It really shouldn’t be surprising that music festivals have gone bad from time to time. You bring several thousand – most likely intoxicated – people together in one place and sometimes, some things, may just go wrong. The Sherp brings you a list of the most epic, memorable and even some tragic blunders made at or by music festivals in the last two decades, no, not for enjoyment, but for caution. We hope this sheds light on how we can avoid them in the future as well. Let the games begin!

1. The Tragic Love Parade Disaster (2010)

After Berlin refused to host Love Parade because of the gigantic scale it had reached, the fest shifted to a smaller city, namely Duisburg. Everything was perfect save the mean of entrance to the festival, which somehow none of the organizers second guessed – a tunnel. Love Parade 2010 suffered 21 deaths caused by a stampede in the tunnel and over 500 injuries. The festival was canceled henceforth.


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2. The Year Floods Headlined Glastonbury (2005)

Rain in England is no news to anyone who’s familiar with the place’s climate. But during the 2005 Glastofest, it is said that the festival ground was flooded under four feet of rain water while some of the stages were also struck by lightening. Needless to say that this occurrence sort of dampened the festival spirit. (See what we did there?)


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3. Yet Again, Glasto Fails At Being A Good Festival (2010)

Over 600 tents collapsed at Glastonbury 2010 at the festival site, causing confusion, chaos and we’re pretty sure even resentment. Turns out, the reason was low-budget tents that the organizers had distributed at the site that were faulty. Not entirely the festival’s doing, but have you heard of being better safe than sorry, Glasto?


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4. The Year Hell Broke Lose At Woodstock (1999)

In the honor of the festival’s 30th anniversary, unwashed grass-loving hippies brought together a bunch of aggro bands from the 90’s to celebrate the era’s peace and love ethos. (How that made any sense, beats us.) The bands were namely, Limp Bizkit, Korn and Rage Against The Machine. And quite unsurprisingly, violence ensued. Things were set on fire, riots started and even a few sexual assaults were reported. This is where it stops being funny and starts being horrific. As expected, there was an epic aftermath, deeming this year of Woodstock almost as famous as its first.


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5. The Bloc Festival Fail (2012)

A ship as a main stage and Snoop Dogg as the headliner has to make a fun festival, right? Well, the attendees of Bloc Festival 2012 disagree. Apparently, due to over-crowding most attendees couldn’t get in at all and the festival ran out of beer by 10.30pm on the first night. This, coupled with the fact that the sound was sub par, compelled the crowd to disperse, pronto, and the organizers to call the festival off. Hence, Snoop Dogg never got the chance to headline it.


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6. The Lameness Of Laneway Festival (2009)

It started with an original idea. A huge music festival with multiple stages in the iconic laneways and streets in the heart of Melbourne City. Except for small but essential details that massively screwed it up. For starters, far too many tickets were sold. This meant an overwhelming amount of indie-oriented folk being cramped in small laneways, especially at Little Londsale Stage, where most of the people didn’t even have sight of the stage and the artists performing there. This resulted in people climbing everything climbable – trees, lampposts, buildings – to see the stage. Then, seemingly inevitably, the cops came. Signs and bins were destroyed, traffic light poles were dragged to the ground, cans of expensive festival alcohol were tossed – in short, it was chaos. Laneway has now moved to Footscray Community Centre and thrives as a successful touring festival.


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