Ajay Junaid
February 7, 2019
Reading Time: 4 Minutes

An article that’s been clearly inspired by the Fyre Festival - a luxurious music festival that promised the epitome of festivals. A number of aspiring tech bros and a washed-up rapper attempted to throw the craziest party on the planet in a Bahamian island. As the hoards of influencers, Instagram models and socialites turned up, they soon realised the absolutely pathetic excuse of a festival that Fyre actually was.

I’m sure the majority of you have seen the Fyre Festival documentary via Netflix or Hulu, one that clearly outlines the impending disaster as it’s unfolding and the executive producer Andy King’s willingness and eagerness to ensure festival-goers had ample amounts of Evian - I must admit, I had to find a way to include Andy King as he was the underlying hero behind it all.

Now, Fyre isn’t the only festival that went tits up, there’s an array of festivals to pick from, which is very concerning. Without further ado, here’s a shortlist of festivals that went, oh so wrong.

Fyre Festival, Exuma Islands, 2017

Video Credits: Netflix via YouTube

Fyre Fraud, Fyre Festival-gate - call it how you see fit. One of the greatest festival-related scandals of recent time, if not ever. Promising exclusivity, luxury and VIP packages in excess $250,000 on the idyllic shores of Great Exuma Island in the Bahamas.

Festival-goers forked up insane amounts of cash to essentially sleep in hurricane relief tents, munch on processed cheese that’s been slapped on bread, and the majority of the artists didn’t even bother to show up. Matters only got worse as a storm battered the already disastrous tent city and sent the crowd into total chaos leaving a horde of stranded trust fund babies

Just goes to show that a shady entrepreneur and a washed-up rap mogul should never combine forces, it can only result in lawsuits and jail time.

Altamont Free Music Festival, California, 1969

Video Credits: fenderplm via YouTube

Headlining to crowds in excess of 300,000 was the Rolling Stones and the Grateful Dead (eventually backing out) and security was provided by the infamous Hells Angels Motorcycle Club, what could possibly go wrong.

I’m not sure what the organizers were thinking when they hired the notorious Hells Angels to run point on security, what makes matters worse is the payment was in the form of booze and LSD. I don’t think I need to tell you what happens when you mix drugs, alcohol and a violent gang - battered countless festival-goers, a teenager stabbed and beaten to death and a couple who were the victims of a hit-and-run.

Many remember Altamont as the end of the peace ‘n’ love Swinging Sixties, essentially a Californian parallel to that era-defining benchmark event for the hippy generation.

Woodstock, New York, 1999

Video Credits: Music Vault via YouTube

I thought it would be fitting to follow up the Woodstock of the West (Altamont) with the original Woodstock festival in Rome, New York. Attempting to recreate the Woodstock 1964 festival whose iconic tagline was, “An Aquarian Exposition: 3 Days of Music & Peace”. Woodstock 1999 was an altogether different affair.

What went wrong? Poor facilities management, overcrowding and water shortages. Bands such as Limp Bizkit were never really going to help contribute to the peace ‘n’ love dream now were there? It was always going to end in tears. Those tears led to widespread riots, arson and destruction. Never trust the man, man!

Roskilde Festival, Denmark, 2000

Image Credits: Berlingske

Headlining Roskilde festival was Pearl Jam and prior to the main crowd even entering the field, things took a turn for the worst. Festival-goers pushing and shoving one another back and forth and as each minute went by the crowd grew more impatient and restless. This is what happens when you oversell a festival.

As Pearl Jam made their way to the stage, security had noticed the chaos within the ever-present mosh pit that then became the death pit. Eddie Vedder pleaded with the crowd to take 3 steps back, but as the crowd moved further and further, it was too late and the damage was done. Countless injuries and 9 bodies were found of those who were suffocated and trampled on.

The record, ‘Love Boat Captain’ by Pearl Jam was written in memory for those lost in the tragedy.

Love Parade, Bochum, 2010

Video Credits: DarthRidiculous1 via YouTube

Threateningly inauspicious thunderstorms took Indianapolis by storm and the festival was given the green light to cancel just as country icons Sugarland were about to make their way to the stage.

The green light was a couple minutes too late and resulted in the stage collapsing directly on top of the crowd, killing 7 and injuring 58 people. The phenomenon was labelled as a ‘gustnado’, a rare weather event that mimics a tornado with winds of over 120 miles per hour.

Erie Canal Soda Pop Festival, Indiana, 1972

Image Credits: Ozy via YouTube

I thought we’d continue along the Indiana train with the Erie Canal Soda Pop Festival. Once again it was promoted as being “bigger than Woodstock”, I think organizers need to take a hint - stop referring to Woodstock!

Featuring an all-star lineup with Black Sabbath and the Eagles, however, the last minute decision to ban the festival at the request of Mayor Russell Lloyd led to panic decisions by the organizers such as moving it to a swampland known as Bull Island.

Original numbers estimated somewhere in the region of 50,000 people but when nearly 200,000 people turned up at Bull Island, the peace ‘n’ love vibes were thrown out the window and all hell broke loose.

In the end, artists cancelled, vendors ran out of inventory and the sanitation system was a mess add that to the drug-fueled trapped attendees and you will surely see riots and muggings. Oh and to top it all off the stage was set on fire at the end of the weekend. A perfect end to this fustercluck.