Syracuse.com reported in a 2009 article that DeRosia’s mother filed a lawsuit against the promoters and six doctors of the festival, accusing them of negligence. i95 Rock reported that the lawsuit had not been settled as of 2019.
The Syracuse newspaper article said that DeRosia was an employee at Cendant Mobility in Danbury, Connecticut, who went to the festival with four friends. He suffered seizures in the pit during Metallica’s set and collapsed. Before the mosh pit, he was showing no signs of exhaustion or health problems, the article said.
“I didn’t know Mr. DeRosia, but I do remember when he passed away,” i95’s Large Dave wrote in the radio station’s retrospective coverage of the festival. “It was a shock to hear that a man from my hometown had died at the biggest event in the music world at the time.”
A 44-Year-Old Man, Whose Name Was Not Released, Died From Cardiac Arrest
MTV reported in its 1999 article that DeRosia was the second person who died at Woodstock 99. The first person to die was a 44-year-old man from Hyaniss, Massachusetts, who died from cardiac arrest. He died at a campground site on Friday, the first day of the festival. The man had a pre-existing heart condition, the article says.
Tara K. Weaver Died After She Was Hit By 2 Cars While Leaving the Concert
Weaver was struck by two cars and killed as she was leaving Woodstock 99. She was on foot after her car became disabled, according to a 1999 article from Seacoast Online.
Weaver, of Troy, died Sunday night July 25, 1999, the last day of the festival. Authorities were working to determine her cause of death at the time, the article said.
A second serious accident was reported at the time when a 19-year-old man leaving the festival with six of his friends crashed. Three of them were in critical condition at the time of the 1999 article. Authorities told the newspaper they believed the man fell asleep at the wheel.