Why Not Simulcast?

Hampton (S.Mailer)

Hampton (Unk)

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.

"Harry Hood" 3.6.09 (S.Mailer)

"Harry Hood" 3.6.09 (Unk)

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.

Hampton (S.Mailer)

Hampton (Unk)

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.

Hampton (S.Mailer)

Hampton (Unk)

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 (S.Mailer)

Hampton – Photo: Jeff Volckhausen



logo-hoodHi all!  Thanks to my man AlexanderK, I have finally got Phish Thoughts off WordPress.com onto an independent server.  This will allow more flexibility with adding new features to site, both in content and design.  You should notice no difference at all in the working of the site- except now you can navigate comments using page numbers!  While surfing Phish Thoughts, if you find any missing photos, broken links, missing files or anything at all, please email me ASAP at mrminer@phishthoughts.com.  Thanks!



12.31.93 The Centrum, Worcetser, MA < LINK

12.31.93 The Centrum, Worcetser, MA < TORRENT LINK

New Years Run 1993

New Years Run 1993

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

Source: FMSBD

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295 Responses to “Why Not Simulcast?”

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  1. AlexanderK Says:

    Thanks for bearing with me Miner! I have listened to this Worcester Centrum set hundreds of times… one of the best ever! I feel proud to have it near my name on the blog 😉


  2. Al Says:

    On the one hand I think they don’t want the machine to grow. They just want to come out, play some songs and leave. Will that be enough for us?
    On the other hand, I can’t stop thinking that they are secretly planning something big and really innovative right now. The silence is suspicious. The management is slowly realizing, that Phish is not just a normal band – it is a HUGE brand. The successful Hampton comeback and the current ticket hype proved that. They needed this sign to back up future investments. They won’t just ignore that potential to make the brand bigger. The question is: will the brand turn into something that the four guys can identify with, or not?

  3. youenjoy09 Says:

    They could EASILY charge $25 per streaming video…..This would be amazing if it all comes together…..sign me up for the discounted ‘Full Tour’ package! HD *Live* Phish at home with beers and tubes would be IT! PLEASE!!

  4. Matso Says:

    Video streaming would help in terms of keeping the actual number of ticketless away from sensitive areas (eg. Red Rocks, SPAC) and thereby also cut down on the tour’s overall carbon footprint. Win-win, if you ask me.

    I’ve been thinking about paperless ticketing overnight as well and while there are disadvantages, I think the situation is dire enough now that it’s a sensible – if not entirely perfect – solution. I haven’t read too many of yesterday’s comments, so not sure if this one was done to death, but I think it makes life much harder, if not nearly impossible for scalpers and also keeps focuses the minds of casual fans who think they might unload tickets at a profit if they decide not to attend.

    Finally, one counterbalancing comment to the all of the Phi$h Inc talk – ticket prices are still remarkably reasonable given what they could charge. I’m not feeling that cynical about the band yet, although Red Light needs to quickly adapt its culture to fit with the bands and ours.

  5. Matso Says:

    Oh yeah, and if the band wants to say something to the phans and make sure everybody gets to see them, then this is what to do:

    Limestone, August 22/23

    (What do you all think? Worthy of a petition?)

  6. Mugician Says:


  7. Mutha_Ohks Says:

    I remember listening to the Phish Food release party show at the Flynn Theater in ’97- it was simulcast over the radio here in VT. It was awesome- and certainly eased the pain of not being in the venue.

  8. c0wfunk Says:

    love the new hood favicon! I haven’t heard that new years show before, looks like a good one..

    I have mixed feelings about a simulcast. My main worry is slightly fantastical -> I worry about diluting the vibe in the place a little. Remember at Big Cypress when Trey was all “100 million people are gone” .. that’s the feeling I get. Inside a show is the most intimate, private, sacred spaces we share as a subculture. Having a movie portal into that somehow changes this situation. Somehow makes it less special in a way, and honestly a little cheapened. I remember walking into the local theater in 2004 and hearing the Tweezer riff and seeing the ad for the simulcasts and being pretty disturbed by the whole thing. My thoughts aren’t clear on the matter (I didn’t sleep much last night) but to me there’s something there.

    I can see why people want this, but honestly, phish and video really never worked for me. I’d really rather just hear the music, and I don’t think it’s terrible to hear it a day or two, or even a week or a month later like we used to.

  9. JerZ Says:

    Miner, I don’t understand why the last couple of days you have said that the new incarnation of Phish is all about the money. I know that you know your stuff a lot more than I do, but I don’t see it. The tickets are relatively cheep. They chose to play one of the smallest possable venues for their comback shows when they could have played a much larger one, therefore selling more tickets and more money. It’s not that I feel like I need to defend Phish, I just don’t see what you see. I do agree with you that I wish they were communicating better on their website- that would be nice, but I don’t agree that they do not care about the fan. Do you think that it is possable that they were surprised by the overwhelming response to tickets? I am sure that they knew that they would sell out, but I don’t think that anyone expected anything like we saw last week, such as 2 Deer Creek 4 day passes being up on Ebay within minutes of the email going out for $6750- how could Phish anticipate garbage like that? Maybe I am short sighted, but I think that this is just a process that they are going to have to take a little while to tweek, but that does not mean that they are all about the money.

