Woodstock '94 was a music festival organized in 1994 to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the original Woodstock festival of 1969. It was promoted as "2 More Days of Peace and Music." The poster used to promote the first concert was revised to feature two birds perched on the neck of an electric guitar, instead of the original acoustic one.
The 1994 concert was scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, August 13 and 14, with a third day (Friday, August 12) added later. The weather was rainy that weekend, and by Saturday much of the field had turned into mud.
The event took place on Winston Farm in Saugerties, New York, about 100 miles (160 km) north of New York City. The site is 10 miles (16 km) from Woodstock, New York.
The crowd at Woodstock '94 was estimated at 550,000. The size of the crowd was larger than concert organizers had planned for and by the second night many of the event policies were logistically unenforceable. The major issues related to security, when attendees arrived, left or returned to the site, and the official concert food-beverage-vendor policy initially restricting attendees from entering with supplies of food, drinks and above all, alcohol. With the concert site mostly enclosed by simple chain link fences, there was hardly any difficulty for many attendees to enter freely along with carrying beer and other banned items. The security staff, along with the entrance and exit staff, could not continue reasonable monitoring of increasingly vast numbers entering, exiting, inspecting, while at the same time maintaining safety, security and peaceful atmosphere.
The festival was followed by the more infamous and controversial Woodstock 1999.
Friday, August 12
- Blues Traveler
- Del Amitri
- King's X
- Sheryl Crow
- Collective Soul
- Violent Femmes
- Futu Futu
- The Goats
- Mike Williams & The Claps
- The Paul Luke Band
- Roguish Armament
- Aphex Twin
- DJ Spooky
- Doc Martin
- Frankie Bones
- Kevin Saunderson
- Little Louie Vega
- The Orb
- Soul Slinger
- DJ Scotto
Saturday, August 13
- Joe Cocker
- Blind Melon
- Cypress Hill
- Rollins Band
- Melissa Etheridge
- Crosby, Stills, & Nash featuring John Sebastian
- Nine Inch Nails
- Nenad Bach
- The Cranberries
- Youssou N'Dour
- The Band featuring Hot Tuna, Bruce Hornsby, Roger McGuinn, Rob Wasserman, and Bob Weir
- Primus featuring Jerry Cantrell
- Salt 'N Pepa
Sunday, August 14
- Country Joe McDonald
- Sisters of Glory featuring Thelma Houston, CeCe Peniston, Phoebe Snow, Mavis Staples, and Lois Walden
- Arrested Development
- The Allman Brothers Band
- Spin Doctors
- Porno for Pyros
- Bob Dylan
- Red Hot Chili Peppers
- Peter Gabriel
- John Sebastian and the J-Band
- Country Joe McDonald
- Gil Scott-Heron
- The Justin Trio
- Geoffrey Oryema
- Hassan Hakmoun & Zahar
- Nenad Bach
- Green Day
- Paul Rodgers Rock and Blues Revue featuring Slash, Neal Schon, Andy Fraser, and Jason Bonham
- Neville Brothers
- Eric Gales
- Jimmy Cliff's All Star Reggae Jam featuring Rita Marley, Eek A Mouse and Shabba Ranks
Notes on performers
- Performers from the original Woodstock appearing at Woodstock '94 were The Band, Santana, Joe Cocker, Country Joe McDonald, John Sebastian, surviving members of Sweetwater, and Crosby, Stills, & Nash. Additionally, Jorma Kaukonen and Jack Casady of Jefferson Airplane/Hot Tuna, and Bob Weir of the Grateful Dead, all Woodstock alumni, also appeared at the latter festival, performing with the Band on guitar; bass; and guitar and vocals, respectively. The first band to take the stage was Jackyl. Jackyl turned in one of the most acclaimed performances at Woodstock ’94 in Saugerties, NY, and the resulting double album ‘Woodstock 94’ went platinum and included "Headed For Destruction" (a track from Push Comes To Shove).
- Jackyl took the stage early on Friday. The mood of the crowd was calm before Jackyl took the stage but that changed quickly. The lead singer took the stage with a bottle of whiskey and was drinking heavily as he poured alcohol onto the crowd. He then started smoking marijuana and on a close up he shotgunned the joint into the camera with copious amounts of smoke filling the screens and the stage. At this point the crowd roared and in within a few minutes the entire crowd was drinking and partying hard. The lead singer then lit a stool on fire in the center of the stage and started using a chain saw to cut it up. He also pulled out a rifle and started shooting it in the air but cut his hand or finger, which started bleeding heavily and as he wiped his forehead a streak of blood was left across his head. At this point security dragged him off the stage.
