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Troubled Production / Music - Concerts, Tours and Festivals

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  • The 1969 Altamont Free Concert was intended to be something like a West Coast Woodstock. Instead, it turned into a deadly riot — one that soured an entire nation to the hippie counterculture.
    • The concert was conceived by The Grateful Dead, with The Rolling Stones headlining — the Stones had been hoping to dispel criticism for their high ticket prices by doing a show for free. It was intended to be the Stones' Moment of Awesome, and accordingly they brought a film crew along to record the concert and everything leading up to it. Said film crew captured the whole fiasco. The documentary that emerged from this footage became Gimme Shelter, a dark retrospective on the end of the hippie era.
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    • The original idea was to hold the event in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park. But by 1969, the city's police had had enough of the Haight-Ashbury hippie community and was unwilling to issue a permit. The organizers scoured the rest of the Bay Area for a suitable venue, but few others were keen. They almost had a setup at the Sears Point Raceway in Sonoma County, but backed out when the owners wanted the Stones to put up a $100,000 bond. Dick Carter, owner of the Altamont Speedway, showed up at the last minute offering to host the concert. But by then there was very little time to set it up — they couldn't even set up enough portable toilets or medical tents.
    • The stage had already been designed for Sears Point, and with no time to redesign it for Altamont, they set it up with no changes. This caused issues — Sears Point was very flat, and the stage was designed to be on a rise, but at Altamont, it would be at the bottom of a slope. While this did allow for the same natural amphitheater setup as there was at Woodstock, the stage rose only four feet high, meaning it would have been trivially easy to jump onto it from the crowd.
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    • Security was provided by the Hell's Angels biker gang. This made more sense than it sounded, as the Angels had done security for concerts like this before, including for the Grateful Dead, and they were generally pretty good at what they did. Only that was in San Francisco — Altamont being in the East Bay, it was covered by the Angels' Oakland chapter, and they were (a) a lot less mellow, (b) a lot more violent, and (c) not as into music as their San Francisco counterparts. The organizers convinced the Oakland group to work Altamont mainly by telling them that all they had to do was sit on the edge of the stage (which was right up against the crowd) and stop anyone from jumping on. They were to be paid in beer and would be allowed to drink it while they worked.
    • At the show, everything started to go wrong quickly — starting with the weather, not obliging with its angry gray clouds. The crowd was well-plied with booze and drugs, and as the Angels got deeper into their beer rations, both sides started getting rowdier. Ace of Cups singer Denise Kaufman was hit in the head by an empty beer bottle thrown from the crowd; the Angels didn't do much, and she suffered a skull fracture and required emergency surgery. (Oh, and she was pregnant at the time. She and her baby survived, though.) The crowd also (perhaps accidentally) toppled one of the Angels' motorcycles, and that did rile them up tremendously, leading to intense fighting with the crowd. By the time of Jefferson Airplane's set, it was so bad that singer and guitarist Marty Balin jumped off the stage to try and break them up; an Angel punched him in the head hard enough to knock him unconscious. Santana drummer Michael Shrieve related this to the Grateful Dead, who were so disgusted that they packed up and left before their set. This effectively left the Rolling Stones as the only big name left on the bill.
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    • The Stones' set was when things took a turn for the tragic. As the Stones started "Under My Thumb", 18-year-old Meredith Hunter, who had earlier gotten into a scuffle with the Angels, approached the stage armed with a gun. Seeing this, Angel Alan Passaro stabbed him to death. Other than Hunter's girlfriend, nobody seemed to notice, not even the Stones; the body wasn't even discovered until the Stones had finished their set. Passaro was charged with murder but acquitted on the basis that he acted in self-defense; he had the benefit of the whole thing being caught on the documentary footage, clearly showing that Meredith was armed and very high (the autopsy indeed showed that he had a ton of meth in his system).
  • David Bowie's most elaborate tours in The '70s and The '80s were both troubled.
    • The first leg of the Diamond Dogs Tour in 1974 was rough going for him. It was an early example of Scenery Porn in rock tours with its colossal, skyscraper-dominated "Hunger City" set — which obscured his band and backup singers, who were not happy at being marginalized for most of the show and would sneak out from behind the buildings as he performed. Beyond the big budget the show required, those backing performers weren't getting their checks on time, a symptom of larger problems Bowie was having with his spendthrift management, whom he would soon part ways with, but not without litigation that lasted him the rest of The '70s. All the while, Bowie's problems with illicit substances firmly took hold of him. A memorable incident at one show had the cherry picker arm that carried him in a chair over the audience for "Space Oddity" get stuck, leaving him to crawl down it to get back to the stage while audience members grabbed at him (according to producer Tony Visconti, who witnessed it firsthand). Tellingly, the second leg of the tour dropped the set altogether, and his next two tours took minimalistic approaches to staging. The BBC documentary Cracked Actor followed him on this tour, and is legendary for capturing Bowie's state of mind during this period.
    • Bowie was in much better shape mentally and financially come 1987, thanks to the huge success of the mainstream-appealing Let's Dance and the Serious Moonlight Tour of '83. But according to Paolo Hewitt's retrospective Album by Album, EMI Records wanted the money train to keep rolling (1985-86 had him focus on film work) and in 1987 pressured him into recording and touring again. For the Glass Spider Tour, Bowie took another shot at Spectacle with Scenery Porn and a small troupe of dancers who interacted with him throughout in colorful vignettes. The giant set turned out to be problematic at outdoor venues, particularly in Europe: unusually rainy weather hurt the English and Spanish shows, and venues that decreed that the show was obligated to start before sundown made the lighting effects hard to appreciate. Among the many incidents on the tour:
      • A lighting engineer fell to his death from the scaffolding before the Florence, Italy show.
      • At Ireland's Slane Castle, a fan died trying to swim the River Boyne to get backstage.
      • Fans who couldn't get into the stadium in Milan, Italy rioted, though this was resolved peacefully.
      • In Dallas, Texas, Bowie was accused of sexually assaulting a fan at his hotel; while he was cleared of the charges, an ad he did for tour sponsor Pepsi was pulled.
      • All along, audiences in seats further out from the stage could hardly see what Bowie and his troupe were doing. The tour was his most highly-attended yet, but he put up with bad reviews (especially in his native England) that called it overblown, as if the poor response to the album Never Let Me Down weren't enough for him. And he was frustrated that the audience he was trying to appeal to didn't understand/appreciate his artistic flourishes and older/less-popular songs closer to his heart. (Tellingly, over the course of the tour several of the new songs were cut.) Exhausted by the end, he considered giving up on music altogether. But guitarist Reeves Gabrels convinced him to create only for himself again — leading to Bowie's Hard Rock period with the group Tin Machine.
      • The Glass Spider Tour is still joked about by fans who regard the bulk of The '80s as a colossal Dork Age for him, though (thanks in part to the official video of the Sydney, Australia shows, which shows his work in the best light) there are those who regard it fondly. It was rumored for years that Bowie and his crew destroyed the Glass Spider set by lighting it on fire in a field after the final show in New Zealand (as a means to relieve to the stress the tour had provided). It took until 2016 for that rumor to be refuted- the set was merely placed in storage in an Auckland warehouse.
  • The 1984 Victory Tour was infamously anything but, as recounted in J. Randy Taraborelli's The Magic and the Madness. Michael Jackson was riding high; Thriller was insanely popular, and he had established himself as a solo act who no longer had to answer to his abusive father Joe. His brothers, who were financially struggling, approached Michael in 1983 offering to record and tour together again. Michael said no, but his mom pressured him to do so. From there, well...
    • The original tour promoter had apparently just backed out when an executive at Epic Records found an eager new promoter, Chuck Sullivan. Sullivan's experience in promoting concerts amounted to a few college gigs and Bob Hope USO tours in the Army. But his dad Billy Sullivan was the owner of the NFL's New England Patriots, and Chuck was hoping to book the Jacksons at the Patriots' home, Sullivan Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts. Sullivan leveraged his good standing among NFL typesnote  and partnered up with San Francisco 49ers owner Eddie DeBartolo, Jr. He also got a lot of other NFL owners to give the Jacksons sweetheart deals to play at their stadiums.note 
    • With all of this, Sullivan and DeBartolo put together a bid. And they won — by promising the Jacksons 83.4% of the gross. This was way more than the usual rate for touring artists at the time (and would likely still be a staggering rate today) and "gross" in this case meant "gross potential ticket sales" — meaning the Jacksons would be paid as if every show sold out regardless of whether or not it actually did. Sullivan also promised the Jacksons a $36 million advance and paid for the first installment by borrowing $12 million against the Patriots and Sullivan Stadium. But in the midst of all this, DeBartolo backed out, and the city of Foxboro refused to allow a Jacksons concert there for reasons that remain unclear.note 
    • Sullivan was now going it alone, and it was abundantly clear that he was in over his head. He expected a lot of freebies that no one would give him, like discounts on hotel rooms and free advertising. He had no idea how to accommodate the stage, which was so big that it needed 30 trucks to move and could not be installed without losing some seats (in some places as many as a quarter of the seats were lost this way). He fought with the Jacksons regularly. He kept trying to renegotiate his contract and was accused of faking a heart attack to get what he wanted. The final straw for the Jacksons was when he forgot his press pass and couldn't enter the venue in Washington. The Jacksons responded by hiring Don King to be their new primary promoter.
    • While Don King was indeed an experienced boxing promoter, he knew little about promoting concerts. So he spent most of his time promoting himself. He hogged the spotlight so hard at his first press conference that the Jacksons needed Michael to bring in his own people to help out. King, meanwhile, went to work on the Product Placement. He inked a deal with Pepsi, turning down a more lucrative offer from Quaker Oats. That deal required Michael to appear in two commercials for a product he didn't even use. As Michael shot for one of them, a pyrotechnic accident scorched his scalp and gave him third-degree burns; Michael dealt with the injury for the rest of his life, turning to prescription drugs to manage it and eventually becoming addicted to them.note  King also neglected to consider that some of the concert venues already had longstanding concessions contracts with Coca-Cola; at the tour's opener at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, they weren't even allowed to flash the Pepsi logo on the screens and had to resort to flying helicopters over the stadium towing Pepsi-branded banners.
    • Then came the pricing. Tickets cost $30 — significantly more than what rival superstars were charging — and could only be purchased in lots of four in a lottery system. The whole point of this was that the money was put into a bank account that collected heavy interest; if you didn't win a ticket, you got the money you paid for the tickets back, but the Jacksons would pocket the interest. Michael himself hated the idea and fought against it. James Brown was so disgusted that he turned down his offer to perform with the Jacksons in New York City. When the public started complaining that the Jacksons were shutting out their lower-class Black fanbase, Michael was able to convince the rest of the family that their image was taking a hit and they needed to implement a more conventional ticket system. Michael also made it a point to set aside several free tickets for poor children at each stop.
    • Despite the Jacksons being a huge draw, shows weren't selling out, and the sales got worse as the tour went on. Shows were cancelled or moved to different venues in bigger cities. Sullivan nearly had a $1.9 million check bounce. By the last stop, Los Angeles, crowds were so sparse that Michael's handlers were giving away tickets to everyone he could think of. (Even then, the final show at a rain-soaked Dodger Stadium still had obvious blocks of empty seats.)
    • Through all of this, the family was at total odds. Everyone stayed on a separate floor, and Michael often in a separate hotel entirely. Michael avoided the rest of the family as much as he could. Meetings often broke down into side meetings among the factions: two lawyers representing Michael, one representing Jermaine, and the other four with or without lawyers. The brothers agreed that they would ride to shows in the van together, as long as they did it alone; Michael started breaking the agreement by bringing guests, first Emmanuel Lewis and then Julian Lennon, which annoyed the brothers enough that midway through the tour they stopped sharing the van and started getting their own rides.note 
    • Health was also an issue. Michael was so stressed out by the family tension that he was put under a doctor's care at one point. Jackie missed the first half of the tour with a leg injury.note  Jermaine's flu resulted in the cancellation of the Phoenix-area shows, although that was the second to last stop and the ticket sales were so bad that they may just have used it as an excuse.
    • In the end, nobody won. Joe and the brothers wanted to take the tour overseas, but Michael was so worn out that he announced at the end that it would be the Jacksons' very last show ever. The Victory album, released just as the tour launched in summer 1984, never made it higher than #4 on the Billboard charts and scored only one Top 10 single (the Michael Jackson/Mick Jagger duet "State of Shock"). In hindsight, the damage to Michael's reputation and health was the start of an ugly downward spiral. Sullivan, meanwhile, was begging Michael to bail him out by the end. He lost around $20 million on the tour (the Jacksons made about what they expected), and he and his dad were forced to sell the Patriots and the stadium.note 
  • The Victory Tour notwithstanding, Michael Jackson's solo tours had their own issues:
    • The 1992-93 Dangerous World Tour was just starting its third leg when Jackson's child molestation accusations came out. Jackson and his handlers knew it was coming (what with the negotiations with the accuser and his family falling apart), but he decided to head out anyway. He was in Bangkok, the tour's first stop, when the accusations hit the press on the day of the first concert there. What followed was not just negative press coverage, but also a mess of postponements and cancellations due to health issues (e.g. dehydration, dental surgery, collapsing right before he was to take the stage). His prescription drug addiction worsened. By the time the tour ended in Mexico City, 19 of the planned 43 shows were never performed. Jackson essentially quit early to go to rehab in Europe for several weeks.
