UPDATE [8/20/19, 12 p.m ET]: Phish has shared an official update regarding the plague situation at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.
According to the statement, in light of the Health Department’s concerns, “We are sorry to say that there will be no overnight camping allowed for this year’s shows. All camping tickets and RV tickets (and associated service charges) will be automatically refunded within the next few days. We recognize the tremendous inconvenience this may cause for those who had planned on camping. Our friends at CID have created a special portal with listings of nearby hotels including some with discounted weekend rates for Phish fans.”
The statement also notes that off-site parking will need to be utilized in addition to parking in the paved lots onsite. As the band notes, “We will be providing free off-site parking and free shuttles at nearby locations, and we will be notifying ticket holders of parking and shuttle details once they are finalized over the next week. … Also, please note that due to these restrictions, vending will not be permitted on site as the area traditionally set aside for vending is no longer useable.”
“Thanks very much for your cooperation,” the statement concludes. “Our goal is to make sure these concerts go off as smoothly as possible while preserving the safety of all attendees.”
By now, you’ve probably heard about Dick’s Sporting Goods Park‘s ongoing struggle with the plague. After reports surfaced of plague-infested fleas affecting prairie dog populations around the Colorado Rapids soccer stadium earlier this month, the team was forced to cancel a post-game fireworks display.
As the team noted in a statement about the fireworks cancellation,
Following recommendations from the Tri-County Health Department and the City of Commerce City, the Colorado Rapids game with Montreal Impact on Saturday, August 3 at 7PM will go ahead as scheduled. However, it has been recommended that the post-game fireworks display be cancelled due to the confirmed presence of plague-infested fleas affecting prairie dog colonies in the surrounding areas. The launch site for the fireworks display is located in an area closed down by authorities which left the club with no alternative but to cancel.
Additionally, in accordance with the Tri-County Health Department’s recommendation for the safety of all attendees, parking lots at DICK’S Sporting Goods Park will be restricted to asphalt lots until further notice.
In the wake of this news, Phish fans have clamored for answers about how this Dick’s plague situation would affect the band’s annual three-night Labor Day Weekend run at the stadium, set to take place from August 30th–September 1st.
On Monday, August 19th, Commerce City officials addressed the issue at a city council meeting.
As the council speaker noted, “Given the fact that every year the Phish concert is here the weekend of Labor Day, Tri-County Health has closed off and will not reopen the areas in dirt around the stadium. So areas where a lot of the Phish participants would normally be camping, they won’t be allowed to be camping.”
He continued, “Where they have their… what’s the alley called? Something Alley?”
Another council member responded, “It’s called Shakedown Alley [Note: Close enough], and it’s located in the dirt lot between City Hall and the stadium. That will not be happening.”
The main speaker continued, “Shakedown Alley apparently will not be happening either, which is where a lot of the participants sell grilled cheese sandwiches or whatever they need to sell to get to the next concert.” [Note: lol]
“The reason I bring it up,” he continued, “Is because these people are still coming to the Phish concert and they’re still gonna want to be camping. We may be seeing an increased issue with camping throughout our community. They may be trying to camp in parks and other spaces since they won’t have opportunities here, so our police officers and staff are prepared to make sure they have an action plan to be able to keep people from camping in our parks and everywhere else. They’re also going to have a hard time protecting some of this open space that was infected.”
“So be mindful of that,” he concluded. “We have an event coming up and the camping area is not gonna be there, but there’s still gonna be a lot of people coming into this community that are gonna want to set up a tent somewhere. I’m hoping that it goes smoother than what I may be expecting it to go… I just wanted to lay that out for the residents to understand what’s happening because of this plague and the Phish concert: No Shakedown Alley and limited camping because of the dirt lots with the affected fleas.”
Watch a clip of the city council meeting below:
Commerce City Council Meeting – On Plague Contingency Plans For Phish at Dick’s – 8/19/19
If you’re heading to Dick’s next weekend, now’s probably a good time to look into hotels.