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. BrandonKayda Says:

    10/9/99 Ghost->My Left Toe
    6/15/00 Disease
    9/15/00 Tube
    6/9/00 Tweezer

  2. thedayman Says:

    much obliged BK, cant wait to dig in to this mix, should be siqqq

  3. joe Says:

    I like the Tweezer from Nassau in 03 for an uplifting peak ending jam

  4. BrandonKayda Says:

    ^ Of course!

    11/22/97 Mike’s Groove
    12/31/99 SOAM->Catapult/Twist/Gin/Roses/Sand->Quadraphonic Topplings/
    4/3/98 Roses
    4/2/98 Stash/Twist
    7/9/03 Gin/Scents and Subtle Sounds

    The list goes on and on (and on and on and on…)

  5. joe Says:

    Maybe just start sometime around 1988 and listen to every song played since then. 🙂 maybe even find some nuggets others have missed

  6. angryjoggerz Says:

    Holy shit, thundersnow in the house! Full on lightening and thunder with the horizontal snow and 40mph winds. It is fucking on.

  7. joe Says:

    And @BK, I definitely heard similarities to 20 years later at the end of the jam of the day Ghost

  8. BrandonKayda Says:

    That sounds epic @AJ

    Although I’m sure it sucks actually going through it, with power outages and all of tha

  9. BrandonKayda Says:


  10. BingosBrother Says:

    For real AJ! I have never heard thunder and seen lightning in the middle of winter. This is intense.

  11. BingosBrother Says:

    @sumo : if I don’t have apple, can I play those?

  12. BrandonKayda Says:

    So what is everybody up to tonight?

  13. sneven Says:

    Tom: let’s go to Ollie in the Sky for tonight’s weather. Ollie, how’s it lookin’ out there?

    Ollie: We’re in God’s Shit Tent, Tom! Back to you!

    Tom: Thank You Ollie, now back to Trisha Takanawa for her slant on salt vs. sand to keeping your skids to a minimum… Trisha?

  14. sumodie Says:

    @bingos: I meant playable thru itunes, doesn’t matter whether you use a Mac or PC

    the apple lossless format, ALAC, is apple’s version of FLAC

  15. Tzara's Ghost Says:

    Absinthe plus 12/2/95 Tweez= pretty groovy. Did jotd ghost too, loved that one.

    @bk. Thought of you last night, we were watching the new movie Howl. James Framco did a great job as Ginsberg. A pretty good movie about a great poem.

  16. BrandonKayda Says:

    There’s a movie on the poem? I’ll have to see that sometime.

    I think the rest of my night will be spent watching Bill Hicks and reading Howl I suppose.

    How have you been?

  17. Tzara's Ghost Says:

    Doing pretty good. Reading Rushdie’s Midnight’s Children, on Silly’s recommendation. Oh, and in the process of starting my own business. So that’s exciting.

    Hope all is well with you, sounds like you’re staying busy.

  18. sumodie Says:

    @bingos: of course the RCMH Ghost and oodles of other fantastic phish performances (all SBDs) are easily downloaded as part of kenny power’s Leaked SBD Project -all mp3s, all tagged & ready to drop n play into itunes for hours of facemelting entertainment:

    scroll down till you see the Main Compilation and Bonus Compilation

    Today I got skullf*cked by the last few tracks on the main comp, particularly the 7-3-00 Runaway Jim and 10-1-00 Piper>Guy Forget

    I forgot how bone crunchingly good phish could jam when they wanted

    (any naysayers of ’00 Phish should check out those last 6 tracks)

    Guess I’d better dl the bonus compilation next (so much for lossless 🙂

  19. BrandonKayda Says:

    Nice. I’ve heard good things about Midnight Children. Have to read that after I finish a few other books. That is exciting – best of luck to you

    I feel like I could be a lot busier, haven’t been doing many productive things other than piano and reading. Need to read more.

  20. Tzara's Ghost Says:

    And i realize i should be checking out a lot more free jazz. I used to listen a lot more, especially to Cecil Taylor and Coltrane. Random shoutout for a GREAT record, Charles Gayle’s Touchin’ on Trane, with Rashied Ali on drums. Beautiful collective improv in the Ayler/late Trane spirit.

  21. BrandonKayda Says:

    Thanks for the rec – I’ll def check that out. I have been digging into late era Coltrane and Miles lately – free jazz is really cool stuff. Pharoah Sanders especially

  22. sumodie Says:

    @thedayman: see my post above for two easy to download epic playlists -each of kp’s Leaked SBD comps is also chronological. Pretty cool to listen to the tracks in sequence to hear how phish’s sound has evolved

    And then compile bk’s recs too!

  23. Tzara's Ghost Says:

    Saw Gayle at John Zorn’s east village performance space a couple years ago. About 100 people on folding chairs in a small room. Religious experience.

  24. BrandonKayda Says:

    That sounds incredible – I need to pick up more Zorn. The man is a genius.

    We need to start the free jazz late night listening sessions sometime – I remember sometime in the summer we were listening to like Albert Ayler or Cecil Taylor really late at night. You/me/purple/some other people maybe. We should start that again

  25. sneven Says:

    hey guys, am I being dissed on some level? Thought my post above was pretty good. No worries…

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