While detectives try to get to the bottom of the Woodstock
’99-related rape charges, local politicians introduce legislation
to make sure future mass gatherings are more sanitary, and rioters
face court dates, festival promoters might take small comfort in
the fact that all the lingering controversy might actually help
sales of the live Woodstock album due out in September.
“Anything that increases people’s awareness of Woodstock will
increase album sales,” says John Grandoni, vice-president of
purchasing for National Record Mart, which owns 185 stores
A successful Woodstock album (as well as accompanying home video)
is crucial if promoters are to make a profit. Despite 225,000 $180
festival tickets being sold, it’s the ancillary items — the
pay-per-view, the album, the TV special, the home video — that
will determine whether or not Woodstock ’99 was a money-maker.
Promoters, along with executives at Epic Records, which is
releasing the album, have more than enough material to choose from.
And a final roster cut should be announced soon.
Yet even if the disc includes cuts by the Dave Matthews Band,
Offspring, Limp Bizkit, Korn, Sheryl Crow, and other platinum
selling acts, that won’t guarantee a hit record. The double live
album that commemorated Woodstock ’94 has yet to sell 500,000
copies, according to SoundScan. “It was forgettable,” says
That’s where all the press and mayhem surrounding this year’s
festival could provide an unexpected boost. “Many people who
wouldn’t have known about Woodstock without the controversial
ending now know about it and are interested,” says Grandoni. And as
he points out, in the music business “all publicity is good