Phish Phans Vindicated
by David Byars
(editor's note: Telluride Inside… and Out has published a lot of content about the Phish concert in Telluride. At the risk of seeming redundant we felt that two younger voices after the fact would be appropriate. Given the amount of hype surrounding the Phish event, and considering the level of apprehension in some parts of our community, TIO has decided to publish this account by David Byers and one by TIO regular, Deb Dion to follow.)
In the months and weeks before Phish arrived, feelings of excitement mingled with moments of apprehension. Would Phish turn our picturesque mountain burg into a steaming cauldron of psychedelically enhanced burn outs with the associated flotsam and jetsam of empty PBR cans and wayward cigarette butts? Or would the fans behave themselves and bring with them a much needed injection of income into a town in desperate need of out-of-towners’ vacation funds?
As a lay-Phish fan, there was no huge build-up. No night-before-Christmas anticipation. However, as huge trucks and tour busses threaded their way through aging trustafarians and folks of questionable hygiene, the energy that Phish could bring to our small town began to manifest itself. I found myself looking around and not seeing the fallout that many Telluridians had predicted and all were, on some level or another, fearing. There were no Mad Max-inspired convoys of rusted Volkswagen Minivans engaged in an all-out assault on the town’s car barricade, nor were hordes of red-eyed hippies storming the gates of town park intent on hula-hooping Telluride into oblivion.
No. I, for one, was impressed with how the Phish fans comported themselves. Which begs the question: As Phish has evolved, so have the Phans progressed? There will always be the naysayers, insisting that Phish brought only hell and damnation with them, but the evidence is lacking.
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