The Festival Buzz

Watkins Glen, New York

The Watkins Glen rumor mill got some strong spins this weekend from two conflicting sources. On Saturday,, a blog based out of New York state, poured gasoline on an already-burning fire by claiming that Phish had signed contracts in place for an 8 set, 3 day Phish-only festival. This report came as a tremendous relief for Phish fans, many who had feared, based on last-week’s speculation, that the band’s festival might be encroached upon by the unwanted scene of The Dave Matthews Band. But as soon as Phish fans began celebrating and discussing summer plans, there came a retort.

Yesterday, Watkins Glen Racetrack President, Michael Printup, publicly denied these reports in the Elmira Gazette saying:

We don’t know who is putting that out. There are a bunch of erroneous sites out there. We’ve been working with a concert promoter. But we don’t even have a contract. It’s all wishful thinking. We haven’t even signed a contract with a promoter. You do that first. Then it’s up to him to see what band he gets…Watkins Glen International is looking at some kind of summer concert, but it’s too early to even start talking about bands.

But when Hidden‘s Scotty B reached out to Peter Stergion of BandsThatJam for clarification of their report, Stergion was quick to stand by his story. Stergion explained:

The WGI President has to deny the story. They can’t publicly confirm until all the loose ends have been tied up. Our source has given us credible, specific information. Our source is not a Phish fan so they wouldn’t even have the ability to make up the information which is very consistent with what Phish has done in the past.

While not getting any more specific on their, allegedly, rock solid source, Stergion went on to defended his report to Hidden Track:

We publish stories based on good information from good sources. We take a look at the circumstances of the information and decide whether or not it’s credible. In this case we believe this will happen so we published it…We never heard DMB mentioned by anyone in person or any sources from within Watkins Glen. We’re confident that Watkins Glen will be a Phish-only festival.

10.31.09 (G.Lucas)

Well, we’ve heard both sides of this hot topic, and while I am leaning towards believing the report of a Phish-only festival, who can know for sure? The Phish at Watkins Glen rumors have circulated for quite some time now, but a true scare came last week when The Dave Matthews Band, who shares a management company, announced 4 multi-day, multi-band festivals around the country this summer. The feared crossover of the Phish and Dave Matthews scenes seemed imminent, and plenty of people were quick to voice plenty of reasons why that was not a good idea. But let’s not even go there. Hopefully, that disaster has been averted. If such an atrocity ever materialized, be sure I’ll weigh with my two cents.

But for now we will wait…and wait. Phish announced their entire 2010 Summer Tour in March last year, but in 2009, they dropped their first set of dates in January and their second set in March. In short, we could hear any day between now an April. With both Trey and Mike about to kick off their own tours, one might guess that Phish wait until they are done to tell us their summer plans. But then again, who knows? Surrounding hotels (of which there are few) and RVs have already been booked around the Watkins Glen area based on buzz alone. And if I had to guess, 8 sets over 3 days sounds just right to end a tour. One can hope…


Jam of the Day:

Ghost” 7.23.97 II SBD

A seminal Summer ’97 version.




7.23.1997 Lakewood Amphitheatre, Atlanta, Georgia

FLAC Torrent (via etree), Mp3 Torrent, Megaupload < Links

The third show US Summer ‘97 capped a comic-book opening to US Summer ’97. Following Virginia Beach and Raleigh, Phish moved down to Atlanta and funked hard in their second visit to the venue. With, perhaps, the hottest “Ghost” of the summer and a smoking “YEM” the band left some legitmate jams in Atlanta, and they were off to Texas at the beginning of a revolutionary summer season. This show goes out via Twitter request to @LacobbieWan! (If you’re on Twitter, follow me @mrminer)

I: Julius, Dirt, NICU, Dogs Stole Things, Ginseng Sullivan, Water in the Sky, Limb By Limb, Split Open and Melt, Billy Breathes, Possum

II: Punch You in the Eye, Ghost > Sample in a Jar, You Enjoy Myself > Rocky Mountain Way* > Chalk Dust Torture

E: Frankenstein

Notes: *Debut, Joe Walsh cover

Source: Schoeps CMC641 > Sonasax > SBM-1 > DA-P1

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1,063 Responses to “The Festival Buzz”

  1. SOAM Says:

    Hopefully, that disaster has been averted. If such an atrocity ever materialized, be sure I’ll weigh with my two cents.

    I like that.

    8 sets at Watkins Glen… That phrase alone gives 4 hr viagra wood.

  2. SOAM Says:

    Watkins Glen is gonna make Indio look like a scientology convention…

  3. DukeOfLizards Says:


    That was a bedtime spin for me last night. New source is really crisp.

    Both jams in that Mike’s are $$$. So different, but so, so good.

