Netflix viewers horrified at streamer's "shocking" new Woodstock documentary

Trainwreck: Woodstock '99
(Image credit: Netflix)

Trainwreck: Woodstock '99 is now streaming on Netflix – and many viewers are shocked and outraged at not only the festival-gone-horribly wrong, but the way the docuseries itself handled some of Woodstock '99's most gruesome aspects.

The New York state festival was intended to be the third in a series of peaceful music festivals that first began in 1969. Instead, corruption, greed, and mob mentality overtook the event and resulted in multiple fires, riots, destruction of property, physical violence, consumption of septic water, and multiple sexual assaults.

The docuseries, directed by The Hunting of Ted Bundy helmer Jamie Crawford, contains previously unseen footage and multiple interviews with attendees as well as Woodstock '99 festival promoters Michael Lang and John Scher. Many viewers weighed in on the docuseries, upset at both the events that took place and the choices that the series itself makes.

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"This Woodstock '99 documentary is a vision of hell," said writer Ronan Fitzgerald.

"The Netflix docu-series Trainwreck: Woodstock '99 is a testament of the fact that with every year that goes by, human morals and values deteriorate drastically," one user said.

"That new Woodstock 99’ Netflix documentary is fucking wild & also disturbing… because WTF," said a viewer.

"Highly recommend. A lot of psychological insights, herd mentality, generational disconnect, teenage angst, music influence, old white dudes not taking responsibility. Very interesting documentary. Watch it," commented another

"The Woodstock '99 doc needs a 4th episode dedicated exclusively to the festival's public health failures & outcomes: poop water & mud, trench mouth, lack of sanitation, emergency/disaster medicine, sexual violence & health, herd mentality, large-scale trauma/PTSD, etc.," said Rolling Stone editor Elizabeth Yoko.

"Bags were searched as people entered. Security took food and water but left marijuana, ecstasy, mushrooms, etc???" someone responded in disbelief to Yoko's tweet.

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Many viewers were disappointed in the way the docuseries handled the numerous sexual assaults that took place at Woodstock '99, as the doc only spends a brief moment on it in a singular episode – and shows unblurred footage of an assault.

"How horrifying to have been assaulted at a music festival and then have it caught on film that’s then used in a Netflix doc," one Twitter user expressed.

"Probably the worst thing about the Netflix Woodstock 99 documentary is that it tacks on the rapes as an afterthought instead of portraying it as *part* of the festival. The idea that it's some small thing that happened mostly in secret at the end of the fest is absurd," said a viewer.

"Since everyone’s going on about that Woodstock ‘99 documentary, let me give you the warning I wish I’d had that this programme (barely) deals with sexual assault. After reading the reports it actually gives in my opinion an unforgivable lack of weight and focus to them," commented comedian Grace Petrie.

"There’s a moment in Netflix’s documentary about Woodstock ’99 where one of the festival’s producers reasons that, with over 220k people, the number of rapes was lower than in a similar-sized town," one user said.

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Trainwreck: Woodstock '99 is three episodes long, all of which are now streaming on Netflix. For more, check out our list of the best Netflix documentaries to stream right now.

Lauren Milici
Senior Writer, Tv & Film

Lauren Milici is a Senior Entertainment Writer for GamesRadar+ currently based in the Midwest. She previously reported on breaking news for The Independent's Indy100 and created TV and film listicles for Ranker. Her work has been published in Fandom, Nerdist, Paste Magazine, Vulture, PopSugar, Fangoria, and more.