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How many people will attend 'Phish' weekend?

    WATKINS GLEN—The crowd estimates for the Phish weekend in  Watkins Glen is not something the Phish organizers are talking about. In fact, the REVIEW&EXPRESS made multiple calls in the last week to the group’s ticket sales officials. After repeated telephone calls to Phish offices to get the exact number of tickets purchased, all the calls have gone unanswered.
    When the concert was announced, the number of 60,000 was mentioned as a possible crowd size.
“Attendance is difficult to predict at this point,” Tim O’Hearn, Schuyler County Administrator, said. “But they will clearly not hit the 60,000 threshold. If I had to speculate I would estimate a crowd of between 35,000 and 50,000.”
    “I am confident that we will not have a repeat of Summer Jam held in 1973,” Schuyler County Sheriff William E. Yessman Jr. said. That concert, featuring artists The Grateful Dead, The Allman Brothers and The Band, “basically shut down the county and surrounding area.” Officials estimate that 600,000 concert fans flooded the county.
    Part of Yessman’s confidence is based on monthly planning meetings for the event among various county and Watkins Glen officials representing public safety and event planning.
    Added to that is that ticket sales are unlikely to hit the 60,000-person cap that was placed on the event from the outset.
    The multi-day festival, called Super Ball IX, will be the first time that Phish has ever performed at Watkins Glen International or any other motorsports facility.
    The concert is taking a place in the track schedule when WGI previously  had a race. Last year, the IndyCar series announced that it was pulling out, leaving the date open at the track.
    The band Phish was formed at the University of Vermont in 1983 and comprises lead guitarist/vocalist Trey Anastasio, drummer Jon Fishman, bassist Mike Gordon and keyboardist Page McConnell. The group has released 15 studio albums as well as a series of 85 complete live concert CDs.
    Tickets to Super Ball IX have been on sale since April 4, starting at $200. Tickets include admission for the entire weekend.


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