With Netflix’s ‘Trainwreck: Woodstock ’99’ delving deep into the baffling ways the counterculture music festival spiraled completely out of control, the reasons behind it get a proper spotlight. Thus, of course, because there were not only societal or cultural but also economic triggers for the chaotic debacle, promoter John Scher is right at the front and center of this three-part original documentary series. So now, if you wish to learn more about him — with a specific focus on his past, experiences, handling of Woodstock, as well as current standing — we’ve got the details for you.
Who is John Scher?
West Orange, New Jersey native John Scher has seemingly been a music-marketing enthusiast since he was a youngster, and he’s never really changed his ways to ensure his intuitive success in the field. That’s because even though neither he nor his family is musical, the West Orange Mountain High School graduate simply found his calling during his sophomore year at Long Island University. He was pursuing a Political Science degree, allegedly with no interest in any business.
However, John fell in love with entertainment upon attending a concert committee meeting on sheer impulse. Hence, he began working as a part-time promoter, only to drop out of college around a year later as he was already making more than enough money for survival and wished to grow further. He then served at Capitol Theatre for nearly 18 years before holding the position of President at Polygram Diversified Entertainment for over 5 years, during which he managed to make a good name for himself.
From backing Bruce Springsteen during his early days to booking concerts by big bands across distinct areas to being behind the Woodstock music festival through his business, he did it all. The issue, however, is that the founder of Metropolitan Entertainment has never acknowledged the organizers’/promoters’ role in the failure of Woodstock ’99, as evidenced by the Netflix original.
In fact, apart from this production as well as the initial press conferences, John has even given other interviews over the years to explain the entire harrowing situation from his point of view. “The ugly stuff that happened was caused by people who have a problem,” he once said. “If you’re raping women, setting things on fire, looting, in my estimation, that’s someone who’s deranged. Nobody does those kinds of things because a hot dog is $3 instead of $2.50.”
Where is John Scher Now?
While there’s no denying John Scher is often good at what he does, we can not deny the fact several attendees, volunteers, and reporters have claimed the handling of the festival fueled the riots. The promoter has argued this assertion, but there were price concessions (like $4 for a bottle of water), insufficient security/medical personnel, the portable toilets were overflowing, and the free water was contaminated with feces, per ‘Trainwreck: Woodstock ’99.’
As if that’s not enough, concerning the rape allegations, John said in the docuseries, “Woodstock was actually like a small city, you know? All things considered, I’d say that there would probably be as many or more rapes in any sized city of that. I’m not condoning it; it was wrong, it was horrible… But considering there were 200,000 people there, it wasn’t something that gained enough momentum so that it caused any on-site issues, other than, of course, the women it happened to.” At another point, he implied that the nudity at the event could’ve been a factor in everything.
Coming to his current standing, from what we can tell, John not only continues to serve as a promoter and President of Metropolitan Entertainment, but he’s also a Founding Board member of the non-profit Rex Foundation. It actually appears as if he resides in South Orange, New Jersey, at the moment, where he’s proud to share a family with his wife Sheri — he has two adult daughters and is a grandfather as well. We should mention he once also used to be a Board Member for the Cancer Institute of New Jersey.
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