This isn’t going to be your traditional “Curveball Forced to Cancel” article. We all already know that and we’re trying to drown out the heartbreaking feelings knowing that we’re not going to see at least seven sets of Phish. It’s super unfortunate for the 50,000+ people who took off of work, planned and went through so many different ways of travelling to good ole’ Watkins Glen.
When I heard the news, I was with three of my friends from Cleveland. We were about two hours away, having parked in a gas station parking lot around Salamanca, NY to verify if the news was correct. When we realized that Curveball was actually cancelled, we all sat in disbelief, unsure of our next move. Luckily, our journey to Curveball so far had required us to only drive two hours back home. We realized that our situation was very well preferred over the many dozens of thousands of people who drove double digit hours or took planes. We had a group hug, and drove back home.
We had talked about all of what this truly meant. We were compelled to go on social media and see what everybody all had to say about Phish cancelling their 11th music festival. We had all guessed what Phish had up their sleeves for this whole event, producing a small to mid-sized city to accommodate all of their phans. Maybe 9 actual sets to complete the baseball game with some additional curveballs threw in? Maybe an Aretha Franklin cover to commemorate the “Queen of Soul” that had passed away just a few short hours before the cancellation? Phish has been on fire the past couple of days on the Summer 2018 tour and Curveball no doubt would’ve been a once in a lifetime production.
In light of this tragic time in music, we must seek the light against adversity. Many great things have come about Curveball being cancelled. What are all of these thousands of people to do with all this camping gear and days off of work? Well, you can go to Harry Brown’s Farm in Starks, Maine and receive $10 off tickets to see Max Creek, Bella’s Bartok, Tropidelic and more at Green Love Renaissance. Hot August Music Festival in Cockeysville, Maryland is offering $10 off tickets to all Curveball goers, and features music by The Revivalists, Trambled by Turtles, Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe and more. Head over to Knuckleball in Naples, New York, featuring a weekend of music by a surprise headliner, Beary Dead, The New Motif, and more for only $50. The Inaugural Woods Fest Music Festival features music from the Los Blancos, The Old Main, Mike Powell & John Hanus from the Black River and many more in Westernville, New York. Destress from the Curveball mess at Hickory Fest in Wellsboro, Pennsylvania to dance to Donna the Buffalo, Grass is Dead and more. Get a little phishy at Nelson Ledges Quarry Park in Garrettsville, Ohio for The Smokin’ Seafood Bluegrass Festival for a boot-stompin’ time with Left Over Salmon, The Infamous Stringdusters and more! If you’re not feeling music anymore, head out into the finger lakes and hike throughout the beautiful, vast land. We all have off of work, so why not make use of your time.
Let’s not forget all the jokes that come along with this unfortunate cancelling. I mean c’mon, who names a music festival Curveball and it just so happens that it gets cancelled? This definitely gave us all blueballs indeed. Do we get to count this in our stats now? If that’s the case, then the first and only time I’ve seen Phish was at for “Double Chocolate” night at Madison Square Garden in part of their Baker’s Dozen shows. Phish opened up with “Chocolate Rain” for the night, while debuting “You Sexy Thing” and encoring with “Fee.” As I was anticipating seeing them for my second time, the production gets cancelled. I think I’m a little lucky.
This isn’t the first Phish show cancellation and it may not be the last. Phish’s first Halloween celebration in Plainfield, Vermont on October 26, 1985 was cancelled because they were unable to play. Three short years later, Phish was forced to cancel an outdoor show in Enosburg, Vermont on August 25, 1988 due to weather. Sometimes, life just throws curveballs at you.
As Bobby Jae stated:
“May the rift between nothing and bliss wedge, steam, and fall apart so the light may grow brighter The silence in the morning will reveal ghosts that will talk, "MY FRIEND, MY FRIEND! The show of life you waited all night to run like an antelope to has dissolved back into the sand The theme from the bottom will dance in your head, Torture your tongue Punch you in the eye Make you a slave to the unweighable heavy things surrounded by fog UP THE RIGGING! When Forbin felt like he'd rather be buried alive than fight the evil King Wilson The famous mocking bird held his head up high Limb by limb twisted his way through the maze to find a nice big bathtub filled with gin He filled his loving cup And like piper's comet He put his wingsuit on and took the divded sky back to his abode When his feet landed in the dirt He began to sing HAPPY HAPPY OH MY FRIEND!”
Please consider donating any unused supplies and food to the surrounding people affected by the catastrophic flooding. Food can be brought to Cayuta Food Pantry at Cayuta Town Hall, 6362 State Route 224, Cayuta. It is open 8:30 a.m. -10:30 a.m. and 6 p.m.- 8 p.m. Friday. Food can be brought to the Schuyler County Food Pantry at 221 West South Avenue, Montour Falls. It is open Friday from 9 a.m. - 12 and 3 p.m. - 5 p.m., and 1-1:30 p.m. on Sunday. More information can be found here.
Maybe Phish will reschedule an even bigger and better festival for next summer. But until then, lets appreciate all of the Phish memes and art that come out of all of this. Well played Phish. We'll be prepared to batter up next time for your curveballs.
*Original memes by phans in Phish Tour 2014