Tuesday 08/21/2018 by zzyzx

IT'S OK TO BE DISAPPOINTED

We're an optimistic bunch. That's a good thing, as most of us were able to salvage the weekend. However, we've gone way too far the other way. It's almost become a competition to see who can be the most "glass half full" about the event, to the point where I'm expecting a think piece explaining how this was actually the best Phish festival ever because it was so relaxing, and we actually had plenty of time to talk and hang out!

And while that's fine for those who believe it, I'm feeling like it's putting pressure on others to buy into that. Don't do it.

It's OK to be disappointed. Especially if this was your big summer blowout and it was yanked away, or if you kind of extended yourself to go, but you figured you only get the memories once, and somehow money will figure itself out; you can say that you're mad at how this turned out. Sure it's not the fault of the band or management, but if you're upset over this, and don't feel like it was a magical weekend that taught you all sorts of life lessons about letting go, that is fine.

For me, there are things I definitely regret:

I was looking forward to having people read articles---that I had put hours of work into---for the on-site Curveball daily newspaper Ahead of the Curve (to be published by Relix).

I was excited for the 5K and--in the game show tent on Saturday--Subtle Sounds (fans would compete to identify Phish songs based on only a few notes). I had some plans this year as a judge that I was hoping to use.

That 4th set looked like it had a lot of potential and losing that definitely hurts.

After hearing about the cloud on Mike's hotline, I thought that could have been amazing. Perhaps after the 5k, I would have used it. "Hey, I'm just going to rinse off under the cloud for a second and then meet you there," sounds like it could have been one of those definitive festival statements, something that we'd remind each other about years later and smile.

A definite playfulness had entered into the band's playing in the week before, and I was looking forward to seeing how it played out in the festival environment. Between the layover and the stress from this, I'm scared it will be gone by Dick's.

Like many, I also did my best to make the best of things. I hung out with friends. I saw a new venue. I ate at a favorite restaurant. I went to the Hot August Festival in Baltimore, and ran around in 90 degree heat to the Whiskey Shivers. I saw people there in (custom) Curveball jerseys, with names and numbers on the back. I was impressed by the Baltimore Talking Heads cover band Psycho Killers---especially when they launched into a "DwD" jam for us refugees---and I got to see Trampled by Turtles play "Alone" and KDTU do an amazing "Whipping Post."

On Sunday, I went back to Philadelphia to go to the Curveball Consolation Prize, an event thrown by Phish cover band Control for Smilers. I had a joke planned for the event. I was going to go in full Phish outfit and time it and tweet about it like it was Phish. That'll show the gods out there that I was just rolling with this just fine!

Three songs in, while I was definitely enjoying them, the joke got old. I was having fun enough, but the reality of just how much money I had spent to go out and see a fun cover band was sinking in.

So, if I have the one message for everyone, it's - yeah - we did a good job rolling with the punch, but acknowledge that it was a punch. Stop feeling the need to trivialize it or write it off. We were going to experience something amazing and then we didn't. Feeling sad over that is normal. The good news at least is that, unlike Coventry, we do still have Dick's and fall scheduled!

And at least we did get a new life-long memory out of it, even if some of us will wish we could forget it. Let's just hope that by the end of the year we have the better kind of life-long memory.

If you liked this blog post, one way you could "like" it is to make a donation to The Mockingbird Foundation, the sponsor of Phish.net. Support music education for children, and you just might change the world.


Comments

, comment by FunkyCFunkyDo
FunkyCFunkyDo Exactly. It hurts, badly, for all sorts of different and perfectly valid reasons, and that's okay. Some of us will get to do it again, very soon, at Dick's. Some of us might have to wait another couple months until Fall Tour. Some even longer still. But we will get to do it again. In the meantime, for all, the pain and hurt and numbness is still very real, and palpable, however, hopefully it is eased by the vision, not mirage, of Phish on the horizon.
, comment by dongusbologna
dongusbologna Thank you for posting this.

We all know in the grand scheme of things, this is not that big of a deal. But I said "this is going to be the greatest weekend of my life" many times, and I left Watkins broken hearted and defeated. So yea, it hurts.

And many of us couldn't make the best of it. I went solo. I was meeting different groups of people there. Some got in and camped while I was denied at the gate, some hadn't left yet, and some went hours in the opposite direction and I just didn't have more driving in me and couldn't fathom spending more money when no phish was happening. So my "making the best of it" was driving home sad, and staying a night in a hotel alone. For those like me, the last post about a huge group renting a house and having a blast really hurt. I sure would have had a great weekend if I had gone with a crew like that, but I went solo and left with nothing but sadness.

So I feel for you people who went solo to meet people and couldn't, or who just went solo and left solo. We didn't have the memory making that groups had, which makes it even harder. But we'll get through it, and I'm lucky to have the vacation and funds to be able to go to Dicks in 2 weeks and see many of the people I couldn't see this weekend.

I appreciate the comment about a life-long memory too. I now have a new record for most time spent driving in 24 hours, and the miserable chain of events of tons of small things going wrong after the announcement has made for a pretty funny story. I will always remember this weekend.
As you said though, let's hope this is just a huge hole in the road on my phish journey. And I will certainly appreciate every second of the next festival way more than I would have if this disaster hadn't happened. Cheers.
, comment by AbePhroman
AbePhroman FINALLY! Someone who gets it.
, comment by chrism27
chrism27 Hey David, It was nice meeting you Friday night at Ardmore Music Hall to see Splintered Sunlight with John Kadlecik. Not a bad way to distract from the sorrow of the Curveball cancellation. I was definitely drowning my sorrows.

