Following yesterday’s ticket discussion, I wanted to address one suggestion that was brought up- simulcasts. With the ticket situation as bad as it is, and fans being shut out of shows across the country, why would Phish not offer live streaming versions of all their shows- audio and/or video? While certainly not a substitute for being at the show, this would draw in far more of the community to each concert and provide legitimate Phish experiences for thousands upon thousands of people. They did it for Brooklyn, they did it for Coventry- why not do it for every show from here on out?
With management’s focus seemingly on the dollar this time around, the idea of paid streaming simulcasts would be another huge revenue stream of virtually 100% profit. The overhead needed to film the shows would be minimal, depending on how advanced they wanted to get. A simple one-angle frame of the band would work just fine; one camera on a tripod at the soundboard- something they have done for most of their career. The organization could then broadcast an audio and/or video feed over the internet- $5 for streaming audio, $10 for streaming video- and the problem of pissed off and left out fans would be greatly reduced. Then people would click right over and buy the downloads- cha-ching. Even if there were no ticket issues, this should be an available service.
It was shocking that Phish didn’t run some sort of simulcast for the comeback show in Hampton- the most anticipated show in Phish history. And with the current economic climate, this idea would allow many more fans to join in the fun of Phish each and every night. This will not solve the ticket issue per se, but it would soothe the burn of being shut out, and could be a permanent fixture of 3.0.
This all points back to the question, does Phi$h Inc. care about the fans at all? If so, something should have been put into action already. With Live Nation, Music Today, Ticketmaster, and Red Light all in bed with each other, there seems to be a huge music business monopoly forming; one that favors their big clients- and now that includes Phish. So I stick by my question, is the plight of Phish fans a concern for Red Light Management? Is it even in their top ten lists of concerns? I don’t know.
This much I do know. If people were able to have an HD tour package, where they could watch the show unfold in real time every night, there would be a lot less bitterness in the community. In no way am I suggesting this would be a replacement for the show experience, but it would be a real-time version of “No Spoilers”- everyone would freak out simultaneously. In addition, providing a substitute for the tour experience for an older and less mobile fan base, this would allow many more people to stay in the loop. You could order show by show or in a package- just like the LivePhish downloads. It’s a cash cow staring the organization in the face, and I sincerely wonder why they aren’t addressing it.
To refute one possible counter argument, any simulcasting would have zero effect on ticket sales- this much should be obvious. With such absurdly high demand, tickets would still sell out in minutes, and then Phish could start adding to the stack by selling streaming versions of their shows. It sure seems like a no-brainer to me. People could then congregate, party, and dance together- even if it’s not in the pavilion or the lawn. Hearing the magic unfold defines the Phish experience, and this set-up would allow so many more fans to do just that. Sure, we know the organization has been pared down to a minimalist structure for the sustainability of the band, but what about the sustainability of the fans?
Perhaps this is all in the works and we just don’t know it yet. But if so, why not? Throw us a bone; why must we live in a vacuum? The band that had grown so renowned for their intimate fan relations has now outsourced the job to a corporate entity seriously lacking communication skills. Hell, they only announced that Hampton downloads would be available three days in advance! The band’s website remains largely stagnant and could be a renewed place of interaction. A post or two from a band member, even some gibberish from Mike, would go miles in helping things out. Without the Schvice, and removed from any “formal” interaction with the band, we no longer get a glimpse into their quirky, Phishy world. I guess we will wait and see.
Hampton – Photo: Jeff Volckhausen
NEW HOSTING FOR PHISH THOUGHTS!
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DOWNLOAD OF THE DAY:
12.31.93 The Centrum, Worcetser, MA < TORRENT LINK
Today we have one of the classic New Year’s Eve shows in the band’s history. Coming to you by a reader request, be sure you don’t miss out in this FMSBD copy of this evening. This show features one of the most genius moves in Phish history- segueing out of “Auld Lang Syne” into the debut of the “Down With Disease Jam” before the song had ever been played! Man, I wish I had been there for this one!
I: Llama, Guelah Papyrus, Stash, Ginseng Sullivan, Reba > Peaches en Regalia, I Didn’t Know, Run Like an Antelope*
II: Tweezer, Halley’s Comet > Poor Heart, It’s Ice, Fee, Possum, Lawn Boy, You Enjoy Myself
III: Auld Lang Syne > Down With Disease Jam#, Split Open and Melt, Lizards, Sparkle, Suzy Greenberg, HYHU > Cracklin’ Rosie > HYHU, Harry Hood, Tweezer Reprise
E: Golgi Apparatus, Amazing Grace
*With Tom Marshall on vocals. #Debut of “Down With Disease” jam; the song was not played. 04-04-94 Burlington