    • The This Is It concert engagement at London's O2 Arena was planned for 2009 and 2010 but had already gotten off on the wrong foot. Jackson was desperate for money, hopelessly addicted to prescription drugs, and advised by an inner circle of opportunistic yes-men. He originally signed off on a ten-show engagement and announced it as such, but then quickly upped it to fifty shows. Many of these shows were simply restaged numbers from his 90s tours with more Spectacle. Even then, many of them were postponed due to problems with pulling everything together — much of it arising from Jackson's habit of missing rehearsals. Then, in 2009, Jackson died, so none of the shows ended up happening. But even after Jackson's death, the lawsuits dragged on for years, all sides had their own stories, and the posthumously assembled documentary (which still proved a fairly impressive hit in theaters in spite of the circumstances) showed just how bad it was.
  • Of the two big post-September 11th benefit concerts, "The Concert for New York City" proved a sensation, while "United We Stand: What More Can I Give" in Washington, D.C. proved a debacle. The Daily Show mocked it with the correspondent sent to cover it hoping that the proceeds were going to a charity that could get him several hours of his life back. This Salon article (calling it "The Worst Benefit Concert Ever!") and this kinder MTV article provide the details; among the "highlights" noted:
    • Several billed performers didn't show up, such as Mick Jagger, KISS and Ricky Martin.
    • The venue ran out of food long before the show was over, angering many in the crowd.
    • Technical difficulties not only interfered with performances but put the show over three hours behind schedule, resulting in shorter later sets. Unlike its NYC counterpart, it wasn't broadcast live but taped for later, but time-consuming taping of intros and outros for sets made matters worse. Much of the crowd and even some of the performers who'd already gone on were filing out of the stadium long before the show was over. The Salon article predicts there was maybe four hours of performances out of a twelve-hour "concert."
    • Mariah Carey's set came in the wake of her public breakdown and the flop of Glitter — which her appearance, tactlessly, still tried to promote.
    • The Backstreet Boys recycled pretty much their entire set from the Concert for New York City earlier in the week, showing their lack of enthusiasm for the DC outing.
    • Technical difficulties continued throughout the show, with James Brown and Carole King both having microphone malfunctions during their performances.
    • A few sets were marred by performers' careless use of the American flag as a prop. One example of this was by top-billed, show-climaxing Michael Jackson — the concert's organizer. He lip-synched his way through one solo number before a grand finale with the remaining performers.
    • Trouble continued after the concert. Jackson recorded the Charity Motivation Song from the finale, "What More Can I Give", as an All-Star Cast single. According to the biography Untouchable, Sony wouldn't release it since they were trying to get him to finish/promote Invincible (see Albums above) and feared it would cannibalize the album's sales. An attempt to distribute it through McDonald's restaurants collapsed when parents complained about the chain associating itself with a man accused of child sex abuse, and the whole project went into Development Hell when the producer's work in gay porn came out. It became legally available in Fall 2003 but, with its cultural moment having long since passed and Jackson's reputation only deeper in the mire, flopped.
  • The Spice Girls and their first tour had the great misfortune of coinciding with band member Geri Halliwell's Creator Breakdown. She abruptly left the group right before they were about to go on tour. The rest were forced to lie at first and say she was too ill to perform but eventually her manager read a statement announcing her departure from the group. All right before the group was supposed to go on tour for the first time. Meaning they had to re-choreograph their whole dance routines which had been done for five girls and now only had four. And the girls had to share Geri's vocals in all the songs. They had to do all this in the space of a few hours. Victoria said in her autobiography that there were times when they forgot who was meant to be singing Geri's line in the song while on stage.
  • System of a Down's show for the release of their second album Toxicity was a complete disaster. The band was slated to perform at 7 PM on September 4, 2001. It was expected for only a couple of thousand fans to show up. Unfortunately, about 7,000 fans ended up coming, more than triple the expected amount. Fearing a riot, the NYPD shut down the performance, and the disgruntled fans proceeded to riot. Property got damaged and vandalized, equipment got stolen, and some fights broke out. Had the show not been shut down, it would have been overcrowded, but at least there wouldn't have been violence. Serj Tankian commented on the whole fiasco, saying he was disappointed his fans would do such a thing and was also disappointed in the NYPD's poor handling of the situation.
  • Atomic Kitten and their 2004 Greatest Hits Tour had one very troublesome performance. There had been constant tensions in the group for several months - Natasha Hamilton had been causing lots of bother by no-showing several public appearances and caused a small scandal when she turned up for a photo shoot with a new haircut identical to band member Jenny Frost (unannounced). She had apparently been suffering from post-natal depression and her lack of dedication was one of the reasons the group had decided to take a break in the first place. Tensions came to a head for the Dublin show. Jenny Frost and Liz McClarnon arrived in Ireland as scheduled. Natasha was set to arrive on a different flight and would meet them there. However the previous day she had a row over the phone with Jenny and Liz, and reportedly had her driver take her home and switched off her phone so they couldn't contact her. She apparently didn't inform them until 7pm that she wouldn't be showing up. In addition to this, the venue had to be changed last minute from The Point Theatre to the smaller Vicar Streetnote . The official line was that Natasha had fallen ill. But then just before the show, Jenny became ill as well with food poisoning. So the Dublin crowd saw two Kittens performing instead of three and Jenny had to rush off stage at intervals to vomit into a bucket. In spite of all the trouble, by all accounts, fans enjoyed the show anyway. For three different songs, the Kittens picked fans out of the crowd to come on stage and sing in Natasha's place - and Big Brother winner Brian Dowling made an appearance and performed with them as well.
  • In April 2010, a free concert was staged by a national breakfast programme for Justin Bieber during a promotional appearance in Sydney, Australia. Though security was aware thousands would show up, what they were not expecting were the fans to break through barriers security had set up to separate performer and fans. Many also had to be hospitalized due to crowd crush. Though the concert - taking place at the Overseas Passenger Terminal in Circular Quay after several changes of venue - was initially scrapped, Bieber was instead taken to the Sunrise studio in Martin Place later that morning to perform his hit "Baby". The fans who had caught wind of this gathered there instead, this time with no dire consequences.
  • ABBA's 1977 tour of Australia was marred by problems.
    • Their earliest concerts in the country took place at Sydney Showgrounds, at a time when heavy rainstorms plagued the city - putting everyone involved with the concerts and some 20,000 concertgoers at risk. Rather than scrap the concerts, assistants were sent out with mops to dry the stage every so often. Still, that did not stop Frida taking a nasty fall (though not sustaining any harm) during one gig's performance of "I'm a Marionette". The weather also resulted in technical difficulties - mics and speakers frequently cut out, and this in combination with the crowd noise made the concerts sometimes impossible to hear.
    • Water frequently got inside film canisters used for the concert film being made at the time, plus the members of the band had to deal with actors they believed were real people trying to pry on their offstage antics due to the flimsy "narrative" being used for the film.
    • At the first concert in Perth, there was an anonymous phone call from someone who claimed that a bomb had been placed inside Perth Entertainment Centre, resulting in a complete evacuation of the venue (though the concert did resume 15 minutes later).
    • The concerts, despite the massive turnouts, still received negative reviews (Benny's thumb obscures the word "dull" when reading an article about Agnetha's bottom during the hotel scene in ABBA: The Movie) and many fans were confused about the ambitious pseudo-musical The Girl With the Golden Hair that closed the show each night.
    • On top of this, Agnetha and Björn's marriage was beginning to show its cracks despite Agnetha being pregnant with their second child (her pregnancy had to be hidden during the film) and her desire for a life of normality made her develop an intense dislike for touring during this time.
    • Though their 1979-80 world tour mainly went off without a hitch, the band disliked the conditions of touring so much that it marked the end of any more tours. A bad experience with a flight from New York to Boston during a thunderstorm also cemented Agnetha's fear of flying, which she wouldn't fully overcome until promotion for her English-language solo album, A, 34 years later. (She had previously - albeit reluctantly - flown to America to record her album I Stand Alone in 1987, though a long-distance relationship with the record producer was a factor in this.)
  • The European leg of The Residents' Mole Show tour in 1983. It was their first tour, and the band hadn't realized that large touring productions are highly subject to Finagle's Law. The band traveled in two buses, one for the crew and one for the band themselves. The road crew was hostile to both the band and Penn Jillette, who was the emcee of the show. The backdrops could only fit in a 747, which added to the cost. Jillette also became seriously ill during the band's stop in Madrid. The band ended up so deep in debt that their gear was impounded just before they were due for another show back in the States. The band had to resort to borrowing equipment in order to make the show. The experience caused the band to abandon plans to complete the rest of "The Mole Trilogy", save for the Big Bubble album and swear off touring entirely for a while.
  • Continuing on with the theme of bad luck fucking with their career, Broken Hope had a lot of shit go down on the "Best in Brutality" tour that they embarked upon in the spring of 2014 with Oceano, Fallujah, Kublai Khan, and Rivers of Nihil. The latter was the only band that didn't get fucked. Bad routing that resulted in lots of poorly-attended shows was a common theme; in addition to this, Oceano and Kublai Khan both got turned away from the Canadian border, resulting in the former having to throw a bunch of emergency US dates together before dropping off and the latter just dropping off altogether, while Fallujah and Broken Hope both had their respective tour vehicles shit the bed on them (the former dropped off, the latter tried to soldier on). With three bands gone, the promoters and agents alike opted to just cancel it and call it a day before anything else went wrong.
  • Lord Mantis's last tour before the large-scale lineup shift was the logical culmination of years of tension between Charlie Fell and Andrew Markuszewski (and Bill Bumgardner, to a much lesser degree); Fell hated Markuszewski's cold, humorless, unemotional nature and apathy towards the band (he apparently had to practically beg Markuszewski to do his part to get Death Mask written and recorded), while Markuszewski hated Fell's drug problems and trusted him very little due to his association with Blake Judd and Nachtmystium (despite the fact that Fell actually despised Judd and wanted nothing to do with him). After Death Mask hit and was released to overwhelmingly positive reviews, the band had a reason to tour. After a reasonably uneventful tour with Hell Militia, they were preparing to embark on another one, this time supporting Today Is the Day. This was where everything fell apart.

    Fell, already unhappy with Markuszewski and now without the one person in the band whom he got along with (Ken Sorceron; in his place was a live fill-in), dealt with it in an admittedly very unhealthy way: he began drinking heavily and spent most of the tour in a haze. Fans noticed that Fell was sloppy and inconsistent and was frequently slurring his words, and it all came to a head at the Providence date. Fell had apparently been particularly wild onstage that night, and Markuszewski had apparently requested that he tone it down; Fell, already in a bad mood, reacted in a less-than-accommodating manner, and when Markuszewski grew more insistent, Fell insulted him and told him that he had no right to tell him what to do, which resulted in Markuszewski striking him. Shortly after, Fell attacked Markuszewski and the fight was stopped by someone (most likely Steve Austin of Today Is the Day); in turn, Markuszewski deliberately spilled Fell's painkillers, which enraged Fell enough that he tried to club Markuszewski with a beer bottle. The attack failed and Fell was thrown to the floor, where he was beaten to a pulp by Markuszewski and a bouncer before he got up and retired to the van; not long after that, Markuszewski and Bumgardner angrily informed him that the tour was over. What ensued was a bunch of legal gymnastics that ruined any chance of Fell and Markuszewski ever being on speaking terms again, turned Lord Mantis into an In Name Only act after it merged with most of Indian, and caused Fell and Sorceron to form a new band with various other musicians to carry on where they left off with Lord Mantis.
  • Igor Stravinsky's Rite Of Spring is probably one of the earliest examples of this. The ballet was expected to display many of the composer's Romantic influences, however Stravinsky was going through a phase of experimentation. Having gained a great interest in Russian folk music, he decided to implement elements from it, causing the music become even more complex than the average Romantic composition. As the music started to take a life of its own, performers started arguing with Stravinsky about whether or not he knew what he was doing. Planning choreography also proved to be quite a challenge, leaving Vaslav Nijinsky confused as to where to take it. Dancers would struggle to keep the awkward rhythm just as much as the orchestra did. After Nijinsky finished his first version of the choreography, Stravinsky was displeased with it and forced him to start from scratch. This caused friction between the two collaborators. The ballet turned out to be massively behind schedule, leading many to fear that it wouldn't meet its May 1913 deadline. The struggles were somehow overcome in time and both Stravinsky and Nijinsky started to become optimistic about the show...
    ... Then the first performance took place. Right from the get-go the audience was not pleased with the strange direction the music was taking and the overtly sexual gestures caused by the dancers. When the famous oboe solo started, an audience member shouted an obscenity and a riot broke out that could put the average rock concert riot to shame. The performers struggled to finish the work, audience members who weren't rioting couldn't hear or see anything, and the theater ended up so badly trashed that it took weeks to fix all the damage. It is rumored that one person even challenged another to a duel! The work nearly ruined Stravinsky's career, with the media calling it one of the worst pieces of music ever composed. Eventually it turned into one of the most analyzed pieces of western music ever and is now lauded as having started the 20th Century movement in classical music.
  • In a lesser example compared to most here: U2 frequently showed live footage of war-torn Sarajevo during the Zoo TV Tour, while promising someday they would perform there. Once things had calmed down in Bosnia and they decided to keep their promise (during the tour of Pop, listed here), it was enough for a detailed article on The Other Wiki. Sponsors tried to cancel the concert, border control kept the road crew out of Bosnia for hours, the band had to rehearse in a damaged theater and sleep in a bullet-ridden Holiday Inn, and during the concert Bono started losing his voice (forcing him to request for crowd help, and The Edge to take over lead vocals in a few tracks).
