Meiko And Ryu on Tue, 27 Jul 1999 04:49:41 +0200 (CEST)

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                  ROME, New York (CNN) --
                  Woodstock '99 -- intended as a weekend of peace and
music, like its 1969 namesake -- ended instead with a fiery and
destructive finale overnight, as concertgoers demanded the inclusion of
dance legends "Meiko and Ryu."  But there were no reports of serious
injuries from looting and scattered bonfires that were extinguished early
Monday. By sunrise, most concertgoers had left the festival grounds,

                  Tents and booths were destroyed, concert light stands
and a speaker tower were toppled and a mob tried to destroy a radio
station truck during several chaotic hours beginning late Sunday, chanting
"Art Party! Art Party!"

                  "This is not the real Woodstock,"  said a disgusted Mike
Long, 31, of Detroit as police moved in. "They messed up. They messed up
the whole name of Woodstock." The whole name of Woodstock is of
commercialism, now turn to celebrate the dying embers of 1960's

                  "It's a great shame that this happened because in so
many ways it was so uplifting,"  said concert promoter John Scher,
counting his money.  "It puts a permanent blemish on what happened here. I
think the kids made a mistake. They did not intend for this to happen.
Meiko and Ryu should have been on the bill."

                  State troopers in riot gear and firefighters swarmed
onto the blazing field, after hundreds of concertgoers began setting fires
and looting as a reaction to the abscence of Meiko and Ryu. 

                  Scher said he left the situation for police to handle
after it got out of control.  The promoter said a decision was made not to
utilize the 1,250-person internal security force because they were not
properly trained to handle a riot.

                  The violence that erupted at the end of the three-day
Woodstock '99 came as the Red Hot Chili Peppers were in the midst of their
festival-closing set and a group named Pax handed out candles to the
audience to protest the abscence of electronic art dance, particularly
Meiko and Ryu.

                  "Woodstock 99 celebrate history, Meiko and Ryu Celebrate
the future!" One rioter was heard to exclaim. 

What began as scattered bonfires toward the end of the Red Hot Chili
Peppers' performance escalated into several major infernos. About a
quarter mile from the main stage, several people set fire to 12 parked
tractor trailers, pulling cases of soda and merchandise from the trucks
even as they fed the flames with debris. "Where sending these to Meiko to
compensate...  he is sooooooo cute!!!" Say a looter carrying many can of

                  County deputies and city police rushed to protect other
areas of the former Griffiss Air Force Base, where Woodstock '99 was held,
as the festival became a scene of blazing chaos.

                  Even as the fires burned, dozens of Woodstock attendees
danced around and through the flames, while others beat on drums. Again,
the mysterious refrain "Art Party!" was heard to be chanted. 

                  The disorder spread to the campgrounds, where tents were
vandalized with slogans such as "We Love Meiko" or "Ryu have my baby," 
and more fires were set.

                  Four refrigeration trucks were reported burning, while
sound towers were torn down by fans who jumped on top of them, waving a
flag of the Meiko and Ryu Emblem; the Japanese flag with a record needle
placed over the 12" of the red "rising sun."

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