Phish fans concerned about plague-infected prairie dogs in Colorado

Posted at 9:36 AM, Aug 20, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-20 12:14:11-04

COMMERCE CITY, Colo. - Thousands of concert goers are livid and demanding answers about the status of an upcoming three-day Phish festival at Dick's Sporting Goods Park.

Many areas surrounding the stadium are currently closed because of ongoing concerns about the plague in prairie dogs, and many worry about the impact that could have on this year's show, according to KDVR.

The Tri-County Health Department has advised that Dick’s Sporting Goods Park (DSGP) is safe to host Phish’s concerts over Labor Day weekend. While there have been no confirmed cases of plague on site at DSGP, as an extra measure of caution, the Health Department has restricted parking at the venue to asphalt lots - concertgoers will not be allowed to park on unpaved lots or grass.

As a result, there will be no overnight camping allowed for this year’s shows. All camping tickets and RV tickets (and associated service charges) will be automatically refunded within the next few days.

While DSGP has significant asphalt parking on site, off-site parking will need to be utilized to accommodate all concertgoers. Free off-site parking and free shuttles at nearby locations will be provided, and officials will be notifying ticket holders of parking and shuttle details once they are finalized over the next week.

Also, due to these restrictions, vending will not be permitted on site as the area traditionally set aside for vending is no longer usable.

For the past eight years, Phish has closed its summer tour with a three-day festival over Labor Day weekend at Dick's Sporting Goods Park. This year was supposed to be no different, until the plague was detected in prairie dogs around the stadium.

"I'm definitely a little worried," said Stefanie Bernstein, a Pennsylvania woman who has tickets for the Colorado concert.

However, Bernstein is more worried about whether the show will even happen, and if it does, whether camping will be allowed.

Thousands of people usually pitch their tents for the weekend, with permits running a little over $100.

"I've emailed the director of Tri-County Health. I've emailed people at Dick's Sporting Goods Park who manage reservations. Not a single word from anybody," said Bernstein.

That concert is now less than two weeks away.

"People are already changing their plans. People are mad. People are Phish fans and Phish fans that are mad are really mad," said Keegan Lauer.

"I booked a hotel room. That's beside the point. It's the principle, keeping thousands of people from all over the country in the dark. If this plague is such a big threat and they're being extra cautious, then they need to speak up sooner rather than later. I'm not sure what they're waiting for. I'm really not," said Bernstein.