Carson Daly Recalls Fearing Death at "Insane" Woodstock ’99 Festival

Carson Daly reflected on hosting MTV’s Total Request Live at the Woodstock ’99 Festival. Read his account of when the event “got insane” causing him to think he "was going to die."

By Kelly Gilmore Aug 13, 2022 1:06 AMTags
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Carson Daly is remembering a terrifying time in music history.

Following the release of the Netflix documentary Trainwreck: Woodstock '99, Carson recalled what it was like to host MTV's Total Request Live at the Woodstock '99 festival.

"All I can say is I thought I was going to die," he wrote in an Aug. 11 Instagram post.

Carson, 49, said it "started off great" as he interviewed artists like Jay Kay of the band Jamiroquai from the side of the main stage. But then they "started getting pelted with bottles, rocks, lighters, all of it," he recalled.

According to Rolling Stone, the event, which was an ode to the original Woodstock festival in 1969, hosted over 200,000 people in New York and ended in riots, violence, allegations of sexual assault and fire set off by festival-goers.

"It got insane, fast," Carson continued. "Nightfall, Limp plays 'Break Stuff' & the prisoners were officially running the prison."

He explained that while turmoil erupted, he can "remember feeling like I was in another country during military conflict."

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Carson said his boss told the staff and crew backstage, "We can no longer guarantee your safety, it's time to go!" he wrote. "I remember being in a production van driving recklessly through corn fields to get to safety. It was so crazy & a blur now."

The Voice host added, "I have so many fun memories from that era, this was not one of them."


John Scher, who organized the event with Michael Lang, is interviewed in the documentary and gives his thoughts on the destruction that took place, according to Esquire.

"We had some amazing music," John said, per the outlet. "Then you've got knuckleheads, maybe 50 of them, causing trouble… so let's try to focus on the overwhelming positiveness."


Michael died in January but E! News has reached out to John, the President of Metropolitan Entertainment, for comment and hasn't heard back.

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