This was originally posted for the June 2010 Phish shows at SPAC. With a few tweaks, some updates and punctuation improvements, here is what you need to know about going to SPAC for Phish over July 6-8, 2012.
This past month, Saratoga officials announced a crackdown on alcohol and intoxicated people in the state park known as SPA, which includes SPAC. In the past, there has always been a lot of chatter preceding the summer concert season at SPAC regarding the increased police presence and no-alcohol policy (with ticket enforcement and arrest potential) and this has led to alot of people wondering ‘So what do we do?’
Well, first things first, follow PhanArt on Twitter for helpful hints will abound throughout the weekend. I’ll be up there all weekend and can share traffic info, park updates and let fans know what is going down with the police presence.
You’ll need this – the map of Saratoga Spa State Park. It is VERY easy to get lost, wind up walking around for an hour looking for the lot your car is in, or altogether become disoriented. Download link: spac map
For those who want to go to the Phish.net meetup and BBQ, it will be held on Saturday, July 7th from Noon-7pm at the Ferndell Pavilion, which you can find highlighted on this map here. Make sure to use the Route 9 to enter. The pavilion is reserved under “Mockingbird”, so if you are a regular on the board or want to meet some of the folks behind Phish.net and The Mockingbird Foundation, that’s the place to go on 7/7.
Things to keep in mind as you venture to SPAC on the 6th, 7th and 8th: DMB played a few weeks ago at SPAC. The cops were in full force to scare people and limit teen-drunk driving, and drunk driving in general. Take a look at the local coverage and note the fake IDs taken away by cops. Sure, that’s Dave’s crowd, but it wouldn’t be hard to imagine what Phish’s crowd would yield. They seem to be enforcing the ‘absolutely zero tolerance for drinking’ this year, so don’t provoke them. Dave’s fans somehow set a fine example for the summer with NO felonies (a first for them), but let’s show them we are better than DMB fans. Yes, Phish fan exceptionalism exists!
The cops will be looking for drugs more than booze with the older crowd. When you drive in, they will use an alcohol sensor on your car, and if they find any, you’re in for a no good very bad day. If they see you drinking, they’ll dip in a stick detector for alcohol into the drink and then they can search you. Arcane? Yes. Illegal? Possibly. Outlandish and Insane? Indeed. But this is real, this is happening and this isn’t alarmist commentary. This comes from people who have been there and people who work there. Use your heads this year.
Hotels have also been given a contact number to call if they suspect drug use. So be careful when you are pre-gaming at the hotel or getting back and trying to enjoy the post-show scene or get some sleep.
Getting into town early? Fishbone will be playing at The Putnam Den on Thursday!
Post show, there will be checkpoints for drunk driving and K-9 units for the obvious. Don’t leave the park without a sober driver and when you do, drive the speed limit, the cops need only a small reason to pull you over. ________________________________________________________________
Speaking of post shows, there are a couple of Saratoga options for those who want to keep the party going, but are able to get to the shows with a sober driver.
The Putnam Den has fast become the premier live music venue in Saratoga, after SPAC. There are three late night shows, one for each night of Phish, and only TWO miles from SPAC! The address of The Putnam Den is 63A Putnam St., Saratoga Springs, NY 12866. For more info on each of the shows, visit the Putnam Den website www.putnamden.com
Friday, July 6 – Wyllys & The New York Hustler Ensemble featuring: Wyllys – Turntables, Jennifer Hartswick (Trey Anastasio Band) – Trumpet/Vocals, Steve Molitz (Particle/Phil Lesh) – Keys, D.V.S. – Guitar, Bryan McNamara (Grippo Funk) – Sax. The Hustler Ensemble is an amazing group of musicians and a kick-ass dance party, as those who went to the post show after 12/31/11 can attest. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased online.
Saturday, July 7 – The WaterWheel Foundation 15-year Anniversary Party w/ Dead Sessions, a GREAT Grateful Dead cover band, featuring Seth Yacavone and has included in the past members of Trey Anastasio Band, Grace Potter & The Nocturnals, Grippo Funk Band, Turkey Bouillon Mafia, and Liquid Dead. Tickets cost only $10 with $1 from each ticket going to The Waterwheel Foundation. You can buy tickets online here.
Sunday, July 8 – Dopapod - any fans of EDM that still have energy after the show should head here. Dopapod has been killing it lately, headlining smaller festivals and playing the big ones, including Gathering of the Vibes in late July. They put on an amazing show and are uber-talented. This and all shows mentioned are highly recommended. Tickets for Dopapod at only $5, available at the door.
The Parting Glass, 40-42 Lake Avenue, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866 will be having post shows on Friday and Saturday. On Friday, June 7th from 11PM – 3AM, The Garcia Project, a JGB cover band will be playing to benefit The Mockingbird Foundation. Admission is $10 at the door with no advance tickets sales. Mik Bondy, Garcia Project guitarist and other members will be sitting in and leading an “open jam” at the Phish.net meetup picnic Saturday afternoon in the Spa State Park, details of which can be found in the Phish.net forum and blog/news early next week. There will also be a ticket raffle on Friday night for the “Jerry Garcia FISH” batiks with 50% of raffle ticket sales to benefit The Mockingbird Foundation.
On Saturday, local band Formula 5 will perform. This is a very hot local act that has drawn a great following over the last year. The cost is only $5 for Saturday’s post show. You can visit Facebook for more info or their website partingglasspub.com
See you all at SPAC!