Music festivals exist to give people a reprieve from their daily lives. They use them to escape and dive into a weekend of music and dancing. The festivals hold promises of renowned music acts and fun times with friends and fellow music fans, but they don't always turn out as planned. Occasionally, they end in giant disasters as they become something far different from what they were meant to be.
There have been several over the years, but we have identified ten of the all-time worst. These festivals did not give what they had promised or other unthinkable tragedies occurred, leaving fans disappointed and angry. Keep reading to learn about the ranking of the ten worst music festival disasters.
This festival wasn't bad in terms of musical talent, but they were forced to cancel their last day due to the forecast of heavy rain. There were many attendees who were upset the show wouldn't go on as it would have at other festivals, but it was the right call. The festival was nicknamed the Mudson Project and people were stranded for days in the muddy mess it became as they attempted to have their cars towed out of the muck. There were also numerous drug arrests on the last night of the festival, further degrading its respectability.
This festival was over before it even began as severe rainstorms delayed traffic attempting to reach its location. Seven miles of cars ended up at a standstill and ferry rides were canceled amidst the muddy and rainy chaos. Numerous people were forced to sleep in their cars as traffic refused to move overnight and it led many to give up and go home. The campground was turned into a muddy mess and those who did make it were forced to battle the elements for the duration for their stay.
When a music festival ends in death it is always a disaster, because no one expects a weekend of fun to end in a loss of life. Here, several individuals died of acute poisoning from bad drugs, leading to the loss of six young lives. It led to the second night of the festival being canceled and a search for the culprits involved. There was also massive overcrowding as well as numerous people collapsing from heat exhaustion. Anyone can agree this festival was a bust, especially when it leads to Argentina passing a law to ban any electronic music festivals.
This festival ended in the deaths of nine when a mosh pit became too rowdy in Denmark. The people were packed in so tight it was actually suffocating the individuals inside of it and people reported it was difficult to breathe.
The chain of command to stop the music and get the people moving to depressurize the area was too long of a process. If they had acted sooner the people who died may still have been alive, but this slow call to action is what resulted in their deaths.
The Mawazine Festival in Morocco actually ended in the deaths of 11 people after a stampede trampled them. There were 70,000 fans packed into the stadium to see Abdelaziz Stati perform and after the performance, the police failed to properly secure exits for the masses. The people who died became trapped beneath a metal security fence that toppled over after concertgoers decided to make their own exit. The police did not intervene and the fun festival ended in a deadly disaster.
This festival literally left attendees with their tents underwater. The flooding was so bad it was over six feet deep in some areas and it is lucky that no one drowned. The water mixed with the excrement from the porta potties led to a huge number of infections and many people becoming ill. Glastonbury is used to handling these types of emergency situations, so the festival went on as planned. Those who were left cold and sopping wet can beg to differ about the amount of fun they had for the money they spent to attend.
This was a free concert put on by the Rolling Stones and they hoped to rival Woodstock. The motorcycle gang, the Hell's Angels, was put in charge of security in return for $500 worth of beer.
While Mick Jagger was performing, a gang member stabbed a 20-year-old to death. One of the other performers was also knocked unconscious by one of the gang members. It was a tumultuous event and the recording of the death of the girl was the icing on the cake that declared this event a disaster.
It is unclear why they decided a narrow tunnel entrance into the festival was a smart idea for this one, and the 21 dead feel the same way. The festival grounds reached maximum capacity and the police responded by closing off the entrance. They asked people to leave calmly, but the crowd turned into a stampede as they went in the other direction. This is a tragedy the festivalgoers will never forget, and as Love Parade continues on they refuse to forget what happened that fateful year.
This festival was supposed to symbolize peace and love, but it didn't end that way as they severely underestimated the number of people they expected to show for the event. There were many who were treated for heat stroke and not nearly enough water to go around. Insane Clown Posse thought it would be a good idea to throw $100 bills into the crowd, which resulted in massive fights.
The police force was severely taxed, too, as several volunteers decided to leave their posts to watch the concert instead. The entire festival ended in flames when the Red Hot Chili Peppers sang Fire and the crowd took it as a sign to start bonfires and flip vehicles. The riot was the end of Woodstock and it is hoped something like this will never happen again.
This is by far the worst festival of all time because of its poorly thought out plan. The attendees paid up to $100,000 for tickets and were promised luxury and great artists. They received neither as they feasted on cheese slices and none of the artists they advertised actually showed up. The attendees were also stranded as the only way back was on a plane, so they were forced to wait in miserable conditions until the planes were able to take them back home again.