Netflix has just added a documentary on a bigger disaster than Fyre Festival 9 months ago

Netflix has just added a documentary on a bigger disaster than Fyre Festival

Woodstock '99 revisited in all its ultra-grim glory...

Upon the release of Netflix's 2019 documentary on the jaw-dropping fiasco that was Fyre Festival, we described it as "the first great horror film" of that year.


And it really was peer-through-your-fingers stuff at times. We do love a festival though, don't we? Complete and total disaster festivals that ultimately emerge as life-threatening terror... we don't love that so much.

You've probably heard of the infamous Woodstock '99 festival – if not, it makes Fyre Festival look like a nice relaxing picnic by comparison – but now a new three-part series from Netflix takes you deep into the heart of the abyss.

The event took place on an abandoned military base in upstate New York over four days, with roughly around 400,000 punters in attendance as a heavy sun blazed down and precious water was in worryingly short supply.

Acts like Metallica, Limp Bizkit, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Rage Against The Machine, Creed, Korn and Insane Clown Posse led the way, though there was also some room for the likes of Alanis Morrisette, Sheryl Crow and Jewel on the notably male-heavy, rock and metal-dominated bill.


Sadly, the few aforementioned female acts were treated pretty abhorrently by an increasingly hostile crowd.

In time, the festival descended into chaos as violence, sexual assault, vandalism, looting and wholesale fire-assisted destruction broke out en masse. As you might imagine, there's plenty of material here for a proper documentary focus.

Now on Netflix, the opening seconds of Trainwreck: Woodstock '99 depict what, at first glance, resembles a genuine war zone. Peace and love, this was not.


"Is this fucking Bosnia?" asks a voice, totally unconcerned with cultural insensitivity. Some further testimonials shortly afterwards cement the terrifying tone:

"There was this ominous feeling – there was no control."

"This was not a walk in the park – we'd completely underestimated this."

"It's like this perfect storm had started to form."


Cue 'Song 2' by Blur and grainy VHS footage of festival-goers turning feral, engaging in all manner of savage rebellion. "It's like a scene where zombies are coming over the castle walls," notes one witness.

"[It] spiralled deeper and deeper into the worst demons of human nature," offers another. A third opinion, this time coming from someone on the ground with a big smile spread across his face as the flames rise behind him: "This is just fuckin'... I dunno, Lord of the Flies, man, I guess." You get the grim gist.

Based on the first episode at the very least, Trainwreck appears to have more about it than HBO's 2021 documentary Woodstock 99: Peace, Love, and Rage, which somehow felt at once too sprawling and claustrophobic, threw out some frankly reductive hot takes linking nu metal to the Columbine massacre, and strangely rushed through some of the more standout harrowing individual experiences.

Time will tell if the full scope of this new viewpoint can avoid some of those pitfalls but so far, Trainwreck seems to have the difficult balance right.

All three episodes are available to watch on Netflix right now.


Clip via Netflix