Throwback Thursday

Throwback Thursday: Woodstock ’99 remembered

A hardware business gets mixed up in a 'riot of burnings and looting.'

BY HBSDealer Staff

The Aug. 9, 1999 issue of National Home Center News, the forerunner of HBSDealer, tells the story of American Hardwall Supply of Rome, N.Y., and its attempt to supply camping equipment and related supplies to the attendees of Woodstock ’99.

Like the concert itself, it was a great idea. But it didn’t end well.

“For three days, the event was fine, but the whole thing started to break down … when people were setting small fires,” Ron D’amore, the owner of the store, told NHCN in 1999. The store set up a 30’ x 90’ tent on the campgrounds of the music festival, an operation supported by a staging area and 15 tractor trailers packed with merchandise.

The article described D’amore as “assessing the damage after the festival mutated into a riot of burnings and looting.” All of the trailers were invaded, leading to an accounting nightmare and efforts to recover merchandise — five truckloads of which police confiscated from concert goers.

A photograph on the front page of NHCN shows what looks like a mad dash for merchandise, with looters in the foreground and Ace signs in the background.

In 2019, there was talk of a 50th anniversary Woodstock festival, but it didn’t happen. D’amore remains in the hardware business as one of the owners of Rome Ace Hardware.

HBSDealer’s Throwback Thursday is sponsored by Schaffer Associates, a national management consulting firm specializing in executive search and organizational strategies for the hardware, home improvement, building materials, and consumer products industries. As the premier management consulting firm serving the industry, we help build organizations and leadership teams that foster corporate growth and success well into the future. Contact


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