Green Day drummer Tre Cool described the Woodstock ’94 festival as a “shit show” but added that the weather-fueled chaos had worked in his band’s favor and wound up changing their lives.

Marking the 25th anniversary of the original Woodstock happening, the 1994 edition saw 350,000 people enjoying the August weekend, despite heavy rain that led to the festival being renamed “Mudstock.”

It retains higher regard than the 1999 disaster that was to follow – and it remains to be seen whether a 2019 edition will take place at all.

Green Day were beginning their rise to the big time on the back of that year’s album, Dookie. “’94 Woodstock was a complete shit show,” Cool told the Member Guest podcast. “It was a Pepsi-sponsored thing, it was, like, worldwide televised pay-per-view and all that stuff, and every band of significance was there. It was crazy. And of course people start going around the fence and sneaking in, and it kind of became mayhem. And then bad weather came and it was raining like crazy and the whole place became a mud pit. It was pretty chaotic, and set up really well for Green Day to take the stage and make all hell break loose.”

Watch Green Day’s Performance at Woodstock ’94

A mud fight began during their set, leaving frontman Billie Joe Armstrong and bassist Mike Dirnt splattered with soaked soil.

“Luckily my drum set was just far enough back where I was less in harm’s way,” Cool said. “It was punk as fuck, and nobody expected that to happen. … It was a crazy set – a set that changed our whole lives, really. After that day, tons of people were showing up at our shows. That was kind of the pivot moment – that was the green-jacket moment for this band.”

 

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