Face-melting concert photo

Phish Save the Date! Halloween Teaser Map

Sorry. You need to Flash to see the Phish Halloween Festival Save the Date map.

Yesterday Phish confirmed what had been circulating on the rumor train for weeks — that they'll be hosting a 3-day Halloween Festival from October 30th to November 1st, 2009.

See above for the custom announcement from Phish.com. The map is being updated every few days with a new animated clue, slowly revealing the festival location and potentially the name:

“Save the Date”

Empire Polo Club in Indio, CA

Speaking of which, all signs are pointing to the Phish Halloween Festival being held at the stunning Empire Polo Field in Indio, California, home of the annual Coachella festival and fertile spot for growing dates.

The Coachella / Empire Polo Field rumor is strong enough that nearby hotel rooms and rentals are pretty much sold out. And apparently there's already huge demand for Naked Wizard costumes.

Read on more analysis and speculation about the Phish Festival 2009.

Update: June 28, 2009 @ 11:00 pm

Nothing confirmed of course, but word on the street is the band will be playing eight (yes, 8) sets over the 3-day festival. Two sets Friday, three sets Saturday, and three sets again on Sunday including an early one. Take it with a grain of salt as I'm only about 50/50 with the rumors on Jamtopia.

And while I'm speculating, the latest I've heard or read from the few remaining sources that have any credibility, Fall Tour 2009 is going to be a whopper. Supposedly Phish will play a 26 show Fall Tour ending in North Carolina in November. And that'll be followed up by a (rumored-to-death) 4-night stand in Miami for New Years.

Maybe it's just me, but that sounds like a heck of a lot of shows and if it pans out this way I can only hope it doesn't “drag on beyond the point of vibrancy and health.” Oh wait, I can also hope they stop by the UIC Pavilion for at least a few nights!

Provided the rest of this info is correct, you can look for an announcement on or around July 4th.

Update: June 29, 2009 @ 12:20 am

Just got a comment from Johnny Goff (aka @PhishNQuips) saying that Phish will appear on Conan / The Tonight Show on October 28th. Take it for what it's worth.

::wonders if he can program Tivo that far in advance::

