It's official: Jam-band godheads [artist id="1117"]Phish[/artist] are really, truly back. On Friday (July 24), after weeks of teases on their official Web site, the Vermont-bred band announced that Festival 8, their first major festival outing in five years, will take place October 30-November 1 at the Empire Polo Club in Indio, California, the same site as the annual Coachella and Stagecoach festivals.
For the first time ever, Phish are combining two of their fans' most beloved events: a massive festival and one of their patented "musical costume" shows, during which they cover an entire classic album for the night's second set. Festival 8 will provide a host of firsts, including their first musical costume since 1998, their first three-day fest, their first one to be held on the West Coast and the first time a band has played consecutive dates at the Polo Club, according to a press release announcing the event. The band will play eight sets over the course of the festival, which, as usual, will also feature a number of other musical and non-musical attractions and art installations.
Tickets for the event will go on sale Monday at 10 a.m. and will be priced at $199, plus surcharges; no single-day tickets will be available. Over the years, Phish have covered a wide variety of albums during Halloween shows, including the Beatles' self-titled LP (better known as The White Album), the Velvet Underground's Loaded, Talking Heads' Remain in Light and the Who's Quadrophenia. (Check out our suggestions as to what the band should tackle on the Newsroom blog). As tradition holds, they have not announced the album and probably won't until they hit the stage.
Phish's last big festival was called Coventry, and it took place in Vermont in 2004, before the band went on a nearly five-year hiatus. It was preceded by events like 1996's Clifford Ball on a decommissioned Air Force base in Plattsburgh, New York; 1997's Great Went at the Loring Air Force Base in Limestone, Maine; 1999's Big Cypress at the Big Cypress National Preserve in southern Florida; and 2003's It, also at the Limestone location.
Phish are currently prepping for the release of their 12th studio album, Joy, which is slated to drop in September.