  • The original Woodstock festival was actually very meticulously planned, but that didn't prevent some things from going legendarily wrong anyway:
    • Michael Lang and his partners at Woodstock Ventures weren't trying to create the defining experience of a generation. They just wanted to make enough money to build a recording studio, and got the idea from some of the small folk-rock concerts held in fields around Woodstock, NY, where Lang was living at the time. The original plan was to hold a modest, one-day event with about 25,000 fans expected in those fields. Lang had helped organize and promote the Miami Pop Festival, one of many that led up to Woodstock and had for the most part pleasantly surprised observers for the low amount of violence and general tidiness kept by attendees.
    • However, the owner of the farm outside Woodstock that Lang had hoped to site the festival at made it clear he had no intention of renting the land to Woodstock Ventures. The promoters began booking acts anyway, as they needed to do so months in advance. A new site was tentatively secured at a former farm in the town of Wallkill, NY, outside Middletown, but vociferous local opposition, including death threats against the landowners, ended those plans. But by this point they were expecting at least 100,000 attendees over a multi-day event, so canceling wasn't an option.
    • With just three months to go before the festival, Max Yasgur agreed to lease the promoters some of his dairy farmlands near Bethel, NY, some distance from Woodstock. They had to plan the site and set it up in much less time than they had expected to. Due to unclear jurisdiction, they didn't receive formal approval from the Bethel town planning boardnote  until just a month before the festival date.
    • Only one caterer, Food for Love, was willing to provide food. They insisted on keeping all their profits, threatened to pull out the week of the festival, and served up offerings so unappetizing and overpriced that the generally peaceful hippies who attended the festival actually tried to burn some of their stands down. If it had not been for the Hog Farm, the Wavy Gravy-led New Mexico commune that had arrived a few weeks earlier to help prepare the site and run a kitchen, the food shortages at the festival would have been much worse.
    • That week was when things really did start to go haywire. About 25,000 attendees, not all of them with tickets, started arriving and setting up tents six or seven days beforehand... before the spaces designed for them had been finished, or the festival site fenced off as originally intended. Thus, on the first day, with all those people there literally tearing down the fences that had been set up to get in, the promoters basically kissed their likelihood of any profit goodbye by declaring the concert free for everyone... thus attracting even more people to it, up to 300,000.
    • That larger-than-expected crowd was the source of many of the festival's problems. Abandoned/parked cars effectively blocked the roads to the site, and the traffic even forced New York State to close a few Thruway exits. Sanitation also became problematic as not only had no one expected so many people and thus not planned for them in that department, no one had had any good idea how many portable toilets to provide, and even if they had it was hard to get a hold of even the ones they did decide to have.
    • Water, at least, was not a problem as one of the nearby ponds had been tapped for it and provided abundantly during the festival. However, they got more than they bargained for as the last two days of the festival were beset by torrential storms that aggravated the existing issues and forced the promoters to shuffle the lineup around almost constantly. The Grateful Dead especially suffered from the effects of the rain as their lighting and sound were subpar; some of the band also got electric shocks.note  A turntable underneath the main stage, meant to allow one act to play while the next one was setting up, also failed, exacerbating these issues. (Richie Havens wasn't supposed to open the show, but since he was there and Sweetwater was not, he was asked to; after he'd run out of his planned material he improvised "Freedom" right there on stage; it became one of his signature songs.)
    • Several acts that were supposed to perform dropped out of the show shortly before the festival. The Moody Blues were listed on the poster, but backed out at the last minute to play in France. The Jeff Beck Group were also signed up to play, but then Beck broke up the band a few weeks before. Iron Butterfly were all ready to play... but got stuck at the airport because of the traffic and their manager made an unreasonable demand to get them to the festival by helicopter (interestingly, they were going to be paid more than the Grateful Dead, Santana, and Joe Cocker combined!). As a result, there were several holes in the schedule. One was filled by Havens' long set. Another by moving British folk group The Incredible String Band from Friday to Saturday. John Sebastian of The Lovin' Spoonful was only at the festival as an attendee, but was coaxed to play in order to fill an empty space following Santana's set.
    • Legal wrangling over the film and recording rights also ensured that those records of the event are incomplete. Creedence Clearwater Revival gave what many people present considered to be one of the best sets of the festival, but since John Fogerty didn't think so, he refused to allow them to be filmed or recorded note . Neil Young had just joined forces with Crosby, Stills & Nash, but refused to give permission for filming. Pete Townshend had no issues with the film or the album, but was horribly cynical about the whole "peace, love and music" thing; at one point, he chased activist and writer Abbie Hoffman off the stage when he came on to berate the crowd about its perceived political detachment note . The Band also did well by the crowd, but didn't let their performance be used in the album or movie because their manager thought they weren't getting paid enough.
    • Because of the various problems, what was supposed to be a three-day festival ended up running over into a fourth day, which many of the attendees couldn't stay for as they hadn't planned for it. As a result, the last group of musicians, including Jimi Hendrix, ended up playing to noticeably empty fields, with only a fraction of the audience that performers on the three originally scheduled days had had.
  • Woodstock '99, which had the worst production problems of any of the festivals. A bit of background: the 25th Anniversary of the festival had been criticized in the days leading up to it, but was highly successful (over 350,000 people attended), so plans were made for a follow-up festival that would celebrate the 30th Anniversary of the original. However, as the post-mortems by Rolling Stone and Spin and a 2021 documentary by HBO Max lay out, those logistical problems all came to a head and ended in disaster.
    • The tickets cost about $150. This may not seem like much today, but that was a pretty significant cost at the time. Subsequently, lots of people were sneaking in with fake passes... or at least trying, as a report had fifty counterfeits being confiscated hourly in one gate.
    • Unlike the previous two installments, held on farms, Woodstock '99 was held at the disused Griffiss Air Force Base, an environment of endless concrete which does not dissipate the July heat very well. What's more, given that the festival was scheduled in the same weekend as the Baseball Hall of Fame's yearly induction ceremony, nearly all hotel rooms in Upstate New York were taken, such that even the artists had problems finding a place to stay.
    • What really broke the crowd was the vendor costs. Water cost $4 a bottle and single-serving pizzas cost $12. There were bus routes to the nearby city of Rome, New York where people could presumably go to get supplies, but that didn't work because shops quickly became overcrowded and ran out of food. Guards would take food and drinks from people as they arrived. And yet they were lenient (specially with bribes) regarding entering with drugs, and such intoxication might've helped people act worse than normal.
    • There also were not enough toilets to accommodate the large crowd. What was there quickly became unusable. Water fountains were also vandalized by people who became frustrated by the long lines. The communal showers overflowed, while also having men lifting the feeble barriers to check on the women bathing. And like 1969, there was mud aplenty... but less to do with dirt than spilled human waste from those broken toilets.
    • Regardless of how you feel about specific acts, the festival did them no favours by booking them on an eclectic schedule that led to frequent Mood Whiplash. Melodic Conscious Hip Hop group The Roots found themselves sandwiched between the Hard Rock band Buckcherry and the aggressive horrorcore rap group Insane Clown Posse, while the adult alternative Singer-Songwriter Alanis Morissette was immediately followed by the Nu Metal band Limp Bizkit. The acts also frequently suffered from poor audio engineering and often complained about it on-stage, with The Offspring's set suffering the worst from this. There were two main stages, but they were over a mile and a half away from each other, making travelling between the two to see your preferred acts highly impractical even if you didn't need to walk across tarmac in the July heat. While the emerging artists stage was located in an aircraft hangar, the two main stages took place in open air, which when packed with tens of thousands of dancing festival-goers is a recipe for a heatstroke epidemic. The festival had one death, caused partially by hyperthermia.
    • Several of the bands did not capture the "peace & love" theme of the festival. Limp Bizkit in particular was criticized for playing songs like "Break Stuff", which has been blamed for actually starting some of the violence in the crowd, especially as Fred Durst began encouraging the crowd to become angry partway through.
    • The bad mood eventually spilled over into all-out violence - with a literal fire to lit the Powder Keg Crowd, as candles distributed for a vigil were turned into arson weapons - when people began lighting bonfires using material from the (supposedly indestructible) security fence. People began destroying the ATMs and looting the vendor booths. MTV removed their entire crew and ceased coverage of the event. Finally, there were multiple accusations of rape at the festival. New York State Troopers eventually cleared the site, bringing the festival to an end.
    • With bad press and a lower attendance (only 200,000 or so showed up), the organizers retired the Woodstock brand until 2019, when they announced the festival would return for its 50th anniversary year. However, that event has also been a troubled production itself, including a disputed cancellation and several legal, permitting, and financial difficulties, which ensured that it never got off the ground.
  • In 1974, George Harrison, promoting his then-current album Dark Horse, embarked on what would be his first and only solo tour (save for a brief Japanese tour in 1992 to raise funds for a campaigning political party that endorsed Transcendental Meditation). Unfortunately, the tour had been booked in advance, and Harrison, fresh from his recent divorce from Patti Boyd and fighting laryngitis, a condition which had plagued the recording of the Dark Horse albumnote , and the album was critically and commercially unsuccessful. The very religious Harrison booked Ravi Shankar and a selection of gurus as opening acts, which alienated his audience, and Harrison's singing and decision to change some Beatles lyrics to suit his Krishna faith led to much criticism; the shows suffered from poor attendance as a result. Harrison once claimed that after one show, he had decided to stay onstage instead of returning to his hotel room. After observing the sea of stray heroin needles, beer cans and garbage left over on the seats waiting to be disposed of, George felt repulsed and swore off of touring as a result.
  • The 2015 Metal Alliance Tour was such a disaster that it very nearly killed off all future Metal Alliance tours and the sponsoring body itself. There was nothing wrong with the lineup - Deicide, Entombed A.D., Hate Eternal, Lorna Shore, Black Crown Initiate, and Svart Crown made for a very solid bill (though Lorna Shore was a bit of a point of contention). The problems were with everything else. Early on, financial troubles with the sponsor forced Entombed A.D. to drop off; since Svart Crown was riding with them, they had to drop off as well but found a way to continue because it was their first major US tour and they wanted to make it worth it. As time went on, bad routing and poor promotion led to lots of badly-attended shows, and the continued financial difficulties on the sponsor's part made life even harder for the bands; after the Metal Alliance itself folded, the tour was rebranded as a standard Deicide tour. Near the end, Hate Eternal and Lorna Shore had to bail (the former left after Erik Rutan smashed his hand, the latter left due to family emergencies with several members), and with only two bands left on the bill, the members of Deicide and Black Crown Initiate opted to put the tour out of its misery. Deicide announced in anger that it would be their last US tour for a long while and put the organizers on blast for completely ruining the tour, and it very nearly killed off the Metal Alliance Tour itself.
  • The 2015 Summer Slaughter Tour was an absolute disaster. A weak lineup (headlined by Arch-Enemy, who simply were not big enough to headline it) was the first sign of trouble, and the abnormally long amount of time that it took to announce the lineup coupled with the amount of smaller-than-usual venues on the list of dates suggested that the lineup was cobbled together from whatever was available after all better options had been ruled out, ergo Ash Avildsen had no faith in that iteration of the tour. Things got worse when After the Burial dropped off before the tour started due to Justin Lowe's very public psychotic break, disappearance, and death, and yet another blow was dealt when Obscura had to drop off as well right at the start of the tour due to visa issues. The tour wound up going out with only six bands, most of which had wildly different and often incompatible fanbases, and the result was a tour that was deep in the red for virtually the entire run due to a combination of terrible attendances (as low as 300 or less in certain markets) and bands that were too expensive for what they were drawing (particularly Arch Enemy); the incompatible fanbases also meant massive walkouts after Born of Osiris, who were direct support (it wasn't unheard of for Arch Enemy to hit the stage to a hundred people or fewer), and fights broke out almost every night during The Acacia Strain's set, as their often-violent fans did not get along with the fans of any of the other bands. While it didn't kill off the tour, it was a disastrous year that cost all parties with a financial stake in it a fairly significant amount of money.
  • The 1959 Winter Dance Party tour, in which Buddy Holly, Dion and the Belmonts, Ritchie Valens, and The Big Bopper traveled through the upper Midwest, was another example. The tour organizers scheduled dates with no regard whatsoever for geography — see this link for a map of the schedule of the tour's first 11 days. To make matters worse, the musicians traveled on a series of poorly maintained buses with heating systems that were inadequate at best even in ordinary winter weather, much less one of the worst winters the Midwest had seen in decades. After the January 31 show — which was notable for being attended by some teenager named Bobby Zimmerman — the bus carrying the musicians broke down, and one of Holly's backing band suffered frostbite by the time help arrived. February 2 was supposed to be an off day, but organizers added a date in Clear Lake, Iowa, more than 350 miles from the previous day's show in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Tired of cramped and inadequate buses, Holly decided to charter a plane to take him and his band from Clear Lake to Fargo, North Dakota, near the next tour stop of Moorhead, Minnesota. Holly's band ultimately didn't get on the plane—Tom Allsup and Valens flipped a coin for his seat, with Valens winning, and Waylon Jennings gave up his seat to the flu-ridden Bopper. And now you know the lead-up to The Day the Music Died. (In a bizarre footnote, Jennings and Holly were joking around before the plane took off, and Holly quipped to Jennings "Well I hope that ol' bus of yours freezes up", to which Jennings replied back "Well, I hope your ol' plane crashes." To the day he died, Jennings was haunted by the belief that he had been somehow responsible for the disaster.)