  4. kayatosh Says:

    yep, Duke. a $$$ mike’s. forgot what one sounded like. love the ending jam. delicate.

    re. festie’s: don’t know if I can handle a multi-day phish festival sans really comfortable accommodations. however, watkins glen seems doable driving distance wise. 4 hours. hmmmm.

    hopin for a hershey and Mann Music Center and or Camden this summer.

  5. DukeOfLizards Says:

    Follow-on: I hope someday we once again live in a world where we can refer to “both jams” in a recent Mike’s.

  6. phoammhead Says:


    as with any phish show if you can make it, you get there

    i hear you on needing comfortable accommodations, but it is a festival 😉

    i’m taking my vw westy and that’s as good as it’s gonna get for me for this festy

    go, even if you camp, but take a good therma rest or blow up doll . . . er . . uh . . . , i mean mattress

  7. Spasm Waiter Says:

    Checking out some Nils Lofgren this AM. Amazingly, I haven’t checked him out before. Pretty amazing musician.

  8. kenny powers Says:

    i wish i knew the likely regular show dates before the Festival dates. i’d really like to hit some out of my way venues i’ve never been to. for example if they do a Southern run.

    but with a festival being a much bigger commitment financially and physically, i need to factor that into the grander scheme.

  9. bhizzle Says:

    If Oswego didn’t teach you a lesson, then I’l l school you now..bring the mutha effin sun screen

  10. Spasm Waiter Says:

    This just in from the Reuters Newswire:
    “Gold Bond to sponsor major rock festival at legendary Watkins Glenn Speedway. Psychedelic rockers from Vermont, Phish, will be playing an 8 set, 3 day festival at one Rock and Roll’s most hallowed festival haunts. With the Band, Grateful Dead and Allman Brothers 1973 concert drawing 600,000 fans, there is quite a precedent for history making shows at the venue.”

  11. phoammhead Says:

    ^and Bengay

  12. kayatosh Says:

    warning blasphemous statement ahead: 8 sets of phish over 3 days is a lot to digest and sounds a bit much. my appreciation of it might wane by day three. At my older age, i prefer a two night stand, say, at most, 5 sets of phish, ideally with a good night of sleep between days and time on day two to process and replenish. and watkins glenn doesn’t sound as nice as indio, setting wise.

  13. phoammhead Says:

    ^and Depend Undergarments = no need for you know what

  14. sumodie Says:

    the watkins festi will likely mean fewer northeastern dates

    that Bandsthatjam writer is really sticking by his story, which does indicate that July 4 is departure day

    wonder if the watkins festi will break with northeast tradition and actually be a relatively clean festival ala Indio & BC?

  15. kayatosh Says:

    and now for something positive: BRING BACK FIKUS!.

  16. phoammhead Says:

    ^you’re right kaya, but we only live once and this is more than likely gonna be an epic festi, just sayin’

  17. kayatosh Says:

    I hear ya, phoam. bull by the horns, go for the glory type a deal.

  18. Robear Says:

    is ‘bandsthatjam’ a website designed and dedicated to get fans to click on banner ads?

  19. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    that’s crazy talk, kaya, and I believe you should re-evaluate this position before you start to really believe it.

    the correct answer to the question “how much phish is too much phish?” is “does not compute”. there is no answer for that question that shouldn’t result in a slap upside the back of your head to wake you up out of your crazy talk. thus, your argument is invalid and nic cage’s hair is a bird.

    now get your ass to the festy (if it happens). I won’t be able to make it due to familial obligations, so I implore everyone who has the chance to do it to buck up and be a trooper about it. worried about comfort? bring a thicker air mattress. I can’t go so I will force you to so that I can live vicariously through the BB Massive.

    the greatest mistake one can make when planning for a phish festival is to not attend.

  20. bhizzle Says:

    i sense sarcasm

  21. willowed Says:

    The more I think about it, the more I feel this Festi may not be in the cards for Willowed.

    Yup…From looking at RV’s to this.

    This is so not like me. Something must be wrong with me. It has nothing to do with accomadations or anything like that. Hell, I could sleep on the dirt for all I care, that stuff doesn’t bother me. I can make eating a peanut butter and jelly sangawich a blast. That’s my persoanlity,

    It’s the time away from the family that will be tough.

    I can’t believe this is going thru my head right now. What’s going on?

  22. kayatosh Says:

    i love it. that’s the spirit. i may just go for it. make a cannonball run to the glenn and party hard enough for Disorder and me.

    i’m listening to phish right now. i obviously love the band.

  23. phoammhead Says:


    you’re a little late to the party i started in your honor on page 1 😉

  24. Jtran Says:


    spinning that Vegas 03 set you like. Ghost $$ for me.

  25. kayatosh Says:

    and willowed throws down the family card, the one I was choosing to ignore.

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