Update: June 29, 2009 @ 1:00 am

Not sure how this didn't come to my attention earlier, but a day-and-half-old thread on PT has plenty of spoilers for what's going to happen on the map based on the findings of mr_wonderful.

~~~ Spoiler Alert ~~~
Stop scrolling now if you don't want to see spoilers from the Phish Halloween Festival map!

Sorry. You need to Flash to see this Phish Halloween Festival Save the Date spoiler.
Sorry. You need to Flash to see this Phish Halloween Festival Save the Date spoiler.

From the looks of it we'll be seeing a merman swimming from somewhere near North Carolina to Colorado, and an alien zapping Tennessee, Pennsylvania and Nevada before going “home” to New Mexico. Here's a composite image from another intrepid PT'er showing how it all comes together.

Notably, the band has removed these elements from the live Flash file, so there's always the chance they'll change things up just to keep it interesting.

Still not sure how I feel about having seen this in advance, but I know for sure I've got tons of respect for the creative concept and love that the band is back to their old playful ways.

Update: June 29, 2009 @ 3:00 am

Okay, I wish I could take credit for this but alas it was pointed out by someone else. Take a gander at this snippet from the “Economy” section of the Indio, CA Wikipedia page:

Indio has been one of Southern California's most important agricultural regions, once responsible for a large percentage of the nation's date crop; however, with all the new residential and recreational development, the date groves are now more limited to south and southeast of Indio. Even the grove of date palms at the Riverside County Date Festival fairgrounds has been torn out by the county.[citation needed]

There are citrus groves and vegetable fields surrounding the city limits, but rapid development of new housing tracts and golf courses in the “East Valley” in the 1990s and 2000s has displaced most of the agricultural space.

Turns out “Save the Date” might not just be a directive, but also the actual name of the Phish Halloween Festival, a brilliant pun, and a potential cause marketing angle for the Fest. If this is the case, somewhere out there a marketing genius lives among us. Well-played whoever you are.

Update: June 29, 2009 @ 5:30 pm

Not sure when, but some time today the map fell victim to an infestation of red fire ants who devoured North Carolina, Wisconsin, and Washington.

red fire ant

Once again the super-sleuths at PT are doing a great job of reverse engineering this concept. Turns out about 10 years ago a turf farm in Indio, CA was invaded by South American fire ants prompting eradication measures by the state Food and Agriculture Department.

If the fire ants are not eradicated, state officials could eventually order a quarantine to isolate the insects, which devour fruit, flowers and tree bark, officials said.

Apparently the problem has only gotten worse since then. A long-term eradication program that started in 2000 was suspended in 2004 due to lack of funding and as recently as 2008 the fire ant infestation was reportedly spreading eastward.

The map version of California remains (not surprisingly) unharmed by the animated ants, but the overall creative concept continues to prove itself to be extremely well thought out.

Update: June 30, 2009 @ 5:30 pm

Holy crap. I think I just figured out the clue to the first animation in the Halloween Festival map — the one where Oklahoma, Idaho, West Virginia and New Hampshire seemed to simply deflate.

My theory: the animation represents a groundwater plume. More specifically, a plume with an overly-high nitrate concentration.

The nitrate plume is a potential threat to deeper underlying groundwater via improperly constructed, sealed, or abandoned wells.

I'll give you one guess where you can find these poisoned plumes… that right, the Indio Subbasin of the Coachella Valley Groundwater Basin. At least according this report from the California Department of Water Resources which I've quoted above.

dates growing on a vine

Presumably, if left unchecked, these nitrate plumes will ruin the water that's used to irrigate the date crop, not to mention the drinking water.

So at this point I'm going on record: I'll buy you a Nintendo if the Phish Festival 2009 isn't in Indio, CA. Save the friggin' date, and book your flight already!

Update: June 30, 2009 @ 9:00 pm

Today the map was updated again, and this time Kansas and Ohio were unceremoniously yanked from contention by a clipper-type boat.

dates growing on a vine

And again the folks on PT are all over it, quickly surmising that this is a reference to “The Lost Ship of the Desert” — the subject of legends about ancient ships buried in, you know it, California's Colorado Desert.

The [Los Angeles] Examiner also published a story [in 1919] of a Spanish galleon half-buried in the sands near Indio, its hold bursting with a cargo of precious stones.

So like the forthcoming UFO, this one isn't quite a direct reference to Saving Dates, but it still has Indio written all over it.

Update: July 2, 2009 @ 4:00 pm

Well for whatever reason the map isn't doing anything for me, but word on the street is that an alien Vannah White cyclops has come in and taken out Oregon, Wyoming, Illinois, and Pennsylvania Wheel of Fortune style.

dates growing on a vine

Right now the Indio connection is a little questionable, but one PT thread links to this article about date festivals that does mention the letter-turning temptress:

…and above the counter, there are still pictures of the Shields themselves outfitted in safari gear and helmets, as well as hand-colored black-and-white photos of pinup girls holding bushels of dates and caressing date palms with the aplomb of Vanna White.

Pretty tenuous for sure, and given the previous animations I'm guessing there's a more compelling reason for this one hidden out there somewhere.

Update: July 3, 2009 @ 3:00 am

I think I figured out the Vanna White animation, and it's got nothing to do with Vanna White. The important part is that she's a Cyclops!

Let me preface by saying this is WAY over my head and I'm not sure I totally understand it well enough to explain, but I'll take a stab.

Apparently cyclops is not just a one-eyed bastard living in a cave but also a newly identified part of the “common symbiosis signaling (Sym) pathway” in plants. And best I can gather from this report, certain mutations in the cyclops portion of the Sym pathway can help plants work harder to extract nutrients from soil.

Because of these benefits, scientists are working to better understand and clone the more successful cyclops mutations.