  • The Smiths have had two tours affected by this trope:
    • The first one was the short Italian-Spanish tour in mid-1985 to support Meat is Murder.
      • As they got on the plane for Rome at Heathrow, Rough Trade executives were there to personally implore them to do an Italian TV show they had been booked on. When they arrived, the band decided to change hotels because they preferred the airport Sheraton to the Mediterranean-styled one that had been reserved for them. The first gig turned out to be a large tent, not the theater everyone thought they were supposed to be playing, but otherwise it went well.
      • However, when the band saw the TV show and its extravagant Italian set, Morrissey refused to do it, followed in short order by the rest of the band. This caused Rough Trade a huge loss of face, and the label's European licensing representative transferred to the label's production department as a result. Morrissey, who a year before had canceled the band's first European tour at the airport, almost canceled this one as well.
      • Johnny Marr persuaded him to stick it out and play the dates in Spain. The first shows in Barcelona and Madrid, went well; the Barcelona show was taped and is probably the best video footage of the entire tour. However, in the process their then-manager, Scott Piering, learned from a lawyer the band had hired in London before leaving that he had been fired. He went to Madrid to try to persuade them to take him back; when the Smiths arrived at their hotel they found him asleep in the lobby and quickly changed hotels.
      • At the last gig in San Sebastián, they found that someone had sent the venue the wrong equipment rider. They refused to play, causing a near riot outside their hotel, and flew back to England from Bilbao the next day.
    • A year later came the mammoth North American tour to support The Queen Is Dead.
      • Everyone was aware that this could potentially take the Smiths over the top in the U.S. Dates at Pier 34 and Radio City Music Hall in New York had sold out well in advance, along with major venues on the West Coast. Yet that didn't stop Andy Rourkenote  from getting arrested for heroin possession a month or so before. Session bassist Guy Pratt was hired to replace him as it was believed unlikely Rourke's visa applications would be approved, joining rhythm guitarist Craig Gannon as an additional member of the band for the tour. However, after he'd spent two weeks with Rourke learning the bass parts, Rourke's visas came through anyway, days before departure. While he didn't get to play with the Smiths, the whole thing worked out for Pratt in the long run, as he was then available to join Pink Floyd as Roger Waters' replacement a year later.
      • Unfortunately, that wasn't the only cloud hanging over the tour. The band had at that point no manager, a task Johnny Marr picked up when he could, and inexperienced Sophie Ridley as their tour manager. She was primarily preoccupied with handling Rourke's prescription medicines, causing friction between her and the band. Near the end of the tour she was fired after the band missed one too many soundchecks.
      • When the band and crew arrived in London, Ontario, for the last rehearsals before the first show, they found that there was neither money to pay the crew nor the right equipment. Marr had to get on the phone with Warner, their American distributor, and threaten not to play unless that situation was rectified.
      • That night happened to be Gannon's 20th birthday. Joyce and Rourke decided he had to celebrate with one shot of cognac for every year. Rourke recalls finding Gannon on his bed in his vomit-covered room the next morning. This set a pattern of heavy drinking that continued among the three for the rest of the tour, where they often closed hotel bars. Marr for his part was drinking heavily and partaking of much of the cocaine on offer, making his playing — lead, since Gannon was competently playing rhythm — become gradually more self-indulgent as the tour progressed.
      • Nonetheless, the tour went on as scheduled and went as hoped, expanding the band's fan base in the U.S. outside the small cult following they had had. However, things started to snag in California, when there was a week break between shows. The band flew in their wives/girlfriends, rather against the wishes of the label's management, since that makes everyone more demanding. Also coming over from Britain was Rough Trade head Geoff Travis, to confront the band about mounting rumors that they were prepared to jump ship to EMI, a move Rough Trade would later file suit to block. Sire, the band's American label, with whom they also had issues, almost followed along until they reread the contract and realized the Smiths owed them one more album than they owed Rough Trade.
      • All this began to catch up with everybody as the tour worked its way across the Southwest and South, areas where the band had less of an established fan base to begin with. Gannon, who disliked flying, took to traveling between gigs on the bus instead, isolating him from the rest of the band (but also allowing him to sneak steaks, something not found on the tour's vegetarian menus). This resulted in him getting left behind in New Orleans accidentally. The drinking and drugs were catching up with him and his bandmates, and even the straight-edged Morrissey showed some signs of it getting to him as well, with crew often having to ask over a dozen times for him to come down and get ready every night.
      • Finally, in St. Petersburg, Florida, with four shows remaining, including the all-important climactic Radio City gig, Morrissey and Marr sat down on the beach to have a serious talk about whether they should just cancel the rest of them right there, since everyone was so burnt out at that point. They were torn over this ... until a fortuitous accident gave them a good excuse. Rourke had gone for a late-night swim ... and stepped on a stingray. He had to have part of it removed surgically; without that intervention he might have died. The remaining dates were thus canceled. But the stress and issues kicked up by the tour remained, and had a lot to do with the band's breakup after completing their next (and last) album, Strangeways, Here We Come.
  • Diana Ross was the subject of a rather infamous concert tour in 2000.
    • Amid much fanfare, Ross claimed she was going back on tour with "The Supremes". However, this would not be the much-anticipated reunion of the late '60s trio of Ross, Cindy Birdsong, and Mary Wilson.note  Instead, Ross toured with Scherrie Payne and Linda Laurence, two singers who had replaced them back in the 70s, and were essentially Ross' old backup singers.
    • The show was plagued with criticisms, especially from the extremely high ticket prices (as much as $250 per seat) and the fact that while Ross never explicitly said it, promotional materials treated the tour as a Supremes Reunion (dubbing it, the "Return to Love" tour).
    • The show was a financial flop and a critical disaster (critic Mark Armstrong gave the infamous review "Stop! For the Love of God!") Another issue was putting the show in large 15-20,000 seat arenas, as opposed to the theaters that Ross was playing at the time. The writing was well on the wall when, the show only filled 10,000 seats at the 19,000-seat Palace of Auburn Hills in the northern suburbs of Detroit (AKA the birthplace of Motown). After this, the remaining dates were canceled, and Ross blamed the promoters for the failure.
  • The Fyre Festival in 2017, organized by rapper Ja Rule and tech entrepreneur Billy McFarland, became the music festival equivalent of Dashcon before it even ended, and undoubtedly a far higher-profile debacle given the massive amounts of money and big-name celebrities involved. This article in The Washington Post gives a rundown of what happened at the festival itself, this article in New York magazine provides a behind-the-scenes look, and this piece from The New York Times examines the messy aftermath that lasted for months. Internet Historian also has an in-depth analysis of the festival and its aftermath, and Swindled has an episode examining Billy McFarland's dodgy practices up to and during the festival. In 2019, Netflix and Hulu both premiered competing documentaries about the debacle within days of each other, which ended up just adding to the nastiness.
    • McFarland had a history of flashy projects aimed at upwardly mobile young people that failed to deliver on their promises. His latest venture at the time was the Magnises "black card", which was supposedly an elite membership program that would offer entry to exclusive parties, events, wine tastings, and the like; it mostly led to refunds, complaints, and a smackdown by the Better Business Bureau. Ja Rule, meanwhile, was once a rap star but hadn't had a hit single in over a decade. Anybody who looked closely at these guys wouldn't have given them the time of day. But McFarland was nothing if not a smooth talker with a keen eye on the vapid culture of rich millennials, positioning himself as a young "disrupter" who could pull off the impossible.
    • McFarland and Ja Rule got the idea for Fyre when they visited Norman's Cay, a private island in the Bahamas owned by Carlos Lehder, a longtime associate of notorious Colombian drug kingpin Pablo Escobar. McFarland had just started a new company called Fyre Media, which was working on an app that would allow people to book major musical talent. The pair thought they could use the island to promote Fyre by establishing a posh, high-end music festival. None of that camping-out nonsense; this would be luxury, with high-end accommodations and dining. They had a whole list of music acts whom they wanted to perform there, including blink-182, Major Lazer, Disclosure, and Rae Sremmurd. Tickets would start at $450 and averaged around $1,200. Initial talks with Norman's Cay went well; they were receptive to the idea of the festival, but told Fyre not to mention the island's connection with Escobar.
    • Fyre immediately started spending money with splashy advertising, featuring well-known supermodels having fun in the sun. They also paid a number of models and social media influencers to hype up the festival on Twitter, flagrantly breaking the website's rules in the process by not having them disclose that they were being paid to do so (this was only found out after the whole fiasco). They apparently dumped the bulk of their available funds into this advertising blitz. They also almost immediately broke the one stipulation and bragged that the island was once owned by Pablo Escobar (which wasn't even true — remember, it was his associate Lehder). Norman's Cay unceremoniously booted Fyre off the island, and they had to find another location, less than two months before the festival was about to kick off. But all they had done was the advertising; they hadn't actually set up anything on Norman's Cay.
    • Fyre set up a new site on Great Exuma, on an abandoned lot that was the site of an aborted resort development. They continued to pretend that the festival would be on a private island, even though they were now sharing an island with 7,000 permanent residents and a ton of tourists; they were within walking distance of a Sandals Resort. They also neglected to note that the planned dates for their festival would coincide with the Exuma Regatta, the biggest event of the year on the island, which would cause a mass of tourists who would take up every available hotel room on the island. And they still didn't get moving on building the site; they kept paying for the models and influencers, and the site was little more than a gravel pit a little over a month before the festival was scheduled to start.
    • With six weeks to go, anyone who looked closely at the festival could see the writing on the wall. Several of the production staff brought their concerns to the management, telling them it would be practically impossible to get everything together in time. They suggested that McFarland admit defeat and postpone the festival for a year. Instead, they were unceremoniously fired. Around this time, an insider created a Twitter account with the handle @FyreFraud accusing the festival of perilous mismanagement. McFarland and his team, in the grand tradition of overenthusiastic entrepreneurship, seemed to genuinely believe in Achievements in Ignorance; one of his inner circle is reputed to have said, "Let's just do it and be legends, man!"
    • Fyre stubbornly pressed on, but money was getting tight. McFarland needed to take out loans, and he wasn't above badly misrepresenting his net worth to attract investors. He also claimed that a non-existent wealthy socialite would turn up and pay for everything (spoiler: they didn't). Even then, nobody was taking the bait; McFarland ended up having to take on a real tough loan, with high interest rates and a requirement that he pay back half the principal in two weeks. This led to the bracelet scam — around this time, Fyre started telling attendees that they were planning to have a "cashless" festival, with all transactions conducted with RFID bracelets preloaded with funds. Conveniently, this required the attendees to put up thousands of dollars in advance, which McFarland could use to repay the loan.
    • But Fyre had run out of time, too. Even with the organizers claiming they could do everything themselves (McFarland claimed he learned how to rent the stage on YouTube), they had a hard time putting together anything, let alone what was promised. The accommodations went from "luxury cabanas" to geodesic domes to the only things they could put together on short notice: disaster relief tents. They barely put together charter flights for the attendees to come from Miami to Exuma. There was no way they could provide the gourmet meals by celebrity chefs. And the music acts, while still technically booked, hadn't committed to anything.
    • Then came the opening day, April 28, 2017. Immediately, everything went to Hell. The guests arrived to a scene that looked like it was After the End. They were plied with booze and taken to an "impromptu beach party" to distract from the fact that workers were still frantically building the site. They discovered that they had to sleep in tents — that turned out not to be waterproof, as it had rained overnight and the bare mattressess had gotten wet. There was no security, no place to put their belongings, and very few staff to even assign tents to people. There were only porta-potties, and not enough at that. Their "gourmet catering" amounted to cheese sandwiches and dry salads served in styrofoam containers. blink-182 announced that the conditions at the festival were substandard and unsafe for them to perform (and also that they hadn't been paid) and that they were pulling out; shortly thereafter, every other musician who was scheduled to perform bailed out, too. The attendees started liveblogging their experience, comparing it to The Hunger Games or Lord of the Flies, and it quickly went viral. The cheese sandwiches were immediately compared to Dashcon's ball pit. Seth Rogen and The Lonely Island chimed in to say that the whole affair was practically lifted from a movie they were working on at the time.
    • Now the attendees had to find a way out themselves. That was much easier said than done. Remember the "cashless" festival? The attendees didn't have money on hand to find new accommodations. Remember the Exuma Regatta? There were no hotel rooms available on the island even if they could pay for them. Remember the charter flights? They weren't ready to take everyone back to Miami at a moment's notice — and the government of the Bahamas, fearful of a possible riot, had banned all air traffic into and out of the island. The Ministry of Tourism had to apologize and scramble to arrange charters for the stranded attendees. Those people watching their ordeal on the Internet weren't any help, either; even before you get into the Internet's usual schadenfreude, the Internet rumor mill had misreported the standard ticket prices as much higher than they really were, leading to the Internet imagining that the festival-goers were a bunch of spoiled, credulous yuppies who got what was coming to them.
    • By the end of April 29, the Fyre Festival was officially canceled. Its website bore a simple statement offering full refunds and apologizing to festival-goers. Some of the social media influencers who had been involved in the promotion for the festival, such as Bella Hadid, likewise apologized for being a part of it. Ja Rule, meanwhile, denied all responsibility for the disasternote , while McFarland hoped to be able to put on a proper festival in 2018.
