SARATOGA SPRINGS — Jam band titans Phish haven’t taken to the stage at Saratoga Performing Arts Center since a two-night run in July 2019, but online rumors are swirling that the band will return to SPAC in August for a pair of benefit concerts to aid flood victims in their home state of Vermont.
According to unconfirmed chatter on social media and Phish internet fan forums, the band could potentially play concerts at SPAC on Aug. 25 and 26 to raise funds for Vermont residents who saw historic levels of rainfall batter the state earlier this month.
SPAC concert promoter Live Nation and Phish management did not respond to inquiries about the rumored concerts.
The purported dates are open on the venue’s calendar, with a concert from country artist Eric Church slated for Aug. 24 and then no additional events scheduled until Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductees Guns N’ Roses take the stage on Sept. 1.
Phish, who are in the midst of a 23-date summer tour that stops at the St. Joseph’s Health Amphitheater in Syracuse on Sunday evening, wrap up a seven-night run at Madison Square Garden on Aug. 5 and resume their tour on Aug. 31 for the start of the band’s annual Labor Day run of shows at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colorado.
The rumored SPAC concerts would take place on Travers weekend, with the Saratoga Race Course set to host the Travers Stakes on Aug. 26.
In 2021, the city hosted the Travers Stakes on Aug. 28, with a Dead & Company show taking place at SPAC the day prior.
Phish singer/guitarist Trey Anastasio played a trio of shows at SPAC in June 2021, with the reduced-capacity shows marking the venue’s first major concerts since the pandemic shuttered the venue.
Phish has played the Saratoga Spring amphitheater on 22 prior occasions. The band opened for Carlos Santana on its first trip to SPAC in July 1992.
Phish played three-night Fourth of July weekend runs at the venue in 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2016.
The band, which was formed at the University of Vermont in Burlington in 1983, played a benefit concert in September 2011 for Vermont flood recovery after Hurricane Irene, with the show to benefit victims at the Champlain Valley Exposition in Essex Junction, Vermont, announced on eight days notice.
Anastasio, who lived in Saratoga Springs in 2007 as he participated in a court-ordered drug-treatment program, canceled plans for a 2020 SPAC benefit concert to raise funds for the guitarist’s Divided Sky Foundation, due to the pandemic.
Contact Ted Remsnyder at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter at @TedRemsnyder.
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