A number of plants have entered beneficial interactions with microorganisms that facilitate the uptake of nitrogen and phosphorus from the soil. [The authors] provide new insights into a novel genetic component in the plant that allows the establishment of these nutrient-capturing symbioses… Our challenge now is to take this genetics into a coherent understanding of the mechanisms of symbiosis signaling.
How CYCLOPS keeps an eye on plant symbiosis by Ward Capoen and Giles Oldroyd

If the scientists can pull this off, not only will the crops be more healthy, but farmers won't need to use as much fertilizer which is expensive and emits a ton of greenhouse-gasses.

date palm leaf infected with bayoud disease

This same type of genetic control may also have something to do with preventing bayoud disease in date palms, but I'm not exactly sure how it all ties together.

Either way, if the above is anything even close to the correct explanation, this is yet again another brilliant clue tied right back to the Save the Date theme.

In other news, I've had a few people email asking if I knew what the background music to the map is. Turns out it's part of the 30+ minute Wolfman's from 10/31/98. This monster includes multiple jam segments, tons of teases, Fishman on vacuum, and more.

And to wrap up tonight's update, it seems we've got our first parody of the map. Not even gonna comment on this one.

Update: July 3, 2009 @ 10:30 am

Some alternate Fall tour date rumors have started making the rounds on a variety of message boards, one of which comes complete with photographic “evidence.”

Phish leaked fall tour dates

This rumored 20-stop tour schedule has the band playing the Hollywood Bowl, Warfield (the night after Save the Date), Austin Music Hall, Hampton Coliseum, three nights at the Spectrum, and two nights at MSG among others. Not to mention the Tonight Show and of course the Save the Date festival.

If these dates pan-out I'll feel a little bad that the info I posted above was wrong, but I'll sure feel great about going back to Rosemont Horizon.

Update: July 6, 2009 @ 8:00 pm

Another update, another three states out of the running.

Thor wind god

This time it's bad news for Tennessee, Virginia, and Kentucky, all of which were blown off the map by the winds of Thor (or some other wind-related god).

And of course as luck would have it, about 3 seconds of Googling brings a curious factoid… date palms in nature can be pollinated by wind.

Not really sure what exactly this has to do with saving dates though, as it's apparently been common practice to hand-pollinate date palms for centuries “to avoid wasting a lot of space and energy growing sufficient male plants” — at least according to Wikipedia.

Will keep you posted if I learn anything else. In the mean time, here are some interesting facts about date palms.

Update: July 6, 2009 @ 11:00 pm

A few theories about the wind have made the rounds on PT — one that it's a reference to the Santa Ana winds and another that it's a reference to the San Gorgonio Pass wind farm. I was even working up a theory involving wind propogation of Date mites that can ruin a crop in no time.

But a comment left below by someone named Neil stopped me dead in my tracks.

Creation of Adam

Neil points out that the god in the animation isn't Thor at all, but the biblical God as depicted in Michelangelo's “The Creation of Adam” on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.

The famous fresco illustrates the Book of Genesis story when God formed Adam out of “the dust of the ground” and then “breathed into his nostrils the breath of life”, causing him to “become a living soul” (Gen. 2:7, KJV, emphasis mine).

As Neil further reminds us, after God created Adam he brought forth trees from the ground (Gen. 2:9), one of which was the Tree of Life.

And guess what type of tree many cultures and biblical scholars believe to be the Tree of Life?

You guessed it, the date palm. Imagine that.

Update: July 7, 2009 @ 8:00 pm

Looks like Mike just rolled in on his Segway and mowed down another trio of states — North Dakota, South Dakota, and Nebraska. Don't foresee an obvious Indio connection, but you know I'll post an update if I find one.

And I'll also post an update if I can find a patent for a Segway lawn mower. Phenomenal idea.

Update: July 9, 2009 @ 8:30 am

Two things to update this morning.

First, in the spirit of Occam's razor I think I may have overthought the clue to the first animation having stumbled upon a simpler solution on Wikipedia's Choachella Valley page.


Seismic activity is what triggers earthquakes, a common natural but on occasion, destructive phenomena in the Coachella Valley, and fault lines causes hot water springs or geysers to rise from the ground.

Funny because I had originally been looking for geysers when I found the nitrogen plumes.

Mike Gordon Segway Lawn Mower

In other news, been thinking a bit more about the Mike Segway animation and may have stumbled across something there too.

Something beyond the fact that the Coachella Valley is riddled with golf courses, not to mention the Empire Polo Fields themselves, and that the whole area needs tons of lawn mowing.

Monster Garage Mustang Lawn Mower

It's possible the Segway lawn mower may be a subtle nod to Palm Desert-based sod supplier West Coast Turf.

The company, headquartered a mere nine miles outside of Indio, helped Jesse James's Monster Garage create “Switchblade.” It's the Mustang convertible lawn mower seen at right.

Now that may be a bit of a stretch, but I can think of at least one place where any type of lawn mower, be it Mustang, Seqway, or plain-old John Deere would be completely useless — Datelan Army Airfield.

Update: July 10, 2009 @ 6:30 am

Alaska blowing up

Alaska, we hardly knew ye. So sorry to see you go.

Details to follow, I've got “real” work to do.

Update: July 11, 2009 @ 10:30 am

Try as I might, I'm just not making any sort of connection between Alaska and Indio. But there's still plenty of potential symbolism to ruminate on.

For starters you've got the obvious — Alaska, the song (and background track for the animation) failed to make the cut for the new Phish album Joy.

Flaming Bomb Alaska

Then you've got the delicious desert item bombe Alaska (see at right) — a decadent variation of baked Alaska that adds a dark rum flambĂ© to the already delicious combo of ice cream, sponge cake, and meringue.

And given the detonation's proximity to lovely Wasila, Alaksa, one can't help but think this might be some sort of social commentary on a political career up in smoke.

Meanwhile, if you have read the comment thread below you're missing out on some great entertainment value, not to mention a simmering East Coast / West Coast feud.

Update: July 13, 2009 @ 10:30 am