    • Then came the fallout. First, the undisclosed paid Twitter-bombing was discovered, leading to a backlash. Then it was discovered that McFarland had told Fyre Media's employees two weeks after the festival that they would not be paid for their work — but they weren't fired, so they couldn't collect unemployment. Several contractors were unpaid, to the tune of thousands of dollars. blink-182, who had gone as far as to get their equipment to the Bahamas, had it stuck in customs for months due to the legal mess. All this led to a whopping $100 million class-action lawsuit for fraud, McFarland's arrest and conviction, and Fyre Festival LLC being sued into liquidation. McFarland pleaded guilty to two counts of wire fraud, agreed to forfeit over $26 million, and was sentenced to six years in prison. Meanwhile, a journalist who had some of the most widespread tweets of the disaster purchased the abandoned Fyre Festival trademark in the hopes that someone will do it properly one day.
    • Even the documentaries about the festival were controversial. Two of them came out within weeks of each other in January 2019. Netflix's Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened was made in partnership with the same companies that promoted the festival, which naturally led to the doc downplaying their culpability. Hulu's Fyre Fraud was more critical, going as far as to call McFarland a pathological liar, but its producers shelled out hundreds of dollars to McFarland for an exclusive interview prior to his sentencing.
  • As recounted in their famous Behind the Music documentary, Styx had an infamous tour in 1983 to support their album Kilroy Was Here.
    • Dennis DeYoung envisioned the tour as something akin to a Broadway musical in keeping with the concept album format of Kilroy. Thus, the tour began with a long mini-movie to help set the scene of the dystopian setting of the album. Also, once the band took the stage, it was ten minutes before the first song was played. Instead, the band members were expected to play roles, perform dialogue, and act (despite the fact that with the possible exception of DeYoung, none of the band members had any experience with stage acting).
    • Lead guitarist Tommy Shaw recounted on VH1 that Styx shared a double bill on some shows with Shaw's future bandmate Ted Nugent and, during a show at the Houston Astrodome: "He's going out there in a loincloth, shooting flaming arrows at guitars, and I've got to go out there, in front of that rowdy-ass crowd and say 'But Kilroy, what about the young people of the world?' I'm thinking...I'M GONNA DIE! I'm, gonna get killed in Texas!"
    • The failure of this tour was seen as the deciding reason why the band broke up in 1984, and didn't tour again (without DeYoung) until 1991.
  • Dutch heavy metal festival Dynamo Open Air went through many problems, partly due to its massive success in the 1990s.
    • Once the festival became a multiple-day event, the Eindhoven area, where the festival was held, started suffering serious traffic problems, particularly for the 1994 and 1995 editions. The former was featured in a Dutch record book for causing the longest traffic jam in the history of the Netherlands, while the latter, which featured Paradise Lost, Type O Negative, Biohazard and Machine Head as headliners, became overcrowded, with 118,000 people attending. This caused local authorities to set a strict 60,000 people limit for future editions of the festival.
    • Despite the attendance restriction, the editions from 1996 to 1998 went smoothly. However, the original festival site, an airport, was sold off for housing redevelopment in 1998, forcing the festival to relocate. The 1999 edition was held on a former garbage dump in Mierlo, near Eindhoven. It had the misfortune to occur during a particularly hot spring, which caused sanitary problems and water shortages, and the traffic problems returned.
    • In the end, the festival was shrunk down to only one day, and had different locations for each edition following. A permanent site was found in Lichtenvoorde, where the 2001 edition was supposed to be held. However, the 2001 European foot-and-mouth disease epidemic invaded the area a few weeks before the festival was due to begin, forcing its cancellation.
    • By the time the festival resumed in 2002, it was completely overshadowed by other festivals like Graspop Metal Meeting in Belgium, Wacken Open Air in Germany or Tuska Open Air in Finland. However, the organizers found hope in 2003 when they found another possible permanent hosting site in a leisure park in Neunen... only to find out the nesting season occurred during the festival, and that the high level of noise would chase the birds away from their maternal homes, thus violating a then-recent law about animal protection. The festival was scrapped for yet another year.
    • The last Dynamo Open Air was held in Hellendoorn, on the Dauwpop site, in 2005. The festival only drew a crowd of around 1000 people, despite featuring Anthrax as the main headliner, thus ending the original version of the festival for good.
    • However, a new version of the festival, named Dynamo Metalfest, has been held in Eindhoven without incident since 2015.
  • Perhaps it isn't a huge surprise, given long it's run, how many countries are involved, and how great its scope has become, but suffice to say some editions of the Eurovision Song Contest have gone smoother than others.
    • The first edition with any significant hiccups was the 1969 contest, held in Madrid, Spain. The circumstances surrounding '68 champion Massiel's win had already been seen as sketchy (some claiming that the Spanish had paid off the juries in order to win), but the fact that Spain was still a dictatorship made other countries uneasy about competing there and, by extension, promoting it, prompting Austria to outright withdraw (in spite of being one of the countries that voted for Spain the year before). The show itself went off relatively without a hitch...until the voting. By the end of the voting, four different countries - The United Kingdom, France, The Netherlands, and Spain themselves - were tied for the highest score, each having earned eighteen points. Seeing as there was no tie-break procedure in place back then, the only solution offered was to declare all four countries the winner. To date, it is the only joint victory in Eurovision history, and it meant - as per tradition - all four winning songs would be offered a chance to perform again, dragging the show out even longer. This result prompted four countries (Finland, Norway, Portugal, and Sweden) to withdraw and Austria refusing to return to the following year's contest out of protest, leading to significant changes in the voting for '71. They would eventually figure out a solution to the tie-break problem as well, but more on that later.
    • In 1973, the contest came to Luxembourg. The event itself went smoothly, save for one debutant that had the other delegations a bit on-edge. The European Broadcasting Area had just been expanded, and now countries just outside of Europe were eligible to compete. The first to jump onboard? Israel. Given the tragic murder of Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics the year before, security was extra high for 1973, to the point where (according to Terry Wogan) audience members were told not to award any song a standing ovation, or else they may be shot as a possible terrorist threat. Nevertheless, the show went off smoothly, with Israel even finishing fourth. Israel would solidify their presence in the contest over the next few years, even walking away with back-to-back wins in 1978 and '79. This presented its own problems...
    • Israel won the 1979 contest on home ground, thereby earning the right to host the following year's contest as well. However, public broadcaster IBA (who had organized the '79 contest) simply didn't have the money to host twice in a row, having just barely managed to find resources to host the year before. Given that, the EBU turned to runner-up Spain as a substitute...but they also refused. They similarly had no luck with France or usual pinch-hit host United Kingdom, and after working their way through the other competitors, the Netherlands finally agreed to stage the 1980 contest, being able to reuse both the venue and parts of the set from when they had previously hosted four years prior in The Hague. The trouble now was that in all the confusion surrounding the host country, the EBU hadn't picked out a date yet, and the final date turned out to be the same as Yom HaZikaron: the Israeli day of remembrance. When the EBU refused to change the date given how long it took to figure everything out, Israel became the first and only country who didn't return to defend their title the following year.
    • Things proceeded fine until 1990, when the contest came to Zagreb (at the time, still a part of Yugoslavia, soon to be the capital of Croatia). Yugoslavia was elated at bringing the contest outside of Western Europe, but organizational issues soon arose. Disparaging comments were made about the age of the two hosts, which prompted them to briefly quit and be replaced by younger presenters. It also transpired that the broadcaster was planning to cut the customary conductor's bow prior to the beginning of each song, which led the participating conductors to protest (they compromised by allowing a shot of the conductors counting their respective songs in). Then, come the actual live show, a major technical hitch played havoc right from the start: Spain, opening the show, had a song with prerecorded elements (such as guitar and congas, which were mimed onstage). The sound engineer missed his cue, starting the tape further into the song and confusing the performers, who walked offstage (they soon resolved the issue and the song proceeded as if nothing had happened). The voting then ran into an unusual stumbling block when they reached the jury of Italy: for some bizarre reason, they initially stated that they were the jury of Spain! (It later turned out that the jury voting on Italy's behalf were, in fact, a bunch of Croats...but the spokesperson was Italian, phoning in from Rome, so that doesn't excuse it.) In spite of this, Italy won, with hosting duties passed on to them. Which led to...
    • ...the catastrophe that was the 1991 contest. Italy never really considered Eurovision a huge event, so their successes at the contest were more or less getting lucky. Therefore, they were ill-prepared to actually take the contest on and didn't realize how huge an event it was generally considered to be.
      • Italy had initially planned on hosting the contest in Sanremo, home of the famous national Sanremo Song Festival (whose format had inspired Eurovision itself and was/is often used to select Italy's competitors). However, safety concerns owing to the Gulf War and Yugoslav Wars led to the contest being moved to the capital city, Rome. There, a set was hastily constructed in a movie studio to create the venue.
      • The next problem came with the two hosts. In theory, getting the two singers who won Eurovision for Italy (Gigliola Cinquetti from '64 and the previous year's Toto Cutugno) to co-host was a cute idea. However, they didn't speak a word of English or French, the two main languages the contest is meant to be conducted in, and spent most of the show rambling away to each other in Italian. This wasn't too big a deal as long as nothing complicated happened. Hopefully.
      • The orchestra was often late and ill-prepared, to the consternation of the performers. They mostly put in fine work, with some notable exceptions. The biggest was that the saxophone player was replaced right before the show, and the replacement was an elderly man who hadn't had a chance to rehearse. The result was a now-legendary butchering of the sax solo in Greece's entry, which some say kept the otherwise warmly-received song from achieving a spot in the top ten.
      • The ceremony felt longer than labor, often due to the show's many breaks to self-congratulate Italy's musical and cultural legacy (the video postcards, used as a break between acts, featured each of the competing acts performing a classic Italian song - these alone took up about an hour, cumulatively). The voting took longer than usual, largely due to Cutugno and Cinquetti double- and triple-checking each vote and translating them into English, French, and Italian. But then, as the icing on the cake, the voting ended with France and Sweden tied for first place, the first tie since '69. Cutugno pleaded with "Meestair Naef" (Frank Naef, the then-executive supervisor) for a solution, and it turns out there now was one. First, it was determined that the song with the most 12's was the winner. They each had four, so that didn't work. The second solution was to determine which song had more 10's. As it turned out, Sweden did, allowing them to officially bump France to second place in spite of having the same score. A confusing end to a confusing year. note 
    • The 2001 contest saw the show return to Copenhagen, Denmark for the first time since 1964. Inspired by their neighbor Sweden's super-sizing the contest to an arena-filling event the year before, Denmark went a step further and put a roof over the massive Parken Stadium, which has a capacity for almost 40,000 spectators. This turned out to be a disadvantage: the songs got swallowed up by the overly-huge venue, and not helping matters was that the crop of entries was unusually weak that year. Then there were some questionable decisions made on the creative side: for some reason, the two presenters gave most of their remarks in rhyming couplets, which grew quite tiresome after the first few minutes. (His annoyance led Terry Wogan to dub them "Dr. Death and the Tooth Fairy", which earned him a temporary ban from Denmark.) Then, Aqua, the interval act (yes, of "Barbie Girl" fame), let several curse words fly within their performance. note 
    • 2012 saw Azerbaijan hosting the contest in their recently-constructed Baku Crystal Hall. While the country is often seen as one of the most liberal Muslim-majority countries in upper Asia, their still-draconian anti-LGBTQ laws were seen as counterintuitive for the contest's egalitarian image. Conversely, nearby countries such as Iran objected to their hosting a "pride parade" such as Eurovision. To top it all off, while feuding neighbor and frequent Eurovision competitor Armenia had initially been willing to put their differences aside to compete in the spirit of the contest, anti-Armenian remarks made by the Azerbaijani president led them to withdraw out of fear for their safety. The political implications beneath Azerbaijan's hosting grew less and less subtlenote , and the previous year's host Anke Engelke, who returned to give the German votes, even found a way to subtly call them out for it.
    • The 2017 contest took a minute to get on its feet. The show returned to Ukraine for the first time in twelve years following Jamala's win in Stockholm, but the question about which venue would host the contest took months upon months to answer. The Ukrainian public broadcaster also wasn't swimming in dough, which made the question of financing the contest difficult to answer. While both of these issues were eventually sorted out, a bigger problem soon arose: between 2005 and 2017, tensions had built between Ukraine and Russia, largely due to the civil war in Crimea. Russia had selected Julia Samoylova, a singer in a wheelchair, as their 2017 hopeful, seen by many as a bit of a sympathy move. It was then discovered that Samoylova had visited Crimea in 2015, thereby preventing her from entering Ukraine. The two broadcasters and the EBU attempted to work out a deal that would've allowed Samoylova to perform (one idea was to lift the ban temporarily, another was to have her perform remotely, a Eurovision first), but no negotiation was settled on. Therefore, Russia withdrew, and Ukraine's preventing their performance was greeted with consternation from the other broadcasters. There was also the fact that the hosts barely spoke English, but that was the least of their problems.
    • The 2019 contest was hosted in Tel Aviv, Israel. While the show ultimately went off (pretty much) without a hitch, the run-up was the stuff of nightmares.
