Worst Festival Disasters

Kokopawley
Music festivals are just fun events where you can watch your favorite artists perform live. But sometimes things go wrong. Here are some of the most dangerous festival disasters.

The Top Ten

1 Woodstock (1999) Woodstock (1999)

I was so scared after I heard of this incident - TwilightKitsune

" Violence erupted during Limp Bizkit’s set as they played their primate dumpster anthem “Break Stuff.” People actually ripped off parts of the stage and hoisted them in the air. Many sexual assaults were reported after the festival as well.
Despite all of this, the festival continued on the next day, with more violence during the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ set. At one point, an anti-violence group decided to light candles for a vigil during the Peppers song “Under the Bridge”, which just turned into a bunch of massive bonfires. An audio tower ended up lighting on fire." - Kokopawley

2 Love Parade (2010)

" The Love Parade was expecting only 250,000 people, so when over one million showed up, it became a major problem. The only entrance to the festival was a 240-meter tunnel underpass. The tunnel was overstuffed with people, and 21 people died from overcrowding. Police chose not to close down the event, thinking that if they did, it would cause another panic, and result in more fatalities. " - Kokopawley

3 Roskilde Festival (2000)

With 50,000 fans impatiently waiting for Pearl Jam, the crowd became aggressive and pushed forward as they started their set. In the end, nine young men suffocated to death during the performance. Even before the concert started, people were pushing left and right, with some packed in the crowd so tightly they could not move their arms. People were standing on top of other people, while others were trying to pull them up. - Kokopawley

4 Altamont Free Concert (1969)

" The event was originally planned to take place in Golden Gate Park, but those plans had to be scrapped. The Altamont Speedway was a last-minute change, as no other venues could be found. The security for the show was said to be chosen by The Rolling Stones. They hired the Hells Angels for $500 worth of beer. As the show progressed during the day, the crowd and the Hells Angels both became more violent.
Many fights erupted between the crowd and the Angels, including Mick Jagger getting punched in the head by an audience member. A teenager by the name of Meredith Hunter was thrown off the stage by the Angels, returned to the stage with a revolver, and was stabbed and beaten to death by Hells Angel Alan Passaro. The concert is documented in the 1970 film Gimme Shelter. " - Kokopawley

Don't forget Marty Balin being knocked unconscious. - Swellow

5 Ottawa Bluesfest (2011)

"The annual Bluesfest in Ottawa ended abruptly in 2011 when a sudden violent storm rushed in during a performance by Cheap Trick. While the band was performing their hit “I Want You To Want Me”, dark storm clouds approached the festival grounds. Lightning crashed and wild rain followed, while a wind folded the stage up." - Kokopawley

6 Chasing Summer Festival (2015)

" Calgary’s Chasing Summer festival was held last year at the Max Bell Festival grounds. It was said to be “Western Canada’s Largest Electronic Fest.”
Unfortunately, 17 of the attendees were taken to the hospital, suffering from drug or alcohol overdoses. One woman was in potentially life-threatening condition. In many cases, the substance was MDMA, but GHB, Ketamine, and marijuana were also ingested. Some of the patients were aggressive or uncooperative, while others were unresponsive. " - Kokopawley

7 Sled Island (2013)

"After weeks of heavy rain, the Bow and Elbow rivers bursted their banks, forcing the evacuation of many residents in the downtown core, as well as business, including many venues for the event. Many people were stuck in different quadrants of the city, deciding to put on their own shows at homes or venues that were allowed to be open during the flood." - Kokopawley

8 Glastonbury (2005)

" Dozens of camping tents were lost under water, and parts of the grounds were completely flooded. There were nine reported injury cases, but fortunately, nobody was seriously hurt " - Kokopawley

9 Ultra Music Festival (2013)

" Four people were injured at the Ultra Music festival, before the festival even began. Lighting equipment collapsed near a stage, an LED screen fell on the workers, and two of them were said to be in critical condition. The festival is a massive one, with two weekends and three days each weekend. One of the men involved in the accident ended up suing the music festival, as well as the act Swedish House Mafia. " - Kokopawley

10 The Hudson Project (2014)

" The Hudson Music Project took place at the historic Winston Farm in Saugerties New York in July of 2014. The event featured a diverse line-up of acts ranging from hip hop artist Kendrick Lamar to the music festival circuit favorite, The Flaming Lips. The event went without incident until the final day. On Sunday a catastrophic thunderstorm hit the festival. It had rained heavily on Saturday night and the storm on the final day pushed the grounds over the edge. Widespread flooding occurred, and the grounds were turned into a horrible mud pit. The parking lot of the event was in a field which became water logged. Cars were stuck for days, and ultimately some attendees were stuck without food or water for over a day. Local charity groups came and provided aid for those stuck and stranded. The Hudson Project was ultimately canceled after only one year. " - Kokopawley

The Contenders

11 Fyre Festival (2017)

To give you a hint - Many of the artists headlined for this Bahama vacation ended up pulling out weeks before, management was poor, the campsites were poor disaster relief tents, meals were poor, and many people were left waiting in airports as some were sent off to the wrong party. This is how you DON'T do a concert. - Swellow

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