California Hot Air Balloon

California (along with the bulk of my credibility if this pans out) was just airlifted off the map by a fleet of hot air balloons!

For the moment, I'm stumped. Totally appreciate that much of the speculation above was far-reaching, but at least a few of those animations point straight to Indio. Not to mention the incredible array of “in the know” folks saying Indio was a lock.

If this proves nothing else it's that Phish likes to keep you guessing, and that's about all I have left to do. Keep guessing.

Oh, and keep your eyes peeled for a free Nintendo Wii giveaway when the final location is announced — assuming they don't have one more twist up their sleeve. Part of me thinks California may have just been airlifted away for safe-keeping :)

Update: July 13, 2009 @ 5:30 pm

Well needless to say this latest animation has lit-up the Phish message boards like a Christmas tree, but really only a few things worth noting (not including the picture at right which is just for fun).

Hot Air Balloon Indio CA

First, as ZZYZX was (I believe) the first to identify on PT, California is not really gone if you zoom out on the map. Now this could just be lazy programming, moving an object off the stage instead of actually killing it off. But either way it's led to plenty of additional speculation that Cali's just hovering up there safely, waiting for a triumphant return once the rest of the states are eliminated.

Second, the latest animation has resulted in at least one public wager for a 3 day festival pass.

Finally, and perhaps most curiously, is this recent tweet from Kevin Shapiro that reminds us to “never trust a prankster.”

Can't imagine what he means by that.

Update: July 14, 2009 @ 8:30 am

Sorry for the late update. I've been having trouble with my AT&T DSL at home so couldn't see the animation last night. I did however call them and after explaining that I wasn't able to do my “very important work” they gave me a $100 credit!

Fishman Pinball Machine

Turns out last night the entire map turned into a pinball machine and the ball took out Connecticut, Georgia, Iowa, Montana, Michigan, and Utah before dropping into Lake Michigan.

Plus a little bonus at the end showed the ball to be super-imposed with Fishman in a Viking hat a la Fall Tour 98.

In the spirit of completeness, I set out to find an Indio connection to see what would turn up. Answer, not too much.

I did however find this cool vintage Palm Springs pinball machine made by (Vegas-based) Bally back in 1953. Learned that IPD is not just an acronym for Indio Police Department but also Internet Pinball Database. And found a Plinko like contraption called Fantasy 5 Dream Machine that was part of the California lottery's TV show The Big Spin. Don't miss the previous segment from that episode to watch a lady win $3 million bucks.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, as most people have noticed California is no longer “floating” above the map in the latest Teaser.swf file. No big surprise. It was just conveniently stashed off-stage at the end of the hot air balloon animation.

Hot Air Balloon Pumpkin Mask

Not content with just viewing the .swf, some folks on PT have continued to decompile the Teaser, an effort that's been light on clues since the UFO / merman incident. But this latest decompiled swf revealed the asset seen at right, a large image sprite with a mundane name, Shape6.jpg.

The asset hasn't generated as much speculation as one might think, despite the fact that it bears mild resemblance to a pumpkin, is the same design as the balloons that carried away California, and is significantly larger than the other balloon .

Not that this couldn't just be a left-over masking asset from the previous animation, but you know I can't help but speculate :)

One more quick note — today is the last day to enter Jamtopia's Mike Gordon bobblehead giveaway. Could be your only chance to score this great piece of Phish memorabilia.

Update: July 17, 2009 @ 5:00 pm


In the biggest state-take-down yet, the latest animation finds nine states — Massachusetts, New Jersey, Maryland, Indiana, Missouri, South Carolina, Alabama, Louisiana, and New Mexico — getting targeted and subsequently taken out by darts.

It only took me about 20 minutes of research to tie this back to date palms, and like the Cyclops above it has something to do with plant genetics and breeding.

Specifically, I think it's a reference to something called Diversity Arrays Technology, or DArT.

Diversity Arrays Technology Logo

[DArT] will make comprehensive genome profiles an affordable and powerful tool to accelerate plant breeding.

In short, DArT is a relatively cheap and easy way to analyze plant genomes. Armed with this knowledge, scientists should be able cultivate plants that are more disease resistant, better adapted to local environments, and more generally allow for healthier crops and higher yields.

Haven't been able to find specific references to DArT being used on date palms, but presumably this application would be a positive step towards reducing or even preventing (the previously mentioned) Bayoud Disease.

Now I realize that California is gone from the map, so say what you will about this analysis, but either way I'm still having fun sleuthing and plan to keep at it until the very end.

And speaking of gone from the map… Michigan seems to have re-appeared (for now), though presumably only because the developer failed to include it in the _deadStates array.

Update: July 18, 2009 @ 2:30 pm

With respect to saving dates, there's an interesting comment below from Austin resident BathtubGin09 who points to a 2008 Texas Department of Agriculture alert entitled Date Palm Lethal Decline. Per the article:

Recently the Texas Department of Agriculture adopted an Emergency Quarantine in Cameron, Hidalgo, Nueces and Willacy counties of Texas against Date Palm Lethal Decline disease caused by a phytoplasma.

And apparently most of the date palm trees infected with the so-called Texas Phoenix Palm Decline are coming in from Florida. Looks like Indio isn't the only place that could use some DArT :)

Update: July 18, 2009 @ 8:30 pm


A dump truck just came in by boat, picked up Missouri, Arkansas, and Colorado, then redeposited Washington back on the map.

And with that, this whole chicanery just got a whole lot more interesting (or less, depending I guess on who you ask) given that the map now has the proven ability to return what it hath once taken away. Can't wait to see how this wraps up…

Update: July 21, 2009 @ 8:30 am

No map updates, but a late-night Tweet from someone (presumably) at The Chopping Block is worth noting:

Phish promo almost done. Starting to suck the life out of me when I leave work at 2am. But fuck it's a cool spot we did for them.