      • For starters, based on 2018 winner Netta's cheer of "Next year in Jerusalem!" as she took the trophy (meant mostly as a tongue-in-cheek reference to a Jewish saying spoken at the end of the Passover seder), Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his loyalists immediately declared the 2019 contest would be held in Jerusalem, just as the previous two Eurovisions held in Israel were. This posed some immediate problems: Jerusalem didn't have a large enough indoor arena to host the contest, and contest rules forbade hosting outside for fear of inclement weather. The city isn't known for being particularly liberal, and concerns about observing the Jewish Sabbath when rehearsals needed to be held on Saturdays made rabbis immediately condemn hosting it there. But the biggest hiccup was Jerusalem's disputed status as the capital of both Israel and Palestine, which raised concerns for both tourists and broadcasters and made members of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement immediately condemn the event should it be held in Jerusalem. It was clear that hosting in Jerusalem would be seen as a power move to have it recognized as solely a part of Israel, and while discussion on this topic is far beyond the scope of this page, the political and logistical implications made it seem like a poor choice of host city. Tel Aviv, who initially hadn't even planned on bidding due to Jerusalem's ambitions seeming a done deal, readily took up the challenge, having a more suitable venue and liberal environment. Nevertheless...
      • ...by the time the host city situation had been sorted out, Israeli broadcaster Kan, who had to organize the contest, was dealing with their own problems. The channel had been at odds with Netanyahu since their inception, and while the PR goldmine that was Eurovision helped give them the upper hand, the government's stubborn initial refusal to provide funding assistance or pay the required down payment to the EBU on time led to tensions that nearly cost Israel the gig. They were eventually sorted out. Now, on to the show itself.
      • Tickets were priced extraordinarily high for all the shows, making initial attendance low until details were sorted out and prices were lowered. Delegations had a difficult time ironing out camera and technical issues until the last minute. And then, to top it all off: Madonna. Jewish-Canadian billionaire Sylvan Adams promised to foot the bill for the international pop star to perform as an interval act, and while that was settled, the fact that she didn't sign a contract with the EBU until she was in Israel (and once the live shows had begun!) complicated things. The performance then proved to be a letdown, with misguided political gestures and off-key singing.
      • While most of the contestants were just happy to be there and protests on-ground were minimal, Iceland's provocative electro-punk anti-capitalist BDSM group Hatari (y'know, like the millions of other such bands) had already been threatening to stir up trouble. This came to a head when they received their points in the final, at which point the group's two singers unfurled scarves with the Palestinian flag on them. This could result in the Icelandic broadcaster being fined, but time will tell.
      • Finally, Belarus' jury was dismissed prior to the final after revealing how they voted in the first semi-final, which goes against the rules. The EBU announced that their jury result would be from a combined aggregate vote from their fellow Eastern European countries (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Russia). Somehow, these votes seemed to benefit several of the more poorly-scoring songs, including a 12 to host country Israel, who otherwise didn't score at all with the other juries. Belarus' organizer planned to sue the EBU, worried about the ramifications of not voting for near neighbor Russia as usual. As it turned out, the votes had been given backwards. The countries announced as scoring were, in fact, the aggregate vote's bottom ten. A corrected result was then released by the EBU, which resulted in North Macedonia winning the jury vote over Sweden, who had been announced as doing so in the live show. (It did not, however, affect the overall winner, who remained the Netherlands.)
    • Sadly, like many other events, this hit the planned 2020 contest in Rotterdam hard. Initially, the organization was anything but troubled: the Dutch broadcasters had a more-than-suitable venue in a major city that wasn't Amsterdam (which the Dutch tourism board was encouraging to slow the over-tourism that was wreaking havoc on Amsterdam), great plans for the Eurovision Village and interval acts, and a great stage design. Compared to the drama surrounding Israel's hosting the year before, it was looking like smooth sailing. Then, COVID-19 happened. After debating several work-arounds as cases began to mount in Europe at the tail-end of the national final season (the effects were already showing: Denmark held theirs in an empty arena), once cases began to turn up in the Netherlands, there was no other choice but to take the unprecedented move of canceling the 2020 contest, ending a heretofore-uninterrupted 64-year streak of contests. This left many broadcasters scrambling to figure out how to fill time, and how to reach compromises with the artists who had their months of work come to nothing. Fortunately, some sensitive programming was created to give proper showcases to the 2020 contestants and spread unity, and Rotterdam served as the host city for 2021.
  • Live Aid, the 1985 concert held in both Philadelphia and London simultaneously to raise awareness about poverty and hunger in Africa, was allegedly a living hell for all parties involved.
    • Concert orchestrator Bob Geldof put many artists names on the program without even asking them. This led to many artists who were busy to shift around their plans or else they would look like a terrible person for not showing up. (David Bowie, for instance, was busy shooting Labyrinth; he hastily pulled together a backing band and singers, and prepped/performed his set within a one-week break).
    • Equipment issues were abound on both sets, with wiring and microphones going out left and right. Broadcasters struggled bouncing between the two concerts, with the complicated logistics leading to many popular artists not being aired on both MTV and other TV stations.
    • MTV's own VJs also got a lot of flack for their lack of professionalism and were blamed for Paul McCartney's performance of "Hey Jude" getting cut short due to a broadcasting error.
    • On top of that, the money that was raised was used by the rulers of the oppressed countries to further oppress the people already in poverty. It's no surprise that its sequel concert in 2005, Live 8, focused more on not raising money, but instead, raising awareness and encouraging actual aid.
  • The 2018 European tour of the US indie rock band Threatin, fronted by one-time Abigail Williams bass player Jered "Threatin" Eames, has become almost as infamous as the Fyre Festival. The tour became known for concerts which had almost zero attendance, despite Jered assuring venues that the band had sold hundreds of tickets. As the story went viral, it was quickly revealed that Jered and his wife had set up phony record labels, as well as production studios, management agencies, and booking companies, paid overseas click farms to give Jered thousands of "likes" on social media, and had failed to cover the living expenses for other members of the band (with a $300 food stipend quickly running out). Two members quit half-way through the tour when they realized what was going on, while a third was unable to afford a plane ticket home from the UK. Jered initially tried to pass off the disastrous tour as a piece of performance art before half-heartedly owning up to the fact it was a hoax. The former members of Threatin have tried to sue Jered and his wife, but the couple have seemingly gone on the run to avoid being served. Swindled has an episode dedicated to Threatin's catastrophic tour.
  • Patti Smith once opened for Bob Seger in 1977 in Tampa, Florida. What would have been an ordinary show for her was turned into a disaster due to an oversight from the crew. The band was not allowed to use Seger's lighting rigs, meaning Patti was not able to see where she was dancing. They also had very little room, leaving everything feeling cramped. Patti did a twirl and stepped onto a monitor that she couldn't see because it was painted black. She fell about 15 feet off the stage and broke her neck. She was rushed to the hospital via stretcher. Luckily she survived without paralysis, but it left the already-volatile singer-songwriter even more so than before.
  • Jean-Michel Jarre's concerts sometimes end up troublesome, partly due to his way of thinking big.
    • In 1981, a few years after the death of Mao Zedong, the People's Republic of China carefully began to open itself to the West after about two and a half decades of isolation. This included the first imports of Western music since The '50s, but Chinese authorities found most genres too decadent and feared that music with lyrics (in whichever language) would give the people bad ideas, so the music had to be instrumental and no rock, disco etc. The British Embassy recommended Jarre to them and even imported and distributed several thousand copies of Oxygène and Equinoxe. Eventually, after introducing pre-recorded contemporary Western music to the Chinese, they should also behold such music being performed live. Easier said than done in a country where nothing even remotely like this had ever been done before.
      • Jarre had only played one single electronic concert so far, a show on the Place de la Concorde in Paris on Bastille Day 1979 which attracted more than a million spectators. These shows had to be carried out quite differently, however. Jarre didn't want to repeat the hassle he had with the complex remote-controlling of his instruments that was necessary for him to play everything himself as a solo artist, but he also didn't have any experience with fully electronic bands, and he needed one of these.
      • Jarre had to haul every last piece of technical equipment for these concerts from France to China where nothing like it was available at the time, including quite a number of electronic instruments and the entire PA system.
      • Never before had live music been electronically amplified in China. Even Rock And Roll hadn't appeared there. The Chinese had never heard music that loud, and Jarre and his team feared that they wouldn't take it kindly. These fears turned out unnecessary: The audiences went completely wild.
      • The two concerts in Beijing had some trouble with electricity. The concert venue was surrounded by residential areas, and the electric grid simply wasn't as powerful as necessary. This hadn't mattered before because nothing had ever been performed there that had required significant amounts of electricity, but now came Jarre with dozens of synths and amplifiers and speakers and a massive light show and laser show and whatnot. In order to prevent brownouts during the shows, the city quarters around the venue were cut from electricity before the concerts. Maybe Jarre didn't know that until much later, because he also told a story not too long after the concerts about a missing power supply cable that wasn't found until two hours before the first show.
      • The audience at the first Beijing concert consisted only of political and military officials who didn't do more than take notice of the show and clap because they had to out of politeness. Why was the working class absent? Jarre and his team found out the next day: The tickets were more than dirt cheap for European standards, but they were still unobtainable for the Chinese people. So they spent what amounted to a few hundred dollars, bought up all the tickets for the second Beijing show and gave them away for free.
      • The concerts were recorded for the eventual release of a live album. However, the sound quality wasn't quite satisfying in parts. So Jarre had to "remix" the recordings using the original album recordings and material re-recorded in the studio for this purpose since he already wanted to add another song to the album tracklist, "Souvenir Of China". For example, Dominique Perrier's famous synth solo on "Magnetic Fields 2" is a studio recording.
      • The live recordings of Roger Rizzitelli's massive Simmons SDS V kit must have been good enough for the album; the mic'd hi-hat and cymbals—not so much. This might explain why the album lacks both hi-hat and cymbals whenever no drum machine was involved: The drums weren't redone in the studio.
    • Rendez-vous Houston, April 5, 1986, celebrating the 150th anniversaries of Houston and Texas and the 25th anniversary of NASA. It became the biggest concert in the history of music in several regards, also to the sheer size of its light show, and Jarre broke his own record for the biggest live concert audience ever with it, but it was troublesome. Okay, where to start?
      • First of all, nobody had ever attempted to do anything like this at this size ever before, not only illuminating almost entire skyscrapers, but also projecting images and films on them.
      • Jarre wanted fireworks. He had them at his debut concert in Paris already. Now, fireworks were banned in Texas, but Jarre insisted in having them. So he needed firefighters on standby for a threat that they weren't trained for. It made matters even more difficult that the fireworks were launched from skyscraper roofs.
      • In late January, the Challenger disaster happened. At first, it seemed like early April, a good two months later, would be too soon for NASA to celebrate anything, and Jarre was on the brink of canceling the show. But NASA people and the family of Ron McNair, who was planned to play his saxophone aboard Challenger transmitted live to the concert, convinced Jarre that his concert may as well serve as a memorial.
      • Speaking of Ron McNair, he should have recorded the same piece of music earlier for Jarre's new album Rendez-vous, thereby playing the first piece of music ever recorded in space. Neither were possible anymore. On the album, he was replaced with Pierre Gossez, and his concert replacement was Kirk Whalum.
      • About one and a half hours before the show, a thunderstorm with lots of rain hit Houston. Mind you, that was when everything was set up from the instruments on stage to an enormous PA system to the biggest concert light show ever to remote-controlled skytrackers and fireworks on top of high-rise buildings to miles upon miles of cables. And most of that stuff wasn't exactly weather-resistant, including the huge projection screens mounted on two skyscrapers that weren't designed to withstand stormy weather. At this point, everybody was afraid that so much would break that the show would have had canceled with most of the audience already on location. It was a miracle that the tech installations survived the sudden inclement weather.
      • As with all of Jarre's large-scale outdoor concerts, traffic became troublesome around the event. Nobody could even estimate how large an audience Jarre would attract. By and by, over 1.5 million people came to find places from where to see the show, even if they were so far away that they could only hear the actual audio on the radio instead of from the PA system. Hours before the concert, several freeways had to be closed by the police because they were clogged. Many people actually watched the concert from their cars still standing on the freeways or from atop freeway signs. The situation worsened after the concert was over: Everybody wanted to go home at the same time, causing all road traffic in Houston to collapse.
    • The main problem for the similarly large-scale Rendez-vous Lyon that happened exactly half a year later in Jarre's birthplace was security. The concert was to accompany Pope John Paul II's visit to Lyons. However, Nostradamus had announced for 1986 that a pope would be murdered in a city where two rivers join, and this applies to Lyons. Authorities had even discovered some allegedly terrorist activities. Fortunately, nothing happened.
    • After the experiences with Rendez-vous Houston and Rendez-vous Lyon in 1986, Destination Docklands was planned as the be-all, end-all mega-concert with a live audience of up to four million people, including several ten thousand seated with paid tickets and Princess Diana herself, and scheduled to happen at London's Queen Victoria Docks on September 24th, 1988. Mind you, that was before the Docklands were converted into a new city quarter—or rather when the first phase of this transformation had just started, namely the demolition of the old harbor buildings.
      Now, that wasn't the main problem Destination Docklands had. It was the weather. Heavy rain and storm were announced for that 24th of September, so the show had to be delayed, and the plans regarding the audience were changed. The concert was eventually played twice, on October 8th and 9th. But even these two days brought lots of rain with them which wasn't exactly kind to all those electronic instruments on the floating stage. It was a good thing that the gig was backed with the studio recordings again because there wasn't much that the musicians could do with most of the electronic instruments out cold (and wet).
