Usually at this point I’d be scrambling to get the counting done after another great weekend of Phish music. Hopefully I would have watched one of the webcasts and felt a slight tinge of envy for all of those that went to the latest Phish festival. This is not what I had in mind.
By now you know that Phish was forced to cancel their latest festival, Curveball, due to flooding in the region and the tainted water that was produced. I had plans to go, but after the Chicago shows were announced, I demurred. There is only so much money in the Phish budget, crazy I know. I was going to be a part of the workforce at the show in exchange for a discounted ticket. I had daydreams of working at a coffee booth, chatting with fellow Phans and having a great time while earning some cash. It probably wouldn’t have been that much fun, but still.
Even with the discount, figuring in the travel, time off the regular job, all of the weird expenses that come up when trying to camp on the cheap, I decided not to go. However, I’ve done four festivals over the years and I know it’s about more than the money. It’s about the experience, the journey. I think the people I empathize the most with are those that had either set up camp already or were well on their way to Watkins Glen. The anticipation builds as the miles tick away. by the time I picked up Bunny Radio I would be bouncing off the walls. I can’t imagine what it would be like. Instead of hearing great cuts from the past a message about the horrible present. I’ve cried with joy at Phish shows, I’m pretty sure I would have cried with disappointment.
There have been some great threads on Twitter and Instagram about people making lemonade from these particularly bitter lemons. Also people have been sharing doses (sometimes a little harshly) of reality when it comes to putting this all into perspective. It puts a positive spin on a really shitty situation. And it is a shitty situation, even if it is a high class problem. Even from afar, the feelings of disappointment are real and valid. I know everyone will get over this, including the band. I wouldn’t be surprised if another festival is already in the planning stages, maybe at Watkins Glen, maybe somewhere new. God, wouldn’t a free show in Central Park be amazing?