Where Palm Trees Dipped and Seagulls Swerved

Festival 8 (R.Schloffel)

Festival 8 (R.Schloffel)

If Coventry embodied the dark debacle that Phish and their scene had become by 2004, Festival 8 represented all that is right in the current world of Phish. The most accurate word I can use to describe Festival 8 is “paradise.” We had arrived at a tropical site of dreams, and the entire place was set up for our ease and comfort. When contrasting Coventry’s mud-covered clusterfuck with Indio’s days of delight, things couldn’t have felt more different.

To begin with, as we approached the gate with a caravan of five RVs, we expected to wait in some traffic. After sitting on roadways for anywhere between 12 and 24 hours to enter previous festivals, this obstacle seemed like a given. But to our shock, we didn’t wait for one minute. After the thorough search for glass bottles and pounds of weed, the security let everyone through free of hassle. The only thing seized from any of our RVs were two glass-bottled Starbucks drinks. Onward and Upward!

Festival 8 (R.Gibbs)

Festival 8 (R.Gibbs)

After our team captain convinced the attendants to allow us to park in formation, we set up our home base within 45 minutes of approaching the main gates. Given maps upon entering, some exploration was in order. Prepared to walk a couple miles, everyone was pleasantly surprised to discover the concert field just around the corner from our campsite, about 100 times shorter than any festival walk in memory. The vibe of the Eight remained incredibly laid-back throughout the weekend, with well-behaved fans who appreciated the blissful setting. The entire event seemed like a Phish festival all grown-up. With amenities at every turn, shuttles to and from the lavish, nearby resorts, we certainly weren’t in Limestone anymore. Conducive to the band’s family-oriented atmosphere, the guys could hop back and forth between their loved ones and the festival in minutes.

10.31.09 (W.Rogell)

10.31.09 (W.Rogell)

The ease of Festival 8 seems to be the evolution of the Phish festival – easy access and hassle free. Providing a different feel from the absolute isolation of Limestone, this new model is quite  logical for the band’s place in time; just as Limestone defined the late ’90s. Virtually incomparable, Limestone possessed a Phishy magic that Indio could not. Just knowing what everyone had to do to reach the tip of America made those ritualistic weekends irreplaceable. The entire events were bigger, vaster, and more adventurous. We had our own city on the edge of the earth, and no one even knew. The unique majesty of those experiences will live inside us forever. But again, that was then and this is now. I’m not sure anyone who attended Festival 8 would have traded Indio for Limestone in a million years. Just as Phish and their fans continue to mature, and their music evolves, so will their signature events.

10.31 III (G.Lucas)

10.31 III (G.Lucas)

On top of everything else, the choice of locale – the Palm Springs desert – made the weekend flawless. With sunny days and cool evenings, the weather never intruded on our good times – something that can’t be said for virtually any other Phish festival. In addition, the site’s proximity to the highway provided easy access for the sundry artists, vendors and attractions. An amalgam of the Phishy spirit and the over-the-top west coast creativity of Burning Man, the art installations at Eight upped the ante from previous festivals, creating the feel of a psychedelic carnival. Throw in multiple bars, shade tents, countless couches, a jumbo-tron showing sporting events and movies, and golf cart taxis to get around the grounds, and this was most definitely not your father’s Phish festival!


Festival 8 (R.Gibbs)

Perhaps the biggest difference between Indio and Coventry is the utter joy engulfing the entire community these days. Back in ’04, we were there to celebrate a legacy – an irreplaceable time in our lives that was coming to a pre-mature end. And regardless of how much fun we had, the weekend possessed an irrefutable sadness.  Indio could not have been more opposite. With Phish back in 2009 – happy and on the rise again – everyone wore ear to ear smiles, and the positivity was absolutely infectious all weekend long. I never saw one incident, argument or bit of beligerence from anyone all weekend long, just people rejoicing to be back in the promised land.


Winged-music-noteJam of the Day:

2001 > Curtain > Tweezer” 11.19.95


A standout sequence that kicked-off Charlotte’s second set along the road of Fall ’95.



Festival 8 (Photo: Russell Gibbs)



11.15.95 Sun Dome, USF, Tampa, FL < Torrent

11.15.95 Sun Dome, USF, Tampa, FL < Megaupload

Sun Dome - U of South Florida

Sun Dome - U of South Florida

Making their tour of Florida universities, the band stopped at The University of South Florida a day after playing their legendary Orlando show the night before at The University of Central Florida, and three days after playing Gainesville. Amidst a tremendous run in the Sunshine State, a fierce “Mike’s Groove” holds down the second set of this show.

I: Poor Heart, AC/DC Bag, Fast Enough for You, Rift, Prince Caspian, Sparkle, Split Open and Melt, Sweet Adeline, The Squirming Coil

II: Wilson, Theme From the Bottom, Scent of a Mule, Mike’s Song > Life on Mars? > Weekapaug Groove, Fee, While My Guitar Gently Weeps

E: Suzy Greenberg

Notes: The band won the first chess game with the audience.

Source: Unknown

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435 Responses to “Where Palm Trees Dipped and Seagulls Swerved”

  1. Phamily Berzerker Says:

    OOOOO Liking the :::High Fives:::

    fwiw, the low desert is also spectacular in the Spring, Mid-March to Mid-May, but look out it can swing big either way in the temperature scale. Otherwise relatively similar conditions.

