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Madison’s 1999 time capsule

What was Madison like at the turn of the millennium? We took a look back at the final year of the 20th century to see what life was like pre-Y2K.

Madison skyline with a search bar that says "Madison 1999"

Hey Google, what was Madison like in 1999?

Graphic via Canva

Do you remember 1999? Ricky Martin’s “Livin La Vida Loca” topped the charts, we were scared of the Blair Witch, and Google officially launched.

To celebrate, Google Trends opened its time capsule to see which fads were titanic in 1999. According to the report, adults were watching “The Matrix” and “The Sopranos” while kids were into “Toy Story 2” and “Teletubbies.” People also used the search engine to learn about David Beckham or evaluate their Pokémon cards, and searches for hot sauce set the web ablaze.

Livin La Vida Local

Want to know what life was like in Mad City? We dug up some data to help us remember the final year of the 20th century — thanks to some help from a 25-year-old search engine.

Local headlines:

  • The Green Bay Packers beat the Denver Broncos in an exhibition game at Camp Randall Stadium — the last time the Packers have played on the field.
  • The University of Wisconsin’s athletic department had a dream season; highlights included men’s basketball advancing to the NCAA Final Four for the first time in decades, women’s basketball winning the National Invitational Tournament, and five future UW Hall of Fame coaches were in residence.
  • Madison’s Central Business Improvement District was formed to highlight local culture and businesses.

Who was performing:

  • Limp Bizkit played at the Dane County Coliseum — now Veterans Memorial Coliseum.
  • When Cher performed at the Kohl Center, ticket prices ranged from $36-$76.
  • Also at the Kohl Center, Elton John opened his show with “Your Song” and ended with “Candle in the Wind.”
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