Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Go Home Phisheads

After picking up Molly at the airport Friday, we drove 5+ hours to northern Vermont and got stuck in traffic... a long 25 mile line (backed up on I-91) to get into the venue. The Joker had been in line since Thursday night and had only moved a mile in 30 hours. The weather was horrible the week leading up to the show. Entire fields were flooded and the organizers had no clue where to put over 70,000 fans. After waiting almost six hours, we heard a message on the radio from Mike Gordon. he told us we had to go home because they could not let anymore cars into the festival. Here's the skinny in this media release:
August 14, 2004 - Coventry, VT - As a direct result of the severe weather conditions and serious flooding encountered over the past few days, the Vermont State Police and concert organizers, in the interest of public safety, have been forced to limit entry in to the COVENTRY festival this weekend. After exploring all possible options, Police and organizers have concluded that there is no conceivable way to park the remaining vehicles on or in the near vicinity of the concert site, due to the conditions of the grounds as a direct result of the persistent and torrential rains over the past several days.

Effective immediately, all vehicles bound for the concert site not already off Interstate 91 will be turned around and denied entrance to the festival. In addition, roadblocks at additional points of entry have been set up and State Police will be ensuring that people can turn around in a safe and efficient manner.

All ticket holders denied entry to the site will be granted a full refund. Ticket refunds will be refunded directly to credit card holders who have purchased tickets from Ticketmaster and from Phish's online ticketing system. Further details on refunds will be announced in the coming days.

While Phish deeply regrets having to take this action, it is necessary to protect fans as well as residents of the greater Coventry area.
I was in shock. I turned the car around and started driving back to NYC. Was the event cancelled? No... but I wasn;t 100% sure at that point. As I headed southbound, Molly started to cry!! She came all the way from Texas to see the boys... she flew 2000 miles, drove another 6, and waited in line for six hours... only to be told... go home!!

Well... we weren't ready to give up that easy!! After a call from The Joker... he convicned me that you could hike/walk into the festival... and park somewhere close by. He picked Newport, VT... a small town north of Coventry. I bought a map. Gassed up and headed for Newport. Despite roadblocks on I-91.... I navigated two back roads and found my way to Newport. We parked our car in the front lot of a car dealerhsip, and for $50 he watched our car and gave us a ride 3+ miles from the venue. We hiked the rest of the way... taking only what we could carry... a change of clothes, two sleeping bags, rain gear, and my tent.

And then I saw the final two Phish shows. It was fuckin' worth it... and it didn't rain again until yesterday morning on our long ass hike back to Newport... five miles away.

I'm exhausted right now after a week on the road. I will write more later.

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