Chris
, comment by Midcoaster
Midcoaster Thanks, ZZ. I was feeling it hard this weekend, even though my travel home was made possible due to the kindness of neighbors. It was definitely a "strangers stopping strangers" sorta moment, and that helped me rally for the journey home.

And then, BOOM, I was home. For me, that is a three hour drive east of Portland, Maine. That means that 90% of the live music I catch is planned well in advance, and I'm not surrounded by Phish fans. Far from it. For Curveball, the advanced planning included friends coming together from MD, DC, PA, NY, ME, MA and MN. We all have busy lives, and the pieces of the puzzle, here, fell into place, miraculously.

The loss, here, is that to bring this group together again will prove challenging. Some or many of the puzzle pieces may be missing on a reschedule. Stars don't just "line up" all that often. For me, it may have been the last Phish show I was able to swing until summer 19. That's a long time to wait for lightning to strike again.

While I can keep things in perspective, it still hurts.

Maybe I'll see some of you again!

Maybe not.
, comment by MkePhan7
MkePhan7 Wonderfully said. Thanks for sharing. I want to say thank you David we spoke for awhile Friday morning at Montour Falls and that conversation helped me be able to turn my week around and make the best of it. It was great meeting you and hope to run into you again sometime.
, comment by zzyzx
zzyzx @MkePhan7 said:
Wonderfully said. Thanks for sharing. I want to say thank you David we spoke for awhile Friday morning at Montour Falls and that conversation helped me be able to turn my week around and make the best of it. It was great meeting you and hope to run into you again sometime.
I'm glad that I could help. It was a weird and rough weekend but there will be better ones too... at least I hope.
, comment by zzyzx
zzyzx @chrism27 said:
Hey David, It was nice meeting you Friday night at Ardmore Music Hall to see Splintered Sunlight with John Kadlecik. Not a bad way to distract from the sorrow of the Curveball cancellation. I was definitely drowning my sorrows.

Chris
That was a fun show, well outside of the need to do Drums/Space. :)
, comment by chrism27
chrism27 @zzyzx said:
@chrism27 said:
Hey David, It was nice meeting you Friday night at Ardmore Music Hall to see Splintered Sunlight with John Kadlecik. Not a bad way to distract from the sorrow of the Curveball cancellation. I was definitely drowning my sorrows.

Chris
That was a fun show, well outside of the need to do Drums/Space. :)
That's for sure. That's when I decided to head out and catch an Uber home.
, comment by fuegomama
fuegomama I was and still am disappointed. Spent the rest of the weekend in my cave watching Lifetime movies with my cats. Really. I've been going to shows since 92 and for the past 15 years it has been hard to make them. I travel for work Wed-Sun and there isn't much time to travel to a show and when there is time I get a guilt trip from my husband. He doesn't like the band and when I tell him I'm going solo he insists on coming, yet plays the Debbie Downer every time and ruins it for me, so lately I just don't bring it up. When Phish does a festival, I can work it, which I was last weekend, so excited to feel the feeling I forgot, to relive a simpler life and run into people I haven't seen in a long time, especially my tour buddy from the 90s who still holds a tender and special place in my heart. My buddy and Phish have change the trajectory of my life and I wanted desperately that find that inspiration, joy, and pure love back, if only for a weekend, and doing something else just wouldn't cut it.
When my father died, I couldn't dance at a show for months. When my husband got sick, it took the last light out of my heart. This weekend was so much more than a festival to me. I was ready to be a Phoenix rising from the ashes and be reborn. I have alot of regrets in life and this was going to be the weekend to let go. I'm allowed to mourn and let go in my own time.
, comment by whatstheuse324
whatstheuse324 Dear @zzyzx,

My name is Eamon. I’m not sure if you get thanked enough, but thank you for your incredible statistics. I had all of my shows entered on your old website several years ago before they were integrated by .net. It’s truly a marvel and I sincerely appreciate your work.

Also, thanks for your honesty in your post. I had booked my hotel room last August when the rumors of the festival first started up. I was in the minivan with my wife and four boys when I got the unfortunate call from a good friend that was working the gate. We were only an hour away at that point and we were all completely shocked and bummed out. This was our family vacation this summer. My two older sons had both been to Super Ball IX and three of my kids were at Magnaball, not to mention lots of other shows. We came up with a fifty item photo scavenger hunt for the weekend, had about 300 glow items, found a dog sitter from back home, and were rolling in a packed van full of supplies. We made the best of it, but it was a completely underwhelming consolation prize. When the next festival comes around, we’ll be there, but until then, we are still living in the void.
, comment by meggieprice
meggieprice Thank you for this- I don't feel so guilty for still being bummed out...
, comment by SpinningPiper
SpinningPiper For me it comes in waves, but I also don't think bashing those who were able to make a great weekend out of it is fair. .Net is failing me this summer. Poor reviews. Taking sides. Not what it used to be...
, comment by YiggerYerrr
YiggerYerrr "That 4th set looked like it had a lot of potential and losing that definitely hurts."

Do you know what songs were on that said 4th set?
, comment by PhunkyBallOfTits
PhunkyBallOfTits Maybe we will get some dark and angry phish this weekend. Evil phish doesn't show up too much these days, but if I were a betting man (and I am), I'd say we'll get a good dose of it :)
You must be logged in to post a comment.
Support Phish.net & MBIRD
Phish News
Subscribe to Phish-News for exclusive info while on tour!


Phish.net

Phish.net is a non-commercial project run by Phish fans and for Phish fans under the auspices of the all-volunteer, non-profit Mockingbird Foundation.

This project serves to compile, preserve, and protect encyclopedic information about Phish and their music.

Credits | Terms Of Use | Legal

© 1990-2018  The Mockingbird Foundation, Inc. | Hosted by End Point Corporation