  10. JoyBoy Says:

    I attended the Coventry in the theater, partly because I HAD A FEELING, seriously, that the thing was going to be a debacle. They were do for one. Despite the playing, I was quite happy with the theater experience. I certainly didn’t regret not being at Coventry in Person.

    If you had a quality home set-up, the high-speed HD simulcasts would be a huge hit. It would be a huge windfall for the band.

    It might be time for ticketless ID verification at shows. This would make things difficult for obvious reasons (trading, selling extras at face..etc.)….however, this could be eliveated if redlight offered an exclusive, face-value, ticket-trading site, where fans could sell extras to other fans, who would then have to show their ID’s and not those of original purchasers….wow, that is brilliant:)

  11. bhizzle Says:

    Amen youenjoy09! Sign my ass up for the “HD Full Tour” package as well!

    I do not see how adding 4 or 5 HD cameras and staff to the tour being detrimental in any way. It’s not like they have to hire them to be part of Phish. They wouldn’t be part of the “phamily”. Add lord knows they’d get their money back plus! I mean I don’t know the whole ins and outs of putting soemthing like that in place, but if they can have UFC events broadcast on demand every other month or a championship fight broadcast live in HD I see no problem. There is somoe company out there that can do it.

  12. WALSH Says:

    Simulcast it in movie theaters, that would be fun.

  13. good buzz Says:

    My $0.02?
    Let’s not let this bitterness about the ticket situation get too out of control. To me, calling them “Phi$h Inc.” is pretty jaded. The reality with them coming back is that demand outweighs supply – tickets are scarce and expensive – that’s the economics of anything. It’s a big machine and there’s business involved. Let’s lighten up and enjoy some concerts…peace.

  14. Brimley Says:

    I’ve always loved this version of Reba…Just listen to the first few moments when the jam begins and you’ll know that it’s one of the best licks ever played by Trey…

  15. Little Buddy Says:

    I think Al may have a point. The silence is suspicious. Its still early in 3.0 and They may certainly have something in the works that we don’t know about. That being said, I appreciate that Miner is using his “voice” (you know that Phish is aware of the popularity of this blog) to push them to consider different options. While I agree with c0wfunk to some degree, Miner’s point is well-taken that the fan base is older and less mobile. Phish has always been pretty innovative (one of the first to do huge music/art festies in the way that has been adopted by Roo, Rothbury and others) and simulcasting every show could be their next big thing. I really don’t mind waiting for the downloads, but I would certainly watch the simulcast if I could. Please don’t do it in theaters though!

    Good lookin’ out, Miner. …even if I am still a little on the fence with the simulcast thing and not really feeling the angst others have I really appreciate that you provide a great venue for Phans to voice their opinion in the Phish democracy. Peace.

  16. Wax Banks Says:

    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.

    If you don’t assume that money is the band’s primary motivation – and given their history there’s no reason to do so – then at least one explanation suggests itself: they wanted to keep it intimate and special for those who attended. Make it mythic. Which it was, right? I felt like I was part of the experience even without ‘No Spoilers’ downloads, I wish I’d been there – the wishing is half of what being a fan means.

    Remember that ‘touring’ culture isn’t Phish’s primary concern, never has been – they’re musicians putting on shows, some people come to several consecutive shows, but that’s an emergent phenomenon. Fishman talked at Coventry about the ‘great compliment’ of fans walking many miles to see them – but that doesn’t simply translate to going to other cities where the local fans might fill an arena by themselves, and taking up a ticket there. It’s not malignant, but it’s a little more complicated than ‘Everyone should have a(n equal) chance to see every show.’ We’d like it that way but that’s never been a guarantee, and in terms of the specialness of the experience, it probably shouldn’t be.

    That said, a simulcast is a nice idea, though I think the overhead, complexity, and cost are a good deal greater than you’re assuming – else I suspect Phish would have done it more than a couple of times.

  17. ma Says:

    wonderful post…hopefully this will get passed on to the band

    PPV is certainly the way to go…why bother with internet connections when it can be shown digitally on tv…get in bed with directv and put the entire tour on there….how amazing would that be?