- Nine Inch Nails were considered to have the largest crowd density at the event, overshadowing many of the other performers at the festival. Just before going on stage they had wrestled each other in the mud and they went on to perform completely wet and covered in mud as can be seen in the video. In the interview after their performance, Nine Inch Nails frontman Trent Reznor claimed he thought his band's performance was "terrible" due to technical difficulties on stage. Reznor admitted that while he disliked playing at such a large show, it was done for the money: "To be quite frank, it's basically to offset the cost of the tour we're doing right now." Their performance of "Happiness in Slavery" at the festival won the Grammy Award for Best Metal Performance in 1996.
- The Red Hot Chili Peppers performed in lightbulb costumes for the first song of their set. Later in the set they would all dress up as Jimi Hendrix had at the original Woodstock. The lightbulb costumes are now on display at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada.
- Several of the artists, including Green Day and Cypress Hill, skipped at least one Lollapalooza tour date in order to appear at Woodstock '94.
- Peter Gabriel headlined the North Stage on the last night and closed Woodstock '94.
- Blind Melon frontman Shannon Hoon played Woodstock in his girlfriend's dress, while tripping on LSD.
- Aphex Twin's performance was cut short when promoters "disconnected" him mid-show for signing a fake name on a contract, which would forfeit PolyGram's rights to his performance.
- Aerosmith's Joey Kramer, Joe Perry and Steven Tyler were all at the original Woodstock festival in 1969. Aerosmith performed around 3 to 4 a.m., right after an extensive fireworks display from Metallica that pissed off Steven Tyler. As Tyler said on the liner notes for the album during our set "It rained like a cow pissing on a flat rock". They were kind of a denouement band after Nine Inch Nails and Metallica left a crater in the field.
- After being injured in a traffic accident in 1966, and his subsequent disappearance from the popular music scene, Bob Dylan declined to go to the original Woodstock Festival of 1969, even though he lived in the area at the time and the festival had been put in his backyard to try to get him to come out and play. He set off for the Isle of Wight Festival the day the Woodstock festival started, and performed at Woodside Bay on 31 August 1969. Dylan, however, did accept an invitation to perform at Woodstock '94, and was introduced with the phrase: "We waited twenty-five years to hear this. Ladies and gentlemen, Mr. Bob Dylan". According to various critics, Dylan's performance was one of the greater moments of the festival, and represented the beginning of another one of the new phases in his lengthy career.
- During Primus' performance of the song "My Name Is Mud" the audience responded by pelting the band with mud, which singer/bassist Les Claypool ended by informing the crowd that "You know, when you throw things on stage, it's a sign of small and insignificant genitalia." Claypool claims that he still has mud in his bass cabinets to this day.
- Rumors circulated during the festival that The Rolling Stones were to make a surprise appearance because they were scheduled to play a concert in New York that weekend.
- Woodstock '94 has also been referred to as Mudstock, or Mudstock '94, partly due to Green Day's performance, during which guitarist and lead vocalist Billie Joe Armstrongstarted a mudfight during their song, “Paper Lanterns”, with the crowd. The situation quickly spiraled out of control, with many fans jumping onstage. In the documentary, VH1 Behind The Music: Green Day, as well as being visible on video after the song was ended by Armstrong, bassist Mike Dirnt was quickly mistaken for one of the fans jumping on stage, and was spear-tackled by a security guard, knocking out one of his teeth. It was this incident that caused Dirnt to need emergency orthodontia. A gag order was put in place regarding this incident. In spite of the now-famous mud-fight and Dirnt's injury, Woodstock quickly propelled Green Day's then recently released album, Dookie, into success.
- Johnny Cash, the only living person at that time to be inducted into both the Country Music Hall of Fame and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, was also invited to perform, but after learning that he would not be performing on the main stage, declined to appear.
- Alice in Chains were on the initial bill of the festival. However, the band pulled out due to the continuing drug problems of lead singer Layne Staley. Guitarist Jerry Cantrell made a special guest appearance with Primus on the song "Harold Of The Rocks".
- Todd Rundgren had a multimedia performance in the festival's "Surreal Field" several times during the course of the entire festival.