Community-driven media: Log in or Visit
0 |

The Infamous Tale of the Dave Matthews Poop Bus

The Kinzie Street Bridge – where it all went down.

It was the summer of 2004 — a time of velour tracksuits, the “Friends” series finale, and Mark Zuckerberg launching some little website called Facebook. But for Dave Matthews Band fans and a few unfortunate Chicago River tourists, the summer holds a stinkier memory. Grab your nose plugs, folks; we’re diving into the tale of the infamous “Dave Matthews Poop Bus.”

What Happened?

Let’s set the scene: Dave Matthews Band was in Chicago for a concert, and their tour bus was rolling along, full of excitement, instruments, and, well, waste. It was driven over the Kinzie Street Bridge, directly above the Chicago River.

The driver, for some mysterious and incredibly ill-advised reason, decided to unload the 800 pounds of human waste stored in the bus’s septic tank into the river below. Unfortunately, at that very moment, a tour boat was passing underneath the bridge.

You can guess what happened next. In a twist of fate that makes us question the universe’s sense of humor, the boat was showered in waste. It was literally “raining crap,” to quote a very irate tourist.

Chicago’s Little Lady, the tour boat that got dumped on.

The Aftermath

The environmental agencies were as unhappy as a cat doused in water. Dave Matthews Band quickly went from being the harmonious, chill band we all knew to the poster child for what not to do in a river. They ended up paying a $200,000 settlement, plus another $100,000 to funds for protecting the Chicago River. As they say, sh*t happens, but you have to clean it up afterward.

It took some time for the band and their reputation to air out, but they’ve managed to recover, and are still going strong two decades later.

Fans who were pooped—ahem, we mean pissed—started to come around. The band took responsibility, and life moved on. But it’s a story that’s been immortalized in the lore of bizarre rock ‘n’ roll incidents, right up there with Ozzy Osbourne biting the head off a bat.

A sign placed on the bridge in 2015 to commemorate the incident.

In Conclusion

So, the next time you’re jamming to “Crash Into Me,” maybe give a little chuckle, remembering the day Dave Matthews Band crashed into environmental infamy. But let’s also remember the silver lining: it’s an event that added another layer to the complex relationship between rock bands and their fans, showing that in the end, we can all find our way back to forgiveness, even if the road there is a bit… messy.