  18. Dan Says:

    I think that there is a part of the band that would like to be low key, I think they know that it is not possible, but the thought still remains. Hampton was regarded as a success by most if not all people in attendance, but it was possible that it might not have gone so well. I think that not simulcasting Hampton was a consciuous decision. I am sure the option was there for them to do it if they wanted, but they chose not to. Considering the “train wreck” that was coventry, and how many people witnessed it, I think they wanted to come back in their own way. Which I respect. I thought the free soundboards were very generous, they could have made bank if they just had the downloads available for sale the next day. The simulcast seems like a lot of work for a band that wants to ease back into things, even if the fans want them to hit the ground running. I think if tickets remain impossible to get in the future, they won’t have a choice. I would rather have a simulcast than have them turn into the Rolling Stones and only play Giants Stadium. I just hope that they can keep playing the music they love and we love

  19. JoeK Says:

    Hi! For a currently working business model – see moogis.com. For $100 I was able to view all 15 of the Allman Brothers Band shows from their Beacon run in the comfort of my own home, live every night. They had 7-9 camera angles set up, and by the end of the first night, everything worked out perfectly. Keeping in mind, all shows occured at a single venue, this was easier than schlepping equipment all over the US, but for less than $7 a show, I had the ability to watch them all live, and be able to access them via their archive over and over again for the duration of my 6 month subscription. I would suggest folks ‘taking the tour’, just to get an understanding of how it works. No movie theaters, no travel at all, no bathroom lines – this is all from your couch – laptop>TV.

  20. JMelby Says:

    I really respect what you are doing with this blog Mr. Miner and find it the first thing I usually do each morning. I really liked the conversation yesterday and today is another good addition. But what’s with the Phi$h crap. I feel it’s pretty lame to describe your favorite band as a sell out. (They are your favorite, right?) Do you really think the only reason they came back was for the dollars. They are not the Eagles. Tickets are tough; not really new or shocking news to me. I wanted tickets for Red Rocks (saw their last 6 shows there), but will not go through a scalper as I don’t want to give those people my money and will wait for the next show I can get to. I know it’s free speech, but please stop the with Phi$h crap. I feel it cheapens your site and quite frankly turns you into Mr. Whinner.

    On the ropes with the live simulcast, the last thing I want when I’m inside is some camera guy, blocking my view. And if there are not enough cameras. people will be bitching about the angles, because if there is one thing a lot of Phish fans can do is bitch. I mean come on, the band has really been back less than a month and many have yet to experience that wonderful thing that is a live Phish show, and with some of the comments I’ve read on various sites you’d think that this band never took a break. I’ll take all of this ticket mess, anxiety, and missed shows compared to the last 4 1/2 years without Phish.

    Keep up the good work. Calm down and all will work out. Hell I got to figure you stand a much better chance at getting into any show than the majority of us out here just because you run this site. I look forward to tomorrows topic.

  21. Los Says:

    Honeymoon is over…

    …now get me my beer bitch!!!!

  22. The Maestro Says:

    Funny story about this show. This was my second show and back then, getting Phish tickets wasn’t that tough. I had a friend who worked at a music store with a TM machine, and he pulled us 3rd row center for this show. The energy between the fans and the band was really high. I was talking to this one guy that was standing next to me about how tight the band was playing and he agreed, saying that the band was pumped to be playing this venue. Lo and behold, during Antelope, the same guy got up on stage to say the Marco Esquandolas line. I can’t believe that I was rocking out with Tom Marshall during the first set and had absolutely no idea who he was. 🙂

  23. Chalkdustin Says:

    Miner, I’m beginning to think that this time, the game may be more focused on money (ex. Roo), but I wouldn’t want to encourage that with simulcasts. I think it’s a good idea, and I’d definitely hop on that train for shows like RR, but all of them I think is a bit much. Yes, it shows the band cares but also may inflate that ego that someone was talking about yesterday (Mr. Completely?).

    The comments are listed backwards now….muy confusing!

  24. jon_hansen Says:

    Honestly, I wouldn’t want to sit down for three hours at my computer and watch a streaming show; I’ve done that before, and the quality is always poor–grainy, slow, choppy. How obsessed do we need to be?

  25. Mitch Says:

    A few things…

    1. whoever said yesterday that you must be high to think they could charge only 5 dollars… umphreys did 5 shows this past week for 5 bucks a piece. you could watch them for 2 weeks after. it was for people who bought mantis as one of the bonus features for buying the album.

    -phish should do the bonus things like that for their new album. it gets more sales and keeps the fans entertained with new stuff
    -also, if you could watch them for 2 weeks you know someone would learn how to record them!!! probably even while streaming.

    they could even have packages where you could buy the shows you are missing or the whole tour for discounts. lets say it was even 10 bucks a single show i’d do it. the allmans was like 100-200 for the subscription but you got 15 shows.

    (sorry if im repeating, i havent caught up on the thread yet)

    2. the bot software is real, going back to yesterdays debates. my friend went to an IT college for programming. one of his classmates made a killing scalping at a broker company and offered him and some other guys 50k to make his software the best (this was 05-06 when things were changing online) im glad to say he turned that guy down.

    3. Miner, this is nitpicking but I’m saying it because you have an iPhone too. The pagination is awesome with pages now but its hard to read with newest comment on top with an iphone, you have to scroll up and back down for long comments. Can you reverse it? OTHERWISE AWESOME! glad to see the page numbers!

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