@nathancali via Twitter

I guess it's obvious that the map is“almost done,” but this really helps me appreciate all the work that's gone into it. And I gotta agree that it's a cool spot.

Update: July 22, 2009 @ 10:30 pm

And then there was one.


Tonight Phish brought back the Golden State after purging the remaining contenders with a standard-issue power drill.

I was a little surprised the hot air balloons didn't return, but the drill still entertained. The animation played-out with applause and cat calls, ultimately drilling through (recently revived) Washington which leaked South into California.

Meanwhile I wonder if the drill was a late addition in response to the recently passed California budget which could allow for offshore drilling as “a new source of desperately needed cash.”

Maybe we'll never know, but you gotta figure there's one more animation to come — the one that reveals the Halloween Festival location, ticket info and other details.

And if we're lucky, Fall Tour dates!

Update: July 22, 2009 @ 10:30 pm


California with golf flag in Indio

Tonight the Phish Halloween map came to an end, falling apart as California came front-and-center accompanied by 2001.

A golf flag and number 8 appeared, the latter of which promptly exited stage left leaving the flag waving in the breeze.

At this point the map was replaced by the official festival site, finally divulging the details we've all been waiting for.

A expected, the venue is none other than the Empire Polo Club in Indio but there was a small curveball with the name — it'll be called Festival 8, not Save the Date as I had presumed.

Now that the map is done, head on over to our follow-up post to learn all about Phish Festival 8 in Indio, CA.

Update: September 28, 2009

Today Phish launched a Festival 8 cover album teaser where they'll be slowly revealing the album for the musical costume. Learn more about the musical costume album teaser and see which albums have been eliminated right here on Jamtopia.

740 Comments so far   

If everyone is putting the same stock in the symbology of how they get rid of states, think about the Hot air Balloons. The Florida Hot Air Balloon Festival is taking place this year on October 30, 31 & Nov. 1. Also for the “Save the Date” reference, dates are as well known in Florida as they are in Cali. and are experiencing the same problems with disease, foreign species, etc… Just a thought. I love this S#!T !!! Still fun to keep guessing.

“never trust a prankster….”  this quote is from ken kesey and the merry pranksters.  ken and the pranksters showed up at the clifford ball (or was it IT…i’m not sure).  if the shapero clue is real plus the fact that california is still floating above the map, i’m thinking cali looks good!

All the speculation that this festival is still going to happen in California needs to stop. There’s no way that Phish would lead all the phans that have plane and hotel reservations in California to cancel those reservations, only to make them do it all over again. Think about how many people this would piss off. Phish is not about spreading negative vibes. So, can we please stop talking about how this thing is still gonna go down in Indio, CA and move on.

There are 28 states still left on the map. Let’s talk about how and why this “Save the Date” festival is going to happen in one of those.

I’m really hopin for georgia, closest for me, and probably the closest locale for everyone in the U.S as a whole.  indio is soo far for anyone east of colorado, same with AZ.  i really hope they don’t bring back california on balloons, sorry cali people

I will go ahead and put all discussion to rest…..the location will be held at…....ya’ll ready for this announcement?????
Talladega Superspeedway in AL!!!

East vs. West… I’m going with Central & Mountain… North vs. South… South for sure… except for the slavery BS, which no one in this country can wash their hands of… Dates vs. Peaches… well, the Peach definitely tastes better, but Phish has already named this one “Save the Date,”  unless they change that at the last second to “Eat a Peach,” then we can expect to hear some sweet Allman Bros come Halloween.  Oh yeah, and California is not off the map, just floating above.  Go Indio> peace.

If you zoom out on the page, CA is still hovering over the map.

It’s a flash bug, pholks. And clearly at that. Guaranteed not to be there next time a state is removed. Take it from a web developer.

The fact that california is still on the screen when you zoom out means nothing. The designer, when creating the flash file, just moved the state out of the viewport, but it still is part of the animation.

I’ll bet that the other animations from the other states have similar artifacts from their animations. We’ll just have to wait for the next update to find out, unless someone has a copy of the older .swf files to prove this point.

Give me an hour and i’ll deconstruct the flash file and tell you how its built.

Also, three of the balloons point up, but not the other.  The one on the bottom points straight down at Indio.

East Coast!!

Regardless of where it is, look for me wearing my Chuck E. Cheese head and a speedo. I live in NH and tickets to SoCal were $350+. Tix to phoenix, $200. Cali was the only state I couldn’t swing plane tix to. Looks like I am going!! Woooohooo.


CA is still there.  Bottom right hand corner of your browser.  Zoom to 150 or 200%.  Southern Cali.

As a fan that has been touring since 97 I am embarrassed to see this west coast vs east coast crap. Wtf? thug life?

Stop being moons and just be excited about the festival.

If you zoom out on the map, California is still hanging by four balloons and looming over the rest of the country.  This could just be a flash bug, but it is interesting…Plus four balloons, four funky dudes…

They’re playing Conan in Los Angeles on the 28th so it has to be relatively close to there.

I’m hoping for Hawaii..

hit “ctrl +”

Cali is still floating on the top of the page

California stiil there if you zoom out on page.  wierd.

Zoom out to 400% in IE. CA is still floating above the map..

California is still there.  Look closely, pholks. 

Zoom in.

zoom out on the webpage and you will see california is still floating above map.  Not happy about this at all.

SO all of you that didnt realize that Cali was hoisted away by balloons and not blown up like the other states that have been taken off the map. I have already secured my tix through AEG/Golden Voice and will be chilling in the best weather in the country in Indio.