      The floating stage was mounted on top of a number of barges that had been transferred to London from Oop North and welded together. Originally, this stage construction was to span the entire width of the Thames like a floating bridge. But the severe English autumn weather made this plan too hazardous to carry out. Even the 120-piece choir, otherwise fully dressed in white like at earlier and later Jarre concerts, left their orange life jackets on while on stage and exposed to the weather.
    • And then there was (or rather wasn't) the 1991 concert in Teotihuacan during the solar eclipse, the first one which Jarre had to cancel altogether on short notice. A custom-made stage would have been part of the show, brought over to Mexico all the way from Europe. The show had to be canceled because the ship with the stage aboard sank in the Atlantic, and Jarre couldn't get a local-made replacement.
    • The 1993 Europe In Concert tour had its own shares of trouble.
      • The first gig was at Mont St. Michel, itself a gorgeous location for a Jarre-style outdoor concert. However, it's a rather remote place, connected only via rural streets and a rather narrow bridge. Even though tickets were needed for the tour concerts, the sheer number of spectators was too much for the traffic infrastructure, and especially the bridge was a bottleneck. Not few people who had tickets couldn't get to the show at all before it ended.
      • The concert in Madrid fell victim to the weather on the very day that it should have happened. Rain had soaked and softened the ground at the concert location so much that the gigantic and heavy stage with its enormous projection screens mounted at the back had already begun to sink into the mud. Keep in mind how much heavier the back of the stage with the projection screens was in comparison to the front.
        By the way, Jarre has never played an outdoor tour again, even if indoor venues meant much smaller shows and no fireworks.
    • After the Europe In Concert tour, two similar shows were to follow in 1994. One was in Hongkong for the opening of a new stadium where Jarre beat Michael Jackson and Madonna as the musical guest of honor. The other one was to take place in Düsseldorf, one of Germany's main breeding grounds of Electronic Music (Kraftwerk, anyone?), in June, and this show was planned to be released as a Live Album. However, disagreements with the main local company who took care of the show couldn't be solved in time, so the concert had to be canceled eight days before its date.
      The Live Album, by the way, became Hong Kong. Now, there hadn't been any album-worthy footage recorded at that gig. Instead, the album was stitched together from "Fishing Junks At Sunset" from the dress rehearsals (the only track actually recorded in Hongkong), "Souvenir Of China" from Paris La Défense and everything else having been taken from the Europe In Concert tour. If you happen to own both the Hong Kong album and the Europe In Concert - Barcelona VHS tape, now you know why some songs sound so similar.
    • Oxygen In Moscow, Jarre's 1997 concert for the 850th anniversary of the Russian capital in front of the gigantic Moscow State University, did go ahead, and Jarre broke his own audience record for the third time in a row, a record that he still holds. But staging such a concert in Russia less than six years after the end of the Soviet Union, during the Yeltsin era, and when the city was so busy preparing the anniversary celebrations that it was difficult to get anything that you hadn't brought along yourself, turned out so difficult that it bordered on impossible. For example, the illumination of the Moscow State University and the skytrackers had to be lifted onto the building, and the best way of doing that was with a helicopter. But trying to get one on that weekend was hit-and-miss to say the least. At least the over 3.5 million spectators didn't cause traffic congestions. The show could be viewed live from most of the city due to its site being on top of Vorobiovy Hills, and everyone was either out on the streets anyway, celebrating the anniversary and continuing to do so after the show, or simply watched the concert from at home.
    • For the alleged turn-of-the-millennium night, Jarre got offers from big cities around the world who wanted to outshine each other with bigger and more spectacular lightshows and fireworks than all other places, and the sure-fire way to achieve that was a Jarre concert. The man turned them all down and opted for the Pyramids of Giza instead. Now, you can probably imagine that playing a large-scale electronic concert in such a place is everything but easy.
      • Jarre's set list included his audience favorite "Revolution, Revolutions", but he had to change both the lyrics and the title because the word "revolution" was banned in Egypt. Eleven years later, it became clear why.
      • The set list itself had to be changed spontaneously because the record player on which Jarre wanted to play a record by the very famous Egyptian singer Um Kalthoum (whom Jarre wanted to marry when he was a kid) didn't work at first. This wasn't too easy, considering that the whole show was one huge Pro Tools project, and the schedule included the countdown to midnight itself.
      • Worse yet: Not long after the three-hour main concert had started, the venue was covered in increasingly thick fog. Even for those in the front row (whatever that meant at a Jarre concert), the pyramids were invisible, and nobody could watch the projections on the ancient structure and the fireworks anymore. It's supposed that the masses of electronic machinery, especially the PA amplification, heated up the desert ground so much that it was the concert itself that caused the fog.
      • All this makes clear how overambitious earlier plans were to place a gold cap on top of the Cheops pyramid with a helicopter during the concert.
    • Jarre's major concert of 2002 was Aero, a one-off gig in a Danish windmill park. The location was very remote, and between the venue itself and the nearest local road, nothing was paved, so apart from a few paths, all ground from the audience area to the "parking lot" was agricultural soil. And it rained again. Both the day before and the day after were sunny and dry, but on this very day, it had to rain. This time, the stage was prepared for rain, it was significantly smaller and more lightweight than that at the Europe In Concert tour, and there were transparent tents that kept the rain away from the instruments. Everything else—wasn't. The rainiest Roskilde Festival was harmless in comparison to the mud that the Aero audience was standing in. Lots of cars got stuck in the mud when people wanted to leave after the show, and that was in rural Denmark in the middle of the night, so getting help (farmers with tractors to pull everyone's cars out of the mud) was difficult. At least, this stretched people's departures enough to keep the small roads from clogging entirely.
    • The only show in Germany during the In>Doors tour in 2009 is notable, too. For some reason, the tour originally omitted Germany altogether in spite of the many Jarre fans living there. Eventually, it was added, but on such a short notice, only one gig was possible. As far as locations went, there wasn't much more available anymore than the Sporthalle Oberwerth in Koblenz. Now, the main problem with this location wasn't so much how remote it is, making shuttle buses necessary.
      The day when the concert took place was in late May. Now, Koblenz is located on a latitude on which Canada is only sparsely populated, just to show you how far north it is. That meant quite a late sunset. Add to this the weather which was fine for a change, but which caused the sky to stay rather bright for rather long on that day. Normally, that wouldn't be a problem for an indoor show, but the Sporthalle Oberwerth has got three big skylights and no wall between the glass front and the field (or the stage in this case), and neither the skylights nor the glass front could be covered up. And the light show at Jarre's concerts require darkness. The concert had to be delayed by more than half an hour, and even when it finally started, it wasn't fully dark yet during the first two or three songs.
  • Continuing a trend, Woodstock 50, scheduled for August 2019, had a lot of issues, and it never even happened. A complete post-mortem can be found here, but some of the finer details:
    • To start, there was trouble with their selected location of the Watkins Glen International Speedway in upstate New York. Permits were not filed on schedule, and there was some doubt about whether the space even could hold as many people as they were hoping to attract. (In fact, multiple attempts were made to convince Woodstock Ventures partner Michael Lang to choose a different place or at least cut max attendance, but he was set.) End result: ticket sales were postponed indefinitely.
    • Then Dentsu Aegis Network, one of the investors, announced that the festival was canceled—a statement which was contradicted by festival management. To say this left things in a state of extreme confusion is a massive understatement, because Dentsu Aegis pulling out might actually have voided the contracts of every artist slated to appear. Agencies ended up making the choices individually.
    • Festival management accused Dentsu Aegis of misappropriating funds and sued them. Dentsu Aegis accused them of doing the same thing and sued back. Oh, and Woodstock 50 almost lost the legal rights to call itself Woodstock anything. In the end the festival got to keep the name and the money, but...
    • Watkins Glen withdrew approval for all of their permits due to Woodstock 50's failure to pay up. The festival attempted to move to Vernon, NY, but local officials had grave concerns about the event, not least because to work around the limitations of the new venue (no campgrounds), they'd have to significantly change the structure of the festival, and there wasn't enough time to do it correctly. Eventually it was decided that Woodstock 50 could only proceed in Vernon if they were willing to postpone a year to prepare. When festival management said they weren't willing to delay, Vernon decided Woodstock couldn't be held there ever.
    • The festival was then moved to Merriweather Post Pavilion, a popular concert venue in Maryland. For a few days, it looked like the event would happen after all, but then it all fell apart. First, the festival was turned into a free event intended to raise donations for charities. Then, because The Smashing Pumpkins had already scheduled a concert at the pavilion for that weekend, the festival was reduced from three days to just one.
    • The artists on the lineup became annoyed about the move to Maryland; Some of them had already planned concerts in that area around that weekend, and the festival now violated the radius clause for those shows. Other artists had planned shows in upstate New York before and after Woodstock 50, and would have to fly to Maryland between shows to appear at the festival. The festival released all the artists from their contracts, but encouraged them to show up anyway. Several headliners, including Jay-Z, Dead & Company, John Fogerty and Miley Cyrus, canceled their appearances in the days following the move. Only The Zombies publicly confirmed they would still perform.
    • Finally, just a few days after the move to Merriweather Post, and with artists bailing on the festival, Woodstock 50 was canceled on July 31. That was just three weeks before the festival was supposed to take place. In all the time that Woodstock was tangled in production trouble, no tickets were ever sold and no preparations had been made at any of the venues.
  • Black Flag was notorious for troubled shows all throughout their career. Fights frequently broke out in the audience, they found themselves frequently banned for the aggressiveness of their music, and police always showed up and harassed the band and audience. Towards the end, the band started getting irritated by vocalist Henry Rollins' big headedness and guitarist Gregg Ginn's workaholism. However, two particular tours make those ordeals seem like jokes in comparison.
    • First was their December 1981 UK Tour. Shows were constantly interrupted by massive fights started by rival punk bands. During one show, guitarist Greg Ginn had a bullet thrown at his head, which caused him retaliate by throwing a folding chair into the audience. The freezing cold weather caused the under-prepared band to struggle through their shows. As if that wasn't bad enough, they even missed their flight home. The tour proved to be a massive success, though, as it increased the band's influence onto a national scale.
    • Then we have their 1983 European Tour with Minutemen. Vocalist Henry Rollins started getting irritated with Minutemen vocalist/ bassist Mike Watts, causing arguments between the two in and outside of the van. At a German show, Rollins bit an audience member in the mouth by accident, getting blood all over his face. Another show in Vienna involved Rollins sustaining several injuries. He got burned in the leg by a cigar, spat on by several fans, and bashed in the jaw with a microphone. The bouncers were also getting rowdy, harassing a stage diver. Rollins tried to stop the harassment and got punched in the jaw by the stage diver. The police were called, and the audience killed the police dog on duty. In one show in England, Rollins beat a fan who was pestering the band, causing Ginn to give Rollins grief for it for years. In another Italian show, they pulled up to the club and a bunch of Italian fans surrounded the truck and started trying to tip it. The band escaped the van, but were bombarded by the punks, who hugged and kissed them and shoved presents in their faces.
  • Speaking of Minutemen, their 1984 tour with R.E.M. was described as "rough" by bassist/ vocalist Mike Watts. According to Watts, anyone outside of R.E.M. was hostile towards them. Most of the tour crew didn't understand what the band was doing. They were also put off by D. Boon's odd decision to dress like Fidel Castro for some of the shows. R.E.M.'s label I.R.S. refused to advertise Minutemen on the posters for the tour, leaving many fans to be unaware that they were even touring. In a few shows, one of the crew members put a line of gaffing tape and wrote "geek line" on it, forbidding the band to cross. Watt got an extremely bad case of food poisoning, leaving him sick for days and soiling his pants. Despite these problems, it was one of Minutemen's most successful tours, helping gain them an audience they never had.
  • Minor Threat, as mild mannered as the band was, faced extremely troubled shows. They faced the usual problem of rowdy punk fans starting fights, but they also had to deal with the difficulty of dedicating themselves to all ages venues and being mocked for vocalist Ian MacKaye's straight edge lifestyle. On the road to Canada they were once stopped by border patrol, thinking they were smuggling drugs, only to find boxes of over 800 packages of bubblegum. They also struggled to feed themselves. It was one of the many factors that led to the band's demise.
  • Fugazi's first European Tour was extremely stressful. Frontman Ian MacKaye decided to tour the band without recording an album first as to avoid bouncing off of his old band, Minor Threat's fame. This lead to many venues being apprehensive to book them due to them having full length releases. The band was unprepared for the constantly changing cultures, food, and currency. The most stressful part was the places they had to sleep. In many cases, they would be sleeping in the dressing room just feet away from the stage they just played. Most of the time these places were unclean and didn't have any comfortable arrangements for the band to do anything as simple as use the restroom. Rats were rampant and the beds were dirty to the point where even their sleeping bags would get filthy just touching them. Luckily, it helped make the band even more famous when they finally did make their debut album and it helped MacKaye separate himself from Minor Threat.
  • Grunge pioneers Green River went on a tour in October of 1985 meant to go from Washington to Texas that was rife with trouble.
    • The band's "bus", which consisted of a station wagon cheaply rigged up to a U-Haul trailer, proved to be uncomfortable and dangerous to drive.
    • When they played in Detroit, bassist Jeff Ament wore a pink shirt that caught the negative attention of a female audience member who kept spitting at him. Ament put his foot at her face in an attempt to get her to stop. This caused her boyfriend to yank Ament by the leg into the audience and the boyfriend beat up Ament. Arm then jumped in to get Ament out, which caused Arm to get beaten himself.
