The Conventry Festival had been billed as what would be Phish's final shows, August 14-15, 2004, at an airport in Vermont. The word "coventry" means a state of ostracism or exile, comes from Coventry, England, which is where Parliamentarians sent and held Royalist prisoners during the English Civil War. To send to Coventry is to exclude from society; to shut out from social intercourse, as for ungentlemanly conduct.
Fittingly... it didn't go so well. As the New York Times wrote several years later (7/6/11):
Phish’s most recent East Coast festival, Coventry in Vermont in 2004, was an outright disaster of horrendous weather (think oceans of mud), insufficient logistics preparation, drug abuse and poorly played music. It other words, it was a bad trip on many, many levels.
Phish donated proceeds from the event to a host of local organizations, including AWARE (Aid to Women in Rape Emergencies), Bread and Puppet, Burke Recreation and Education Fund, Burlington Emergency Shelter, Chittenden Emergency Food Shelf, Committee on Temporary Shelter, Coventry Parent’s Club, Coventry Village School, Dairy Farmers of Vermont, Ducks Unlimited, Frontier Animal Society of Vermont, Newport Center Volunteer Fire Department, Newport City Elementary School, Out of School/After School Program, North Country Coalition for Justice and Peace, Northeast Kingdom Community Action Inc., Northeast Kingdom Tourism and Travel Association of Vermont, Northwoods Stewardship Center, Orleans Elementary School – Project Playground, Salvation Army, Spectrum Youth Services, and Vermont Foodbank.
The festival was broadcast live to theaters nationwide - both nights in some markets, only the second in others.
"I've never ever been nervous going onstage at a Phish concert.
Tonight I'm a little nervous." - Trey on stage, 8/15/04
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