Also I love the east coasters who think that they are the best. I was at all the Hampton shows and the jerk a$$ ba$tards that were selling all the gas and being such good phans. Gotta love that east coast love of… themselves. All money hungary and willing to step on eachother to get what they want. That $hit doesnt happen on the WestSide baby!


Yes, I recently theorized about my belief that Phish has two or three venues secured but nothing official; based on rumors and reported flyer sightings in multiple areas. I speculated these three areas could be Fairburn, Indio, and or Datelan. I don’t have any inside hand, I just speculated based on people saying they had heard reports and seen advertising regarding needing more hands for a reported festival. My belief is that Phish took California away at this time based on the fact that so many fans had booked their trips to Indio in the hopes that their fans could still get a refund.

And just as a note for those hoping it is going to be in Maine or a North-East state: not if it’s going to be outside. It is too cold up here for an outdoor festival in late October early November. Speaking for Maine and Vermont, there isn’t a large enough indoor venue to hold a three day festival for Phish. Mass has the Fleet Center which is available on those dates but I really can’t seat Phish holding a three day festival inside.

This is fun, we will see.. And for those railing against the East Coast vs. West Coast rivalry; I think most of us were doing it in comedic spirit and it’s officially over so you don’t have to worry about it any longer.

California is still on the map! Use your browser’s zoom feature and zoom in a few times. California is hovering above the map!!

Hate to of saw this but if you zoom out on the webpage you will see california still hovering above the country.  I am not happy to see this to say the least.

100% agree.  The East vs. West crap is for posers.  Everyone knows the real battle is between the North and the South.

North Sucks!  South Rules!  Come on everybody join the North vs. South rivalry.  Which border do you prefer?

Hit Ctrl +, Cali still in the mix

The balloons clearly have arrows pointed both up AND down… what goes up must come down…

If you use Safari web browser on phish.com, and wait for the balloon graphic to fully play out, than go to VIEW - ZOOM IN a few times, Cali is floating above the map still.  Maybe a flood will come take out the country and Cali will return safely…  No other reason for Cali to be floating other than it coming back later.

Indio 2009!!

Who Predicted Indio? As I previously mentioned, the site of Indio was put forward by “Reliable Source” a man who is just about never right when it comes to issues related to Phish. The Indio skeptics, myself and a few others who have posted here, have pointed out that most of the “clues” were stretches to make Indio a fit. The best clue that it was Indio is the fact that Indio is the date capital of the world, but when you think of Datelan, AZ it would seem that was a better fit than the date capital. In the end, my personal feeling was the people who have been putting forward an argument for Fairburn and Datelan based on the clues, put forward a more convincing argument than those for Indio. More so that than is the fact that Phish will be performing three concerts on the west coast in just a matter of weeks. Indio just never fit the bill. I wouldn’t be shocked if California came back just as I am not shocked that California just left. Just remember the clue I came up with, the founder of the Segway just received an honorary degree from the University of Arizona. Datelan continues to be my pick but my gut is now saying Texas.

Hey, I hear that if you play Cavern backwards at 110 decibels while standing on your head immediately after eating 10 spears of broccoli, and then look at the Save the Date page, the actual location will be revealed. :)

How about we just sit back, enjoy the little marketing ploy and think about how friggin’ awesome it’s going to be ... where ever that is.

A lot of things happen to point to New Mexico illustrated in these recent threads.  This Balloon Fiesta Park definitely has the size and capacity to hold a festival.  Not to mention Albuquerque would be a fitting place given that this Neil Young cover has made it’s way into many different Phish setlists.

However a brief overview of the avg temperature in October (57) and November (44) has me thinking this won’t be a festival location.

Fairburn, Dateland, Florida and most points in Texas have avg. temps in the 70’s for October and 60’s for November. 

And one last request - let’s try and keep this board open to rumors / teasers about information related to the festival, like where it might be and what they might play - not east coast vs. west coast BS.

New Mexico is making a lot of sense!

Word to Naleigh, I second that thought.  This site seem big enough for a fest?

Hell, if they could launch that many balloons, why not?

not saying cali is coming back, BUT Indio and the Coachella Valley has a big hot air balloon community. During that time of the season hot air balloons are always in the sky in Indio.

so far i think there are some crazy ideas out there> why does it have to be a camping festival? phish has said that Bonnaroo will be their only festival appearance this summer. grant it halloween is in the fall but what about the former Vegoose festival, which is thrown by Superfly productions i believe. Vegoose will be back this year in vegas with Phish as the headliners. very easy location for all and lots of hotel rooms. sorry if you missed Bonnaroo this year but that was it as far as camping festivals unless new years is back in florida. the true Phish festival will be back next year in all of its glory, hopefully retuning to its roots in upstate NY or maine. this seems all too obvious to me but i love the guessing game…...

i’ve got it.  its like that movie “up” where the old man floats his house to the amazon.  so phish is telling us that the festival is going to be in south america!  i knew it! booked my ticket to brazil three weeks ago!

Bear in Gamehendge.  No Alex here.  Sorry to disapoint.  I am hoping for a Nevada/Georgia/NY/ME/Utah festival.  Just because I have houses or people with houses there and frequent flyer miles.  If it turns out to be in Minnesota or LA, then I got to pay.  Help out a phan in the recession, have it in Billerica Massachusetts, ha ha ha ha,  Who cares as long as they play BBFCFM and Harpua at the festival.

Anybody who booked a flight to CA based on a rumor I hate to say it, is a fool.  This whole game of rumors is somewhat fun to guess and speculate, but geesh, don’t make large $$ decisions based off of rumors.

Besides that, the hotels being fully booked was already proven to be false, how many people have actually booked the flights? 

