All Rumors Point to Watkins Glen for Next Phish Festival

Phish @ Super Ball IX © Kevin Fuller

Summer festival announcements have been heating up as of late but leave it to Phish to steal headlines with JUST rumors of their own 3-day event. If a few key sources are to be believed, something might be brewing in Watkins Glen, NY on August 21-23, 2016. Scott Bernstein of JamBase has a wonderful breakdown on why this makes a lot of sense for all parties involved. If the dates hold it’ll be the first festival in four years and tenth overall. Their last festival was Super Ball IX which also took place at the Watkins Glen race track and drew around 30,000 fans.

Although Super Ball was profitable for the small Finger Lakes town you can bet Phish Inc. will want to fill the race track with more than 30,000 people this time around. Red Light Management has probably learned from their 2011 mistake of saturating the New York market with two-set shows AND throwing a festival in the same state. For example, Phish was booked at Bethel Woods and then two months later the Watkins Glen Race track (just 3 hours apart) basically splitting their demographic in half. Summer 2015 should be far different. Trey Anastasio hinted at this to the Boston Globe when he said 2015 would be “quieter” for the band.

Peeking into our crystal ball — don’t be surprised if Phish first plays some West Coast staples (Gorge, San Francisco, Red Rocks?) in late July and then heads to the Mid-West (Deer Creek?) and eastward until reaching Watkins Glen for a summer blowout. This probably foreshadows a break from playing Labor Day Weekend at Dicks in Denver too. Their last festival announcement came on March 31, 2011 so it’ll be several weeks before makes anything official.

I’d still book your RVs now.