LET ME STAND NEXT TO YOUR FIRE

Fire engines and riot cops arrive at climax of US festival...

The first time around it was billed as “three days of peace, love and good music”. It resulted in the area around Max Yasgur‘s farm in upstate New York being declared a disaster area as heavy rainfall left half a million hippies starving in the mud.

30 years on, people did their best to create the disaster vibe at Woodstock 99 in Rome, New York.

The festival ended last night with fire-fighters and riot police storming the site as bonfires got out of control. Some of the crowd then turned on the sound towers and a few radio vans, tearing them down. The campsite was the scene of looting as tents were vandalised and some were set alight.

The crowd – estimated at around 225,000 – had sweltered through four hot, muggy days at the site, a former air force base. Closing act, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, had left the stage as organisers asked the crowd to let the fire engines through to put out the bonfires around the site.

The band then returned to play an encore of Jimi Hendrix‘s ‘Fire’.