    That said some big puffy non-threating clouds rolling across the skies would be and added visual stimulus particularily around sun up and sun down.

  2. MakisupaSecurity Says:

    You know Miner, I was hoping your overall write up for the fest would be something like “Meh, its ‘aight.”
    but no, you had to go and make it sound as wonderful as I imagined it to be, now I regret not going more than ever.

    But thats ok! I just hope another NE festi will be in the works, I’d forgive them for not planning one for next summer, but the following summer would be grand.

    I always said that Phish is great for not screwing their fans. I made the questionable decision to turn around when the lots closed for Coventry. I submitted my refund for the ticket and got my free download and signed photo book. The photo book provided a great way for people to get something extra back for thier time and trouble, its going rate on Ebay was over $300 for a while! I kept mine though 🙂

  3. Weekapaug Says:

    Phish’s guarantee was 1 million. That’s what the word was around Goldenvoice/Production.

  4. AintNoTele Says:

    llamalee: what friends think you are crazy for going to see phish, i got a dog log with their name on it. You guys get MMW in a badass place up north and we get the benevento russo duo in the south in a small ass bar. kimock and crazy engine is tomorrow too, anyone in charleston, SC that wants to catch a show?

  5. Stupendous Says:

    Thanks Hal & Sumodie

  6. Mr. Completely Says:

    Cleveland fans – Shaq showed why they got him last night

    still not sure it’s a great move overall but they kicked the Magic’s ass and Shaq was the key – no double teaming dwight = no easy open 3 point looks for the magic

    Cavs look to be coming together a little

    Go Blazers – done feasting on easy prey for a bit – soon we will see what this team is made of

  7. beepaphone Says:

    LLFA…peeps were fucking with me…they’re coming to Cobo. My world is at ease…now I’ll even be able to make the 11/19 MMW show at the Vogue. My dreams are becoming a reality.

    BTB I still have 1 extra…It’s yours. We can just exchange contact info a day or 2 before.

  8. sumodie Says:

    Looks like 4-day pass for NYE Miami will be available from TM:


  9. KWL Says:

    Thanks @BTB. Hope to see you there!

  10. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    Mr. C, the Magic didn’t have Rashard last night though did they? I believe even his backup was out too. That’s a big missing piece…

  11. GuitarPicker420! Says:

    @beep – me an my crew are about to pull the trigger on Cobo too. I think it will be a go.

  12. beepaphone Says:

    @ GP 420
    Great to hear…looks like I’m now pulling the trigger on MMW too. November fest – 3 Days of Phish, 1 Day of MMW, 3 cities….so pumped.

  13. KWL Says:

    Mr C, I don’t have much else to say re: Wilber, but I’ll post some thoughts on yesterdays thread later today & let you know here when I do

  14. Mitch Says:

    still no joy box email for me. wack!

  15. sumodie Says:

    NYE Miami will have a 4-pack ticket option available at TM

    (previous post w/ TM link fell into the void I think)

  16. beepaphone Says:

    Wish I could follow them out east, but missing 2 days for Cobo is about all I can manage

  17. oneshowatatime Says:

    Holy shit, has anyone seen any of TylerPenn’s videos from Festival 8 on Youtube? This guy has a plethora of RIDIC HD videos.

    Check out this Tweezer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ctp85dFZs7c

    Here’s his page: http://www.youtube.com/user/TylerPenn

    Great picks for Videos of the Weekend–enjoy!

  18. Lycanthropist Says:

    @gp420 –

    are you gathering the cincy meet up?

  19. BTB Says:

    Great (to all)

    TYPE III – you post that set list from yesterday? I’m sure it was a doozy if you got around to it. Always good for a laugh

    @ Beep – cool. we’ll be in touch. As of now, I think the ladyfriend wants to go. I need to get her a tour shirt or something for her.

  20. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    BTB, it’s on page 26. I posted it literally five minutes after you left!

  21. Mitch Says:


    ^^AWESOME! found out my buddy is going to be rapping with granola funk express after the thursday msg show. we need to make this the meet and greet post show. I heard they are bomb diggity!


    ^theres the 3 day pass

  22. worthlesswampyfool Says:

    yeah baby… GO CAVS…. brownies and tribe took a shit on us…. although i dont officially start caring about basketball till late feb, when footballs over.

    ANY cinnci extras?

  23. lanser Says:

    perfect description of the ocho! thank you mr.miner.

  24. Mitch Says:

    my post just got tossed cause of links.

    do you know why some links are ok and others arent?

    anyway i posted the link to the 4 night run.

    ***I also posted a link to the granola funk express ticket sales. Just found out my buddy is rapping with them as the post show for the thursday night msg. they are supposed to be great and this should be our post show meet and greet!!***

  25. sumodie Says:

    Would like to sell these tix for face n fees:

    1 ticket: Wednesday MSG section 321 row F (directly behind stage -should be well-situated for rear speakers)

    2 tickets: Friday Albany section 129 row Q -facing front of stage. (my family is no longer used to me splitting town the day after t-day 🙂

    Will check back a little later -now back to our regularly scheduled programming…..

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