It looks as if the tiny town of Limestone may once again become Maine's
largest city -- that is, if Phish fans flock to the burgh by the thousands
this August as they did last summer for the band's Great Went concert.
The improvisational group have confirmed that they will hold a successor to
the Great Went from Aug. 14-16 at Limestone's decommissioned Loring Air
Force Base (now the Loring Commerce Center), according to Jason Colton, a
representative for the band's Dionysian Productions management company.
The date and location for the still-unnamed concert mirror the precise time
and place of the Great Went -- perhaps in hopes of mirroring the success of
last year's event. By all accounts the Great Went came off with nary a
hitch, in the process pumping $25 million into the local economy.
"We were welcomed by the local community and the local businesses in a way
that we've never experienced," Phish manager John Paluska told Addicted To
Noise in the days following last year's concert. "The state police were
really wonderful to deal with and we had a minimum of problems, so we're
pretty encouraged by our experience this year."
Much of the Great Went's success was attributed to its remote location.
Limestone is situated at Maine's northern tip, more than 300 miles from the
state's largest municipality, Portland. "By moving it up in extreme
Northern Maine, we figured it would filter out a lot of the more casual
onlookers, and filter it down to the people committed to a full weekend
experience," Paluska said last year.
About 70,000 tickets -- which provided access to two nights of concerts --
were sold or given away for the Great Went, in addition to some individual
tickets that were sold for the second night only. In 1996, Phish drew
58,000 fans for each night of their Clifford Ball concert, which was held
in Plattsburgh, N.Y.
A name for the Great Went follow-up has yet to be chosen. "That's
something we're going to decide over the next couple of months," Colton
said Thursday. "The band has got lots of ideas."
Ticket information for this summer's concert will be announced well in
advance of the as-yet-undetermined spring sale-date, Colton said. Tickets
will be available both by mail order and through Ticketmaster. -- Chris Nelson [Thurs., Feb. 5, 1998, 9 a.m. PST]