For the first time ever, Phish will combine two of its most cherished traditions – the Phish festival and the band’s Halloween event – in a massive three-day celebration. Christened Festival 8, it will take place October 30th, 31st and November 1st at The Empire Polo Club in Indio, CA. Festival 8 marks several additional firsts: it is Phish’s first three-day festival, its first held on the West Coast and it will be the first time that a single band has played consecutive dates at the venue.
Tickets, priced at $199.00 plus applicable service charges for the three-day event, will go on sale next Monday, July 27th, at 10 a.m. Pacific Daylight Time at http://places.musictoday.com/festival8. Daily parking is free, but additional fees of $15 per car and $125 per RV will be charged for those wishing to camp onsite. In addition to eight sets from Phish over the course of the event, fans will enjoy numerous attractions and art installations. Additional details are available at http://www.phish.com/festival8.
“We are pleased to support this event,” said Glenn Southard, Indio City Manager. “It will bring thousands of visitors to the City of Indio and to the Coachella Valley and will provide a much-needed boost to our local economy. We look forward to a great event!”
Festival 8 is, as its name suggests, Phish’s eighth festival. Its first, The Clifford Ball, was held at a decommissioned Air Force base in Plattsburgh, NY in August of 1996 and was documented in a seven-DVD box set released earlier this year. Calling it an “all-you-can-eat smorgasbord of Phish,” Rolling Stone noted: “it was definitely groundbreaking there was a real story; that in an age of corporate sponsorship, this completely home-grown thing happened that was different from any other concert.” Two years and two festivals later, Rolling Stone called 1998’s Lemonwheel “the summer’s most ambitious concert,” adding “given their sense of community, their ambition and their challenging, generous performance, Phish have become the most important band of the nineties.” Big Cypress, held in the final hours of 1999, was the largest paid concert in the world on the eve of the millennium, drawing 80,000 Phish fans to the Big Cypress Seminole Indian Reservation in the Florida Everglades. Festival 8 will be the band’s first festival since Coventry, which came at the conclusion of its 2004 summer tour.
The group is also renowned for its Halloween performances, wherein its members don a musical costume, covering an album by another band. It began on Halloween 1994 with Phish performing The Beatles’ self-titled album (known as “The White Album”). In subsequent years, they covered The Who’s Quadrophenia, Talking Heads’ Remain in Light and the Velvet Underground’s Loaded. For the first time since 1998, Phish will resume this tradition: Over the course of the three days of Festival 8, the band will perform eight sets including the Halloween album.
Phish – comprising lead guitarist/vocalist Trey Anastasio, drummer Jon Fishman, bassist Mike Gordon and keyboardist Page McConnell – has released 11 studio albums, six concert videos and a series of 44 complete live concert CDs, including 13 on JEMP Records. Its series of full concert downloads on livephish.com currently totals 91. Prior to launching its sold-out 2009 summer tour, the band recorded a new studio album with producer Steve Lillywhite (U2, Rolling Stones, Dave Matthews Band). Details regarding the album will follow shortly.