Anyway, I hope it comes to SoCal or nearby.  No love out this way for their fan base. :(

A friend who works for an event staffing / security company based here in atlanta has been hearing talks of an “enormous halloween weekend concert” they have been contracted to provide staff for at some county fairgrounds in georgia…

no talk of phish explicitly, but the estimated number of attendees is around 70K. And apparently theyre calling in the reserves for this one, putting out ads online and in the paper for a few hundred extra event staff… if you live in the greater atl area and want a free ride to the festival, look out for them!

Has anyone thought that maybe Phish doesn’t know for sure yet where the festival might be - just where not? also, not liking all bad mouthing going on across coast and please give up on California.

Major Geographical Mea Culpa…Area 51 is indeed in Nevada…I was thinking the Area 51 Museum which is in Roswell, NM. 
Still alien country and hot air balloon land, though…
It doesn’t really matter to me since either way is far far away from NC!

It’s obscure (and so was Loring) but my guess is Datelan Army Airfield in Dateland, AZ?

Why do people think its gonna be out west still?  After Cali is gone I see no reason to think it will be anywhere but the east coast.  Considering every festival they have ever had has been out east.  Georgia seems like the most logical pick to me.  Weather will be good and it is beautiful there.  I mean seriously.  Other than it being convenient if you live out west why would you want to go to a phish festival in the dessert?  I don’t see it happening.

I’m so confused

Who started this Indio rumor anyway? It is bad enough So. Cal. has gotten no love so far from Phish. Now this!

I just read a Jamtopia article from March that had this link.  It says the festival will not be in Texas, but the site is 100% not credible.  The article has a bunch of fallacies, and the name of the farmer is probably fake.  I’m still favoring TX or AZ.  Either way I am definitely going as Zack Morris for Halloween.

Comon’ people, this is getting out of hand… California is out, I agree with “thankyoufornoindio” they wouldn’t let everyone cancel their flights then have to book them again.  I wouldn’t make predictions because you just saw what happened to Cali.  Just leave it to Phish to choose where they want it and we’ll see what they have to do with it.  Think about who we’re dealing with, they have too many suprises up their sleeve.  California is out and you just have to accept it like all of the other states did.  Give it up already, it won’t be in California.

For crying out loud…Area 51 is in NEW MEXICO.  As is the biggest Hot Air Balloon Festival in the USA.  Not saying it will be there, but the Vanna White Cyclops, the Hot air balloons and the hacked flash images of the merman and the alien entering New Mexico is interesting.  Who knows, though….


I’m saying/hoping for either Big Cypress or Fairburn, Ga

international baloon fiesta is in Albuquerque, aliens in Roswell,  seems like New Mexico to me

i will be happy whereever phish puts on this phest… every state in the USA is beautiful.

Just to shake things up a bit, I’ll let you all in on a little secret a buddy of mine (who happens to have worked at both IT and Coventry, and is lined up to help out at the 09 fest) told me…

Save The Date will be in Georgia, folks! 

After a bit of research, it will seem pretty obvious, start thinking about them clues! 

Looking forward to a peachy halloween


hahahh sily folks…. why dont we just wait and see what happens…. you were obviously wrong and quite honestly some of your “symbols” of a CA festival were pretty far fetched!
Let Let the boys suprise us.

I’m in SoCal, and I’m NOT a poser.  I’ve just grown up, have a family and a job.  I can’t just leave it all to tour with Phish anymore.  It would take a colossal effort and lot of cash for me to travel to see any of the fall tour stops.  I was praying for the Indio Festival, but alas, it looks as if it’s not happening.  I have no choice but to hope they “saved” Cali and will bring it back, but I don’t know.  I’m crushed.  All of you people calling us posers doesn’t feel good at all.  Where’s the love?

Area 51 is in Nevada.

Area 51 is in Nevada NOOB.
All signs still point to New Mexico

Don’t mess with Texas losers

Griff From Boston, thats not Griff as in Alex Griffin is it….???

Why does everyone assume it’s outside?  3 night stand at the Garden baby!  Right in the middle of Yankee playoffs and their world series victory in 2009!!!! 

Fall tours are always inside;

Lets just stop right now with the Cali may come back rumors.  They probly took it off early so the phans would still have time to get refunds on their flights and rooms.  No way they would let people cancel all this stuff and then bring it back.

Fly California fly!

I think it’ll be funny if they slowly take ALL of the states off before they announce where it will be, just to screw with everybody.  Hell they may be reading all the rumors and just take away a state just to mess with people and are being the puppet masters this whole time.  That said I still hope it comes out to SoCal.  Saying we had a concert in our state doesn’t mean much since it’s a pretty damn big state.  That and the only concert in CA is during a week day which makes it damn near impossible to make the trip up North for. :o/

And who cares about all this west coast east coast crap.  Grow up already.  A Phish fan is a Phish fan is a Phish fan, doesn’t matter where in the world they live.  Grab a bong, sing a long, now let’s all just get along!  Leave the shit talking for rock concerts, not the peaceful people I have ALWAYS met at Phish concerts, both on the East AND West coast.

To Switch and all the West Coast Posers:

How do you like them apples? Phish doesn’t want their festies infested with poser SoCal douchebags, also why Shoreline is as far south as they are willing to track.  Sorry Bra, hang loose while not ever again in your lifetime seeing Phish in your backyard, guess it’s time to stop posing and leave the scene to the real phans. HAHAHAHAHA, POSERS!!!!

I agree. You can pretty much eliminate all the states above Texas—it’s simply too cold to camp in late October.

So that leaves: AZ, NM (Roswell, anyone?), TX (my pick), LA, AR, MS, AL, GA, SC, and FL.

Place your bets people!

- ME

P.S. I’m liking the theories that they’ll “bring back” CA by balloon at the end. GREAT viral marketing by a GREAT band :) :)

P.P.S. my word verification to post this comment was “areas46”—A stealth hint at Roswell, NM’s Area 51?? Jamptopia is on the take and part of the conspiracy!

