Nearly six months after rumors started circulating that Phish would throw a festival at Watkins Glen International race track over the Fourth of July Weekend, we finally have an announcement. The festival will be called Super Ball IX and will take place from July 1 – 3 in Watkins Glen, NY.
This marks the first music festival at Watkins Glen since the legendary Summer Jam from 1973 that featured The Band, the Grateful Dead and the Allman Brothers Band.
Last month Phish announced the first leg of a summer tour that includes four shows in New York State. We thought perhaps the festival wasn’t going to happen since the band scheduled so many performances within striking distance of the Finger Lakes region. Guess we’ll see how the previous announcement effects attendance at Watkins Glen.
Tickets go on sale this coming Monday, April 4, through Phish’s MusicToday ticketing site. Travel packages are available through CID Entertainment and camping information – including a “tental rental” option – is laid out on the SBIX site.
READ ON for a timeline of the events leading up to today’s announcement…
Yesterday, BandsThatJam.com set the Phish blogosphere abuzz with an article that claimed Phish signed a contract to play eight sets over three days during the Fourth of July Weekend at Watkins Glen. The post went on to say tickets would cost $200 and that re-entry would be allowed to the site throughout the weekend before ending with “This has been confirmed and contract has been signed.” Today, Watkins Glen International president Michael Printup denied those reports to The Elmira Gazette…
“We don’t know who is putting that out. There are a bunch of erroneous sites out there,” he said. “We’ve been working with a concert promoter. But we don’t even have a contract. It’s all wishful thinking. We haven’t even signed a contract with a promoter. You do that first. Then it’s up to him to see what band he gets.”
Printup also mentioned “Watkins Glen International is looking at some kind of summer concert, but it’s too early to even start talking about bands.” We reached out to Bands That Jam yesterday for clarification on their report and the site’s editor Pete Stergion responded, “the WGI President has to deny the story. They can’t publicly confirm until all the loose ends have been tied up. Our source has given us credible, specific information. Our source is not a Phish fan so they wouldn’t even have the ability to make up the information which is very consistant with what Phish has done in the past.”
Stergion went on to say, “People need to realize that Watkins is a VERY small town. To organize something of this magnitude it requires co-ordination with a lot of different people and when you have a town this small it’s hard to keep secrets. We’re standing by our story & our source.” Whether Printup is offering some misdirection is up for debate, but we do know is that no permit has been issued for a mass gathering at the racetrack. As always, no Phish concert is confirmed until it is listed on Phish.com.
[Hat Tip – @TylerCurtis]
UPDATE: This story was updated at 10:52PM with Bands That Jam’s response to The Elmira Gazette. READ ON for more from Stergion…