    • They were supposed to open for famed British punk band The U.K. Subs in Boston to close out the tour. When they arrived, though, they discovered that the Subs didn't make it into the country, meaning the show was cancelled. Luckily their bookie successfully booked them to play at CBGB's in New York City the next night.
    • At one show in Newport, Kentucky, where they opened for Big Black, the power cut out before they even started. Even though it was just a fuse that went out, vocalist Mark Arm thought it was an attempt to sabotage their shows set up by the club because they were not able to draw as big of a crowd as Red Hot Chili Peppers, who were just playing across town. Arm then violently threw the microphone into the audience, prompting Big Black's vocalist Steve Albini to tell them to leave.
    • On their way back to Seattle, the band's "bus" ended up veering into a ditch. Allegedly, guitarist Stone Gossard was talking about lighting his own farts on fire, he attempted it and the sudden ignition of fire startled Arm, who was behind the wheel. Arm denies that this happened.
    • The band ultimately played eight shows in what was supposed to be a sixteen show tour and barely made any money off of it. Luckily the band survived, but it shook them up.
  • Djent band Monuments had a hell of a time supporting The Contortionist on their Language Spring 2016 headlining tour. Bad booking and management on their end led to not all members performing at shows (usually missing then vocalist Chris Barretto) and them being in such a financial hole that they dropped off the tour before they lost any more money. This ended up affecting the band in the long run, as Monuments went on hiatus after the tour until 2018 when they dropped their third album, Phronesis. It should be noted that the remainder of the tour went off smoothly for the other bands on the bill (The Contortionist, Entheos, and sleepmakeswave). Wanting to avoid another disaster like their previous tour in the states, Monuments preemptively canceled a headlining tour in 2019 as their booking agency (the same one they used for The Contortionist tour) failed to secure the necessary visas.
  • The 2018 Bloodletting North America Tour was, frankly, a shitshow. An awkward lineup (Within Destruction, Angelmaker, Pyrexia, Internal Bleeding, Arsis, and Decrepit Birth) limited the tour from the get-go, as many of the bands had very different fanbases that often didn't care about the rest of the bill, and Arsis (one of the headliners) was extremely out of place on the bill and was also not a strong headliner to begin with. Things took a nosedive almost as soon as the tour started, as Bill Robinson of Decrepit Birth attempted a stagedive on the second night and broke his leg, forcing them to drop off the tour. The tour continued, but low attendances were commonplace, and the incompatible fanbases meant lots of walkouts; the deathcore fans would leave after Angelmaker got off, and then the slam fans would leave after Internal Bleeding got off, which usually meant that Arsis would play to a small handful of people. Things got even worse when Angelmaker had to drop off midway through the tour, further reducing attendances. By the end of the tour, not a single band had finished anywhere close to in the black (Luka Vezzosi would later go on to reveal in a Facebook group that between work visas, van rental costs, merch printing invoices, and road-related expenses, Within Destruction finished the tour over $10,000 in the hole), and all parties involved have privately said that it was among the worst tours that they have ever done.
    • While the 2019 iteration of Bloodletting did vastly better and was a success (and the bands were far happier with the results, aside from Organectomy being delayed for a little over a week due to visa holdups), Continuum's involvement was another example of this. They weren't even really expecting to get the offer or to do much in support of Designed Obsolescence beyond several short West Coast runs, and when they got the offer, they reluctantly took it because they figured that they wouldn't get another chance like that any time soon, if ever. After accepting the offer, then-drummer Ron Casey told the band that he wasn't going to do the tour, and the band drafted Jeff Saltzman as a live fill-in. Several months later, Casey decided that he was going to do the tour after all, and Saltzman, figuring that his services were no longer needed, booked a flight and blocked off several weeks in late October to go visit his girlfriend, only for Casey to bail once again not that long before the tour was supposed to start, and Saltzman came back under the condition that the band was okay with most likely not doing the entire tour, as part of his visit fell within the tour. While they could have potentially drafted someone from another band to do the rest of the tour, the band went "fuck it" after the first week, when bassist Nick Willbrand was told by his job in no uncertain terms that if he didn't find a way back to California as soon as possible, he wouldn't have one when he got home, and after Saltzman's time came to an end, they dropped off and went home. While this ultimately led to Saltzman getting hired on by Allegaeon as their new drummer, the actual Continuum experience was a mess.
  • The Labor Day/Erie Canal Soda Pop Festival of 1972 is still well known among kids of the 60s and 70s as one of the most catastrophically unorganized and infamous messes in music festival history. Despite the fact that they were still reeling from a lawsuit following their previous festival, the otherwise modestly successful Bosse Field Freedom Fest held in July the same year in Evansville, Indiana, music promoters Bob Alexander and Tom Duncan decided to go bigger and better for their next festival, and conceptualized a big musical extravaganza full of many late 60s-early 70s music superstars that they claimed would be "bigger than Woodstock". To say that the festival did not end up panning out like Alexander and Duncan had planned would be an understatement:
    • Things began to go downhill before the festival even started. The resulting mess from Alexander and Duncan's Freedom Fest earlier that year caused Evansville and many adjacent Indiana cities and entire counties to legally bar the Soda Pop Festival from being held within them, drowning the two in legal woes and leaving them scrambling to come up with a location for the festival without encountering further legal trouble. On top of that, the Labor Day festival was gearing up to have well more than its projected attendance of 55,000 people due to the negative press from the festival's legal woes reaching the public and enchanting rebellious teens combined with an advertising campaign by a major radio station Gone Horribly Right, resulting in upwards of 300,000 people being en route to a festival that didn't even have a set location yet. Alexander and Duncan finally settled on a site known by locals as "Bull Island" just outside the small town of Griffin, Indiana. Due to the site's location along the Wabash River, the site was in Illinois, but on Indiana's side of the river,note  effectively putting the promoters and festival out of Indiana's jurisdiction despite still being on Indiana's side of the river but now making the festival Illinois' problem as well. After further legal battles with cities and counties on both sides of the Wabash, however, Alexander and Duncan finally got the permit to have their festival at Bull Island and scrambled to get things set up before the massive crowds arrived.
    • Then the festival got started and things went From Bad to Worse. Every road from major highways like nearby Interstate 64 to small country roads were backed up with stand-still traffic stretching for miles and miles, to the point that many would-be attendees simply abandoned their vehicles and set out for the site on foot. Upon getting there, a terminal lack of crowd control or security (the police officers who were there were hopelessly outnumbered) meant that attendees were free to turn the festival into a drug-themed flea market and sell drugs and other illegal substances left and right. There was also no time to put up adequate public restrooms due to everything being set up at the last second, so the site ended up covered in human waste as smashed attendees simply went wherever they felt like it. Most of the lined up performers never even performed and/or simply left due to either Alexander and Duncan not being able to compensate them for the unexpectedly large crowds, fleeing upon seeing the crowds they were performing for, or simply not showing up at all in the first place. Food and drinks at the festival quickly ran out, and the traffic jams on the roads meant that little to no more food could even be brought in. As the days of the festival went on, the mood of the festival grew increasingly more dour due to a combination of the lack of food and facilities, exorbitant prices on the food that was still there thanks to vendors gouging their prices, and many of the promised band performances never happening. By Sunday, the festival had degenerated into complete chaos as food stations and vendor trucks were raided and destroyed by irate attendees and fights broke out. Alexander and Duncan fled for their lives as the festival drew to a close, and the last few attendees who hadn't left the site yet by Tuesday burned down the stage.
    • Afterward, Bull Island was such a mess afterward between the trash, drugs, poop, and destroyed vehicles that it took months to clean everything up. Alexander and Duncan were up to their ears in lawsuits and were barely able to bounce back afterward, and Duncan in particular was so shaken up by the mess it led to him turning against rock 'n roll entirely. To top it all off, several attendees had died from either drug overdoses or drowning in the river, and the festival went down in history as one of the most biggest music-related debacles of its time next to Altamont three years earlier.
  • Rockstar Mayhem Fest 2015 was a hot mess. There was a long time for the lineup to be announced, meaning Rockstar cobbled whoever was available at the time. The other thing that blighted Mayhem Fest 2015 was most of the sponsors (such as Metal Blade, Sumerian, and the various alcohol sponsors) pulled out leading to Mayhem having poor production and a weaker lineup than previous years. Even with Slayer and King Diamond headlining note  they couldn’t anchor a tour of Mayhem’s size and with the lineup (Hellyeah, The Devil Wears Prada, Whitechapel, Thy Art Is Murder, Code Orange, and whoever was active on Victory at the time, this was also before Thy Art or Code Orange really blew up in popularity) that year. Not helping was how incompatible the band’s fanbases were. Core kids would leave after Whitechapel’s set, whereas the older heads wouldn’t bother showing up until Hellyeah’s or King Diamond’s set. Even still, the numbers for the tour were considerably lower than previous years and Mayhem was constantly in the red. When the festival came to a close Rockstar announced that Mayhem Festival 2015 would be its last until 2020 when it was announced that Mayhem would return, only for the COVID-19 pandemic to shelve them. CJ from Thy Art is Murder gave his thoughts about Mayhem 2015 here.
  • As discussed above, Eurovision isn't easy to pull off. Imagine trying to do Eurovision with significantly less of a budget and way less time. That's where we come to the Turkvision Song Contest, the Turkic answer to Eurovision, and its troubled history.
    • The contest only came into existence because the Turkish broadcaster wasn't happy with how the 50/50 jury-televote system had impacted their success at the contest,note  the status of the Big Five countries,note  and - most controversially - the contest's modern liberal values, which they disapproved of.note  They decided to take an extended absence from Eurovision and develop their own contest to celebrate the various Turkic nations and regions, as well as countries and regions with significant Turkic populations. An interesting idea, in theory. Actually pulling it off was another matter.
    • The contest was a co-production of TURKSOY (the main Turkic cultural organization) and TMB TV (a Turkish broadcaster). The idea was to host Turkvision in each year's Turkic Capital of Culture, which is decided by TURKSOY every year, thereby placing the first contest in Eskişehir, Turkey. The final line-up of participants wasn't confirmed until two days before the semi-final round. The voting for the semi-final round was never disclosed except for the qualifiers, and the sound and lighting was visibly poor. In pretty much every respect, it felt like an off-brand Eurovision, and did a disservice to the unique concept.
    • The following year continued the tradition of hosting in the Turkic Capital of Culture, taking the contest to Kazan, Tatarstan (an autonomous region in Russia). The singer representing Northern Cyprus wasn't permitted entry into Russia because his passport was a Northern Cypriot passport, and that area of Cyprus isn't recognized as an independent nation by any other country except Turkey themselves. Speaking of Turkey, they themselves came under fire after the semi-final round for representative Funda Kılıç wearing shorts (not a big deal at Eurovision, where plenty of entrants - Turkish acts included - have worn even less at different points, but controversial among the Muslim-majority contestants), possibly explaining her staggering drop from finishing second in the semi-final round to dead-last in the final. Finally, after initially only qualifying twelve entries for the final, the finalists were expanded to fifteen when it turned out Turkmenistan committed voting fraud and awarded their own entry five points (the deduction of the five points led to them finishing fifteenth, so this would seem to be the solution that'd allow the entries finishing above Turkmenistan to pass as well as not removing Turkmenistan's representative from the final just because of the jury's actions).
    • The 2015 contest was initially going to be held in Mary, Turkmenistan, only for it to change to their capital city Ashgabat, then once again to Istanbul, Turkey. The final host city wasn't confirmed until August, with the contest due to take place in December.note  Additionally, with only about a week to spare until the contest, every Russian region who'd prepared to participate again withdrew due to bad relations between Russia and Turkey over a drone strike attack the Turkish military had taken out on a Russian plane. This led to the cancelation of the semi-final round.
    • The contest was due to take place again in 2016, but shortly beforehand, it was postponed to March 2017 on account of the December 2016 Istanbul bombings. Astana, Kazakhstan was due to take it on instead, but these plans fell through as well. A new, online-only edition was held in 2020. Did it improve on the past track record? Well...
    • ...while the contest wasn't announced until October 2020, it didn't take long for a lineup to be confirmed (although some countries weren't confirmed until the running order was announced, and a bunch of them released no information about their songs whatsoever prior to the show). Some entries were picked through a national broadcaster or cultural group, others through direct submissions. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, entries were filmed remotely in front of green screens, but given the mix of professional organizers and amateurs, the video quality varied wildly. COVID restrictions in the Netherlands also meant that their planned debutant couldn't even film his entry and had to withdraw. The final broadcast was riddled with technical issues and misinformed presenters, betraying that TMB TV was unaware of how big an audience the contest would have (largely thanks to Eurovision fans in need of a fix when their own contest was canceled). It was simultaneously livestreamed on TMB TV's YouTube channel and several broadcasters, but the show ran so long (it wound up being five hours, two hours past its planned runtime) that the broadcasters mostly cut it off when it went past the planned time. This was exacerbated by the fact that due to the judges taking their time in voting and the graphics team needing to come up with the scoreboards for each country, the broadcaster needed to fill time. The solution? They ran a recap of the twenty-six competing entries ten times, which is excessive even before considering that unlike at Eurovision, where the purpose of the recaps is to remind voters at home of each entry, there was no open vote at Turkvision, so multiple reminders of the competing songs wasn't needed. It got clowned by the bemused Eurovision fans on Twitter and earned a reprimand from the Turkvision Facebook group started in conjunction with the contest. There are plans to return in 2021, but the organizational issues have yet to be solved effectively.
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