What was to be three more days of peace, love, and music ended in one night of fear as Woodstock '99 concluded with the evacuation of the concert site after no less than ten fires raged on the grounds.State police estimate that when they moved in to secure the concert site, some 10,000 concertgoers remained stoking the bonfires, looting vendor tents, and overturning cars and trucks. The troopers, who were greeted by fans throwing rocks and bottles, were not able to disperse the crowd until 4 a.m. and estimate that the situation was not under control until daybreak. Authorities estimate that there were at least five minor injuries linked to the incident, and one serious injury that occurred when a tractor-trailer was overturned onto a concertgoer, injuring his back. Police say there were no fatalities connected to the incident. A state police spokesperson said that some 500 troopers eventually moved onto the site, and countered suggestions that the troopers may have
used excessive force by noting, "We were violently charged."While police are pursuing riot charges against a number of concertgoers, Rome, New York mayor Joe Griffo said that calling the incident a riot "would be an overstatement." The trouble began as the Red Hot Chili Peppers played to cap off the three-day show, when fires grew from garbage bins and candles that had been handed out to fans during the day. The largest of the blazes swelled near one of the festival's sound towers as fans tore pieces of plywood from a wall protecting the tower and used them to feed the flames. As concert co-producer John Scher asked for help in getting fire trucks to the fires, fans continued to stoke them. Scher then welcomed the Chili Peppers back to the stage and the show continued, as did the Woodstock pay-per-view, which intercut footage from the fires into the Chili Peppers' performance. Many in the crowd, justifiably fearful, began breaking through the plywood wall that separated
the concert grounds from the backstage area, forcing EMS workers to evacuate first aid stations behind the festival's east stage. Soon thereafter, the entire concert was evacuated as police, firefighters, and the National Guard moved in to help clear the area.While concert workers, media crews, and most of the 150,000 fans who were believed to still be at the show were removed from the site, the 10,000 or so who remained continued their rampage. MTV News staffers still on site reported that propane tanks used in the area had apparently been thrown into the fire and had exploded, and fans had then set their sights on a television satellite truck in the area. The events of Sunday evening brought an end to a festival that saw its share of ugliness. During Limp Bizkit's performance on Saturday, fans began tearing apart structures on the concert site and throwing plywood and metal at the stage and each other (see "Woodstock Turns Ugly On Day
Two"). While no serious injuries were confirmed in that incident, first aid tents were flooded with dehydration and exhaustion cases and numerous minor cuts and wounds.