SAUGERTIES, N.Y.-There was endless mud, a security breakdown and mountains of garbage left in the aftermath, but Woodstock '94 was a huge success for both concertgoers and promoters.
At its height late Aug. 13, 350,000 to 400,000 people were crammed skin-to-skin and tent-to-tent at the site. State police closed three exits off the New York State Thruway and even those with tickets were turned away. About 200,000 tickets were sold, but most were not collected as the size of the crowd overwhelmed the gatekeepers.
Lead sponsor Pepsi-Cola Co., which spent an estimated $5 million to be connected to the event and sold or gave away 1 million bottles of Pepsi over the Aug. 12-14 weekend, called it "a great experience."
"The music was great, the turnout was unbelievable and we feel very good about it," said a Pepsi-Cola spokesman. "Woodstock '94 was about keeping us relevant and contemporary for today's consumers. We're music marketing pioneers, so it made sense for us to be there."
Executives from sponsor Haagen-Dazs Co., which spent an estimated $1 million and introduced Brownies A La Mode ice cream at the event, got into the spirit.
Marketing Director Terry Olson's favorite moment was watching a guy slide down a mud hill created by the weekend rains and water fountains built for the event.
"He got to the bottom, stood up, and someone handed him a pint of Haagen-Dazs Brownies A La Mode," Mr. Olson said. "It was so great, watching him standing there in the mud eating ice cream."
Other sponsors, paying an estimated $1 million each, included Vermont Pure Spring Water, Gibson Guitar Corp. and Continental Airlines.
Of course, some corporate backlash might be expected at an event that, in part, commemorated the 1969 Woodstock fest.
One concertgoer was seen sporting a T-shirt that read, "Just say no to Pepsi." Blind Melon's lead singer noted from the stage that one band member "doesn't drink Pepsi, he drinks Coke."
But most seemed nonplussed by the concert's corporate support. They scarfed up concert memorabilia, with T-shirts selling out before the event ended.
MTV Networks-which launched "The Goods" home shopping test with Woodstock '94 products like sweatshirts, commemorative back stage passes and rain slickers-sold more than $1 million in merchandise over the weekend.
Unlike its '69 predecessor, concert promoters were able to call Woodstock '94 an immediate business success.
Julie Liesse in Chicago contributed to this story.