A History of Worst Festivals

What can go wrong when organizing a festival? Many things can go awry in a second. The organization is vital, and many people don’t rely on proper preparation. Natural disasters, insufficient funds, and violence, anything can ruin a festival’s reputation. Let’s start with the list of the worst-organized festivals in history.

  • Altamont Music Festival, 1969

In the year when Woodstock made an impact on peace, love, and undeniable performances, Altamont happened. Just four months later, a motorcycle gang acted as security at the festival. 

While The Rolling Stones were performing, several violent occurrences happened. A young man was stabbed to death by members of the gang while trying to rush to the stage. And a girl overdosed, as well. Some of these events were tragically caught on video and became a part of the documentary ‘Gimme Shelter.’

  • Woodstock, 1999

In an attempt to mimic the original Woodstock, the ‘99 Woodstock left a completely different message and legacy. The extreme heat and incredibly high prices of water and food influenced people to act erratically. Attendees suffered from heat strokes and injuries from massive fights. 

People started fires and destroyed vehicles since there was not enough police power on duty. Additionally, overcrowding was an issue that led to a number of people rioting. 

  • Glastonbury, 2005

British weather conditions are familiar to many people, but the storm that hit during the summer of 2005 was the worst in 15 years. Tents were over-flowing with water, with many people losing their belonging. With the floods, porta-potties were also over-flowing, which led to infections and illnesses after the festival. 

It was surprising that there were no fatalities or severe injuries since an electrical storm hit one of the stages. Glastonbury recovered and still puts on the festival today.

Аuthor: Shermozle, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=205281
  • Love Parade, 2010

After being relocated to a small city Bochum in Germany, the overcrowding of the festival caused 21 deaths. The festival organization canceled the festival after the tragic turn of events. 

A narrow tunnel entrance that led to festival grounds caused a crowd of people to stampede in one direction when the police closed off the entry. Suffocating and falling, resulting in a high number of deaths. People reported ver 500 other injuries. 

  • Time Warp, 2016

The third festival of its kind celebrating dance music occurred in Argentina in 2016. The event was canceled after the first night when pills sold as ecstasy caused six people to die. 

Many people complained of overheating since the event space lacked proper ventilation. Numerous festival-goers collapsed from high temperatures and lack of air. After this disaster, electronic music festivals were banned in Argentina. 

Rayukk / CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)
  • Fyre Festival, 2017

One of the more famous festival disasters in recent times happen in the Bahamas in 2017. Influencers promoted a luxury getaway with deluxe suites and gourmet cuisine. Festival attendees got just the opposite. They were located in small tents and served with cheese slices, while the weather conditions on the island worsened. 

Many artists failed to show up, and the highly-promoted event was canceled. You can watch the documentary Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened on Netflix.