Carson Daly has looked back at one of his most frightening periods in his career. With the release of the Netflix documentary Trainwreck: Woodstock '99, Carson recalled hosting MTV's Total Request Live at the Woodstock '99 festival.
"All I can say is I thought I was going to die," he wrote in an August 11 Instagram post. The 49-year-old said the interview "started off great" as he interviewed Jamiroquai's Jay Kay from the side of the main stage. Suddenly, Carson said, they "started getting pelted with bottles, rocks, lighters, all of it."
A tribute to Woodstock in 1969, the event hosted nearly 400,000 people in New York, resulting in riots, violence, sexual assault allegations, and fires set by festival-goers, according to Rolling Stone. "It got insane, fast," Carson added. "Nightfall, Limp [Bizkit] plays 'Break Stuff' & the prisoners were officially running the prison."
Amid the chaos, he said, he could "remember feeling like I was in another country during military conflict." Carson wrote that the boss told the crew and staff backstage, "We can no longer guarantee your safety, it's time to go! I remember being in a production van driving recklessly through corn fields to get to safety. It was so crazy & a blur now."
The Today host continued, "I have so many fun memories from that era, this was not one of them." Woodstock '99 is now known as a historic disaster. The three-day festival was plagued with high temperatures, inadequate water, poor organization, sexual assault, and a riotous audience, ultimately leaving three people dead.
MTV reported that a 44-year-old man suffering from a pre-existing heart condition died of cardiac arrest at the campground that Friday. David G. Derosia, 24, died after being taken to the hospital the day before because of a heat-induced illness. Lastly, 28-year-old Tara K. Weaver was struck by two separate cars as she walked alongside the road after her vehicle malfunctioned. Five rapes were reported and countless sexual harassment claims were made within a month of the festival, according to Billboard.
The documentary interviews John Scher, who organized the event with Michael Lang, and asks him what he thinks about the destruction at the event."We had some amazing music," John said, per Esquire. "Then you've got knuckleheads, maybe 50 of them, causing trouble… so let's try to focus on the overwhelming positiveness."
Lang co-founded Woodstock 1969, a symbol of peace during a period of unrest in the U.S. from the Vietnam War and civil rights movements. He revived the festival in 1994 and 1999, and while a 50th-anniversary celebration of the original Woodstock was planned for 2019, featuring Miley Cyrus and The Killers, it was canceled. In January, Lang died at the age of 77, three months after filming the documentary from Non-Hodgkin lymphoma.