Phish Concert Spurs Almost 60 Arrests at Madison Square Garden

A representative sample.
A representative sample.

From the weekend, DNAinfo brings us an entertaining (if not altogether surprising) report that that nearly 60 Phish fans were arrested outside the band’s Saturday show at Madison Square Garden, “much more than usual” for an event at the venue.

“As you can imagine, there are a lot of intoxicated people and a fairly high number of ejections at Phish concerts and a number of disorderly people who are intoxicated outside,” a source told the site. It’s all standard enough, until this incredible paragraph of background information:

“Police at recent Phish concerts in Atlantic City arrested 42 people on charges ranging from drug distribution and possession, to imitation drug sales and prostitution. MDMA, psilocybin mushrooms, LSD, pills, 51 nitrous oxide tanks, and marijuana in both dried-leaf as well as brownie or cookie form were confiscated at the Oct.31 and Nov.1 shows, the Press of Atlantic City reported.”

51 nitrous oxide tanks!! Granted, that was in Atlantic City (no word on the nitrous situation at MSG), but still… impressive. Regardless, Brooklyn resident Evan Marx set the record straight, telling the site, “There’s nothing safer than a Phish show and no where else I’d rather be.” Another attendee clarified, “It’s a Phish show, there are a lot of drugs.”

Follow Virginia K. Smith on Twitter @vksmith.


  1. This is pretty poor journalism – report facts, without all of the leading text that is clearly driving the reader in a certain direction. Throwing in one other quote at the end of an article that attempts to represent the other side is an incompetent means of telling a full and complete story. I’m disappointed with the quality of this and would hope such clearly opinionated stories would be kept in op-ed, or at the very least not include the term “investigates” in the email newsletter.

    Any MSG employee will sing the praises of the Phish crowds, citing their friendliness, respectfulness, and gratitude. It’s 2013 – listen to the radio. People do drugs. No matter what genre of music excites them the most. As a culturally aware and contemporary publication, you should be ashamed to have taken the obvious, tired, easy way out of pigeonholing phish fans as drug-addled delinquents.

  2. I’ve been to around 30 Phish shows and I find it highly suspect what this article’s “source” stated: “As you can imagine, there are a lot of intoxicated people and a fairly high number of ejections at Phish concerts and a number of disorderly people who are intoxicated outside.”

    I have seen very, very few disorderly people at Phish shows. Intoxicated yes, but definitely acting orderly and having a great time. I have never seen an act of aggression at a Phish show, including even pushing while in a crowd. To put it short, it’s one of the most peaceful, unified experiences you can have in your life. I will cite the various police officers and restaurant/hotel owners/operators/workers who we encounter in various cities going to different shows. I have heard nothing but high praise from these individuals regarding Phish fans – that the fans are polite, respectful, and peaceful. Yes, that’s even from the police force members who are patrolling in and around concerts. Anyone who says otherwise simply hasn’t been at a Phish show.


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