Woodstock goes down in flames. Tractor-trailers burn; medics flee blazes”
Medical personnel abandoned burned concertgoers and state police in riot gear moved into Woodstock as what started out as the concert of peace and love turned into chaos late Sunday night.
The crowd near the Emerging Artist Stage at the former Griffiss Air Force Base in Rome was throwing bottle rockets — like molotov cocktails — at state police shortly after 1 a.m. today, ready to charge them.
Police had their batons out but were not using them, instead trying to push the people back toward the western gate. Buses were waiting to evacuate people.
Starting shortly after 11 p.m., 17 fires were burning in the area of East Stage, explosions could be heard, 12 tractor-trailers were on fire, and a light tower was burning after concertgoers pulled it down. About 100 troopers marched in with riot gear on and batons out at the concert site. A woman danced naked to the beat of steel drums as the troopers, escorting 22 firetrucks and cars, tried to keep the crowd away.
“It’s like the Alamo, ” said one fleeing medical worker who declined to give his name. “We’re not staying.”
Huge sections of the 12-foot plywood wall that surrounded the concert site were toppled, the metal braces that supported the wall torn from their concrete moorings. Much of the wall, decorated with colorful murals, was flat in the parking lot, the braces jutting up in the air like a twisted forest of metal.
In the campgrounds, some trees seemed to be on fire, as campers lit the toilet paper strips that had been thrown into the trees earlier. Several bonfires consisting of beer cans, wooden flag poles and other assorted trash were set throughout the campgrounds. People were dragging tables and trash barrels and throwing them on to the fires as large crowds of people were leaving.
This was big! The event was also complete on PPV Cable.
The 25th anniversary Woodstock celebration wound down today in a sea of mud and trash and amid evidence of anarchy. Security deteriorated and some emergency medical workers compared the scene to a war zone. But the promoters pronounced the event a huge success.
Thousands of people, hauling rain-sodden bedding and wearing garbage-bag ponchos, found themselves forced to stand in a mile-long line for hours before they were able to board shuttle buses that took them to parking lots as far as 30 miles away. Many set out on foot. Some found their cars stuck in the mud at the parking lots and paid local residents as much as $100 to pull them out with tractors.
But through it all, the three-day concert rolled toward its finale with remarkable precision — on two vast stages, four huge video screens and pay-per-view television. In the end, hundreds of thousands of people had gotten what they came for, a mega-concert by some 50 scheduled bands and numerous special guests, executed for the most part without a visible hitch.
Nice story I found regarding the Rangers 94 Stanley Cup VICTORY!
was five years old when I heard the screams coming from downstairs. After rushing down from our bedroom, my brother and I found my father kneeling on the floor, crying. Nothing was wrong. In fact, everything was right.
It was the evening of June 14th, 1994 and the New York Rangers had just won the Stanley cup for the first time in 54 years. When I turned my eyes to the television, I saw what I think is my first sports memory: Mark Messier jumping up and down. I asked my dad “What happened?” All he could muster was “We won!”
Since that day I have seen the replays of the amazing moments that occurred during the playoffs: Messier delivering on his guarantee, Matteau’s goal in double overtime, Richter’s save against Pavel Bure, and finally the most beautiful four words ever spoken: THE WAITING IS OVER! Whenever I need a boost, a simple Youtube search for “Stephan Matteau” never leaves me disappointed, neither does “Richter vs. Bure.”
This moment in sports is so important to me, because it set in motion my love of sports. Only something as majestic and beautiful as watching a beloved team win a championship could bring a grown man to tears.
Reexamining the roster from the 1994 Stanley Cup Champions leaves me wondering “Why did there have to be so much drama?” Messier, Leetch, Graves, Richter, Kovalev. These are four players that will live forever in Rangers lore. The first four either have been or will be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame.
The Rangers have not one Lord Stanley’s Cup since that June day, but the fans have not been any less loyal. Each game at Madison Square Garden is a sellout: 18,200 fans, not one less. Three of the players from that team have had their numbers retired, and one more will join that club later this month.
For the two months that made up the 1994 Stanley Cup Playoffs, God was a Rangers fan. How else do you explain Messier’s prediction, Matteau’s goal, Richter’s save, and the fact that Madison Square Garden didn’t disintegrate after being completely abused at the conclusion of Game Seven?
Being unable to watch the games on television, I have resorted to checking scores on my cell phone and refreshing the Rangers homepage whenever I can. Being a New York sports fan is a job in and of itself, but it’s one I do with pride.
I experienced the same joy my father felt when the Giants won the Super Bowl last February. I too was on my knees in front of the television, crying.
Hockey is definitely not the most popular sport in America. I believe it ranks somewhere behind soccer and curling. In the City of New York, however, hockey is serious business. The City of Columbus would never stop in time if the Blue Jackets won the Cup, neither would Atlanta or Phoenix (no offense to those cities). In New York, for a single moment on a warm June night everything stood still. And everything was perfect.