Osiris Media has released episode one of After Midnight, an original narrative podcast that tells the epic tale of Phish‘s Millennium festival at Big Cypress. After Midnight, hosted by journalist Jesse Jarnow, is available on all podcast listening platforms.
At the end of 1999, Phish built a city for 80,000 people in the Everglades for their Big Cypress festival. In the midst of Y2K mania, Phish created a sanctuary for fans far away from civilization. The band wrapped up the festival and welcomed the new Millennium with what is widely considered their greatest onstage achievement: a seven-hour set that lasted from the final minutes of the 20th century into the dawn of the new millennium. Not only was Big Cypress the biggest millennium concert in the world that night, but it also changed the way many people looked at live music festivals.
Notes Osiris Media CEO RJ Bee in a press release, “We’re thrilled to pay tribute to one of the most unique concerts in the history of rock music. Jesse’s storytelling and knowledge provides the perfect foundation for bringing a diverse set of voices together to reflect on this monumental festival. We admire Phish for their legendary ability to ignore what everyone else in music is doing, and to blaze their own trail. After Midnight encapsulates that state of mind perfectly.”
After Midnight will address the legacy of Big Cypress, along with the planning and execution of the unprecedented event. It will feature interviews with band members Trey Anastasio and Jon Fishman, members of Phish’s crew, festival organizers, journalists, and various fans. The series will explore how Phish invented their own musical language and built themselves an independent concert industry, and how both those concepts came together in the Florida Everglades for a performance that landed a 15-foot-long hot dog with headlights in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
See below for a few highlights from the first episode of After Midnight: Phish’s Big Cypress Festival:
I just always was very proud of the fact that we never had any sponsors or never allowed any corporate interests to align with our brand to try to leverage the special mojo we had with our audience for their own purposes. It was too sacred and special to ever allow any corporate interests to participate in that. –John Palooska, former Phish manager
The idea was to play in the continental United States outside all night until the sun comes up. It’s the year 2000. Y2K was supposed to happen at the time. All the computers will be off. The world will come to an end. But we will all be together. Having pulled an all nighter. Planes will have fallen out of the sky. You won’t be able to get your money out of the bank. Remember? People actually thought that. –Trey Anastasio, guitarist, Phish
When Big Cypress came up it was like, oh my God. This is our opportunity to [play] outdoors, on New Year’s Eve. We’ll go from whenever the last set starts till sunrise—you know we were gonna go from dusk to daylight. –Jon Fishman, drummer, Phish
Listen to the trailer and first episode of After Midnight: Phish’s Big Cypress Festival here.