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Ongoing History Daily: Bottling Iggy Pop

Once upon a time when things may have been more civilized, you could bring almost anything you wanted into a music festival. Blankets, lawn chairs, coolers—whatever you needed to stay comfortable on a hot and sunny day. Bottles of water were important, too, because it’s important to remain hydrated.

Such was the case with the Rock Werchter Festival in Belgium back in 1991. The lineup featured Happy Mondays, Sting, The Pixies, and Iggy Pop. When Iggy performed, he encouraged the crowd to throw all their plastic water bottles at the stage—which, of course, it did.

Thousands and thousands of them flew through the air—and not all of them were empty. The first aid tents were overwhelmed with injured people, including plenty with broken noses. When it stopped, the pile of bottles on the stage was a foot deep.

And then Sting came on and started into the Police hit, “Message in a Bottle.” You can imagine what happened then.

This is why we can’t have nice things at festivals anymore.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

Alan Cross has 37879 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

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