Did Woodstock 99 Make Money

Woodstock ’99 was a financial disaster. The festival was expected to generate $100 million in revenue, but it actually lost $18 million. The main reasons for the loss were:

– High production costs: The festival was plagued by problems from the start, including delays in construction and a lack of adequate security. These problems led to a sharp increase in production costs.

– Low ticket sales: Ticket sales for Woodstock ’99 were much lower than expected. This was likely due to a number of factors, including the high cost of tickets and the negative publicity surrounding the festival.

– Poor weather: The festival was hit by a series of severe thunderstorms, which caused widespread flooding and damage. The weather conditions also made it difficult for fans to enjoy the music.

Woodstock 99 Finances

Woodstock 99, held July 22–25, 1999, was a highly successful music festival. However, questions arose about its financial performance, leading some to speculate that it may have incurred significant losses. This article delves into the festival’s financial aspects, exploring its revenue sources, expenses, and the overall profitability of the event.

Revenue Sources

  • Ticket Sales: The main source of revenue for Woodstock 99 came from ticket sales, with over 220,000 three-day passes sold at an average price of $150.
  • Merchandise and Concessions: The festival sold a wide range of merchandise, including T-shirts, hats, and other souvenirs, as well as food and beverages through on-site vendors.
  • Sponsorship: Several corporate sponsors, such as MTV, Pepsi, and Budweiser, contributed to the festival’s budget in exchange for branding exposure.


Expense CategoryEstimated Cost
Artist Fees$8 million
Stage and Production$5 million
Security$3 million
Medical Services$1 million
Infrastructure and Logistics$2 million
Marketing and Promotion$1 million
Other Expenses$1 million
Total Estimated Expenses$21 million


Based on publicly available information, it is challenging to determine the exact profitability of Woodstock 99. However, estimates suggest that the festival likely broke even or made a small profit. This is due to the fact that while ticket sales and sponsorship revenue were significant, the festival incurred substantial expenses for artist fees, production, and other logistical costs. Additionally, the festival faced criticism and controversy due to reports of violence and overcrowding, which may have impacted its overall financial performance.

In summary, Woodstock 99 was a complex financial undertaking with multiple revenue sources and significant expenses. While it is likely that the festival did not generate substantial profits, it achieved its primary goal of providing a memorable music experience for hundreds of thousands of attendees.

Record Sales and Merchandise Profits

Despite the disastrous end of Woodstock ’99, the festival did generate some revenue through record sales and merchandise profits.

  • Record Sales: Ticket sales accounted for the majority of the festival’s revenue, with 30% of the proceeds going towards record sales. This amounted to an estimated $10 million in record sales.
  • Merchandise Profits: The festival also sold merchandise such as t-shirts, hats, and other souvenirs. While the exact amount is not known, it is estimated that merchandise sales contributed to the festival’s overall revenue.

However, it’s important to note that the festival’s expenses, including artist fees, production costs, and security, were significantly higher than its revenue. As a result, Woodstock ’99 ultimately lost money and was a financial failure.

Revenue SourceEstimated Amount
Ticket Sales$33 million
Record Sales$10 million
Merchandise Sales$x (unknown)

Sponsorships and Advertising

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Estimated Earnings from Sponsorships and Advertising
SourceEstimated Monthly Earnings
Sponsored posts$5,000 – $10,000
Affiliate marketing$2,000 – $5,000
Brand ambassadorships$1,000 – $5,000
Total$8,000 – $20,000

Long-Term Economic Impact

Woodstock 99’s long-term economic impact is still debated. Some argue that it contributed to the decline of live music festivals, while others claim it had a positive impact on the local economy.

  • Decline of Live Music Festivals: Woodstock 99’s negative publicity may have discouraged promoters from organizing similar events. The festival’s high profile and its association with violence and looting left a lasting impression.
  • Positive Impact on Local Economy: Despite the festival’s challenges, it generated significant economic activity in Rome, New York. Hotels, restaurants, and other businesses saw a boost in revenue during the event. The festival also raised money for local charities, which had a lasting impact.
1969$2.4 million$1.8 million$600,000
1994$35 million$25 million$10 million
1999$15 million$20 million-$5 million