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Woodstock ’94, the 25th anniversary edition of the groundbreaking 1969 festival of the same name, is remembered as a sort of middle ground between its peaceful predecessor and the riotous, violent event that landed in 1999. (You can read about that one here.) The three-day festival, which boasted more than 50 bands including Aerosmith, Nine Inch Nails, Blind Melon and the Allman Brothers, was dogged by torrential rain (much like the original), turning the grounds into one huge mud patch. About 350,000 people, subsequently covered in that mud, flooded Winston Farm in Saugerties, N.Y., unexpectedly overwhelming security. The crowds brought with them a bounty of banned food, drinks, and drugs and alcohol, happily overtaking what started out as a secure corporate-sponsored event.
On Aug. 14, 1994, Woodstock II was wrapping its final day of performances, and not a moment too soon. Perhaps no band understood the extent of the mud better than Green Day. Halfway through the punk rockers’ set, rowdy, moshing audience members began hurling huge clumps of it at the band. At first, Green Day seemed to enjoy the mess. Billie Joe Armstrong traded fire with the audience, shouting, “This isn’t love and peace; it’s fucking anarchy!” Their crew wasn’t having as good a time trying to catch mudballs headed for the equipment, and eventually the band had to call in extra help when filthy fans started jumping onto the stage. Things reached a low when a bouncer knocked out two of bassist Mike Dirnt’s teeth backstage.
Check out the last song of Green Day’s set that day of “Paper Lanterns,” which is pretty much eight minutes of a full-on mud war.
Woodstock II aimed to pair 1969-era bands with up-and-comers like Arrested Development and The Cranberries. The more seasoned performers, thankfully, got more respect than Green Day did that day. Despite the many muddy crowd surfers in attendance and a fire burning somewhere in the audience, Bob Dylan stayed clean and unbothered for the entirety of his performance of “Highway 61 Revisited” that evening.
There’s much more where all of this came from in the vault here at Paste. Footage of performances from this day at Woodstock 1994 by the Allman Brothers, Porno for Pyros, Santana, Jimmy Cliff and many others can be found right here. Take a look and rediscover some old gems, or even uncover some new favorites.