hahahahaahahah FUCK CALI!!!!!!!! HAHAHA Im from the mid-west and I’m praying for an east coast show strictly for financial reasons! However, it looks like to me signs are pointing toward zona! My old man grew up in Zona and went to college at Thunder Bird Businees School. Growing up he always talked about this huge Hot Air Ballon race that would start right by his college,I wonder if that has any connection with the DATEland, UFO,Explosions, States Drying Out, Airfiled, and hot air baloons…. maybe.

haahahahahahhahahaha, eastcoast!!!!!!!!!!

I was *this* close to booking flights and lodging to Indio, CA after reading this thread. Good thing that I didn’t!

My bet is on Austin, TX!

See you @ The Gorge!


Why did they post a picture of Texas when they announced the Summer Tour????

I knew there was no way it was going to be at the empire polo fields whatever the case. Sure I can see them doing a show there, but not a Phestival.

I’m just surprised they floated Cali away so soon and would have left us guessing it longer. I guess there will be a lot of disappointed hotels that are going to lose a lot of reservations they had booked…

I’m still holding out for Dateland, AZ. I think for the fact that we need one out west and we are due, the weather is ideal, and the location is ideal and still works into all the rumors and clues.

I’m going with Vegas as this fits nicely in that model and people involved have done it before.  Reinventing the wheel is not cost effective with these things.

they did not zap Cali like they did to the other states….they will bring it back

Is it me or is this another exciting time in the history of this band.  Part of me is thinking that they are sitting around and when the rumors start, that is when they react to taking states off of the map.  I would love a warm climate festival.  Arizona, Vegas, GA, FL, who cares.  Just announce it already so i can book my flight.  Limestone return????  We shall see.  It would be sweet if they played at the Roswell NM crash site.  There is some crazy shit for ya.  It will not be anywhere East of the Mississippi and north of DC.  Too cold that time of month.  Then again, it is Phish we are talking about.

That is freakin priceless!  SOUTH EAST! SOUTH EAST! SOUTH EAST!

bwaahahahahahaaaa west coast got a big fat shaft!!! nice!

i like AZ idea, ‘date’land save the date/ save the air field before they tare it down, somthing along those lines..

bwahahahahahahhahahahahahah….where is Cali on the map again?


California out?!! HAH.  So where is the big rumored spot now?!  Come on SOUTH EAST!! WOO

HAHA so much for Cali…Just got taken away by balloon. HERE WE GO EAST COAST!!!!!

Cali is gone???????  Noooo!!!!!!!!

someone tell me this is a joke!!!!!


Cali has been lifted by hot-air balloons.

bye-bye Cali love.

Hmm. New map show Cali getting air lifted.  Boo Hoo no SoCal Festival.  I love this band, always keep you guessing.  There goes all your Indio conspiracy theories.

Hey Tim from Garden Grove, if you really wanted to defend anything about California or its citizens it would be in your best interest to stop flapping your stupid yap full of nonsense all over this message board…people like you make me not want the festival to be in Socal, and I live here!

this is all pretty damn annoying. i’m from North Carolina, and i’m very much looking forward to the festy being in indio. or AZ. or wherever the fuck it is, i’ll be there without bitching about it. i’m a realist, and it’s pretty obvious that the east coast gets more shows. the stats are there to back it up. however i think it would be fucking awesome to take a long weekend to fly out to the left coast to catch what will surely be an amazing phish moment. i flew out to SF to see beck/radiohead at outside lands last year, and it was one of the best nights ive had in a long time. i’ve only seen phish east of the mississippi, and i’m so excited about the chance to see them in the wild west.

also, i’m an orioles fan… and while the bosox/halos are aging like a mother fucker, we’re gonna be true contenders in 2011 (maybe even ‘10)

is it just me, or has alaska been getting blown up for like four days!?!?


Come on down east coasters,the weathers fine.So are the killer cali nugs that are almost half the price you guys pay.Cant we all just get a bong?

Dude, tell me “Tim from Garden Grove’s” message was a tongue in cheek attack on west coasters from an east coast fan? “Biatch’s” “sence” “eastcoasters” and that’s just the first two sentences.. Seriously?

At Switch. I have been there plenty and almost lived there and couldn’t stand all the fakers. NYers may have a thick accent and not everyone is Italian.You obviously have never been to NY.Everyone knows that NYC is the best city in the world and LA will never have such an honor. 
And Garden Grove Tim, I thank you for pointing out your sarcasm.Please note how I spell sarcasm…properly. I’m not going to bother to point out the host of   other mistakes you made. So I am not going to entertain a response to you.

Amen,Harry Mt.Hood.

What say we just chill,everyone and wait and see. we are all going to be there no matter where it is. we are all obviously diehards,otherwise we wouldn’t defend our Phish love with such venom. I am just happy the boys are back and remind us all how amazingly talented they are and how beautiful their music is and the meaning a joy it brings.



ohh and i dont think most of the fans at shoreline will be from the eastcoast since there only doing 1 show and good luck getting from redrocks to frisco in 1 day. i’m sure it will be filled with kind cali peep’s. and if they did’nt like cali that much why did they have thE REAL LAST SHOW OUT HERE AND NOT IN VERMONT. WE ALL KNOW COVENTRY WAS A JOKE. AND I WAS THERE AND HIKED 5 MILES TO GET IN.  THERE ALSO WAS A BUNCH OF EASTCOASTERS AT THE E CENTER IN 98 WHEN THEY DID THE DARKSIDE OF THE MOON THAT PLACE WAS PRACTICALLY EMPTY SO JUST STOP WITH YOU GUY’S BEING MORE LOYAL THAN WESTCOASTERS ITS REALLY GETTING OLD


I live in Costa Mesa right now, damn recession! But yeah, I usually live on the peninsula, gotta love ocean views and beautiful girls!!!!  A fan of Phish is a fan of Phish, what’s up with this BS I’m from the East or West so I’m better or more hardcore. That is really lame, seriously. Oh yeah, SOX SUCK ;)

Although not as bad as my INDIANS ;(

hey brooklyn tim your the best man you are the mostdie hard phish fan in the world just like all the rest of the east coasters your the man the east is the best what was i thinking about man you are the greatest phish fan the world has eve seen no one can top you bro. i hope you can sence my sarcasim because i’m layin it on pretty thick just like the bullsh$&t you eastcoasters spit on this sight keep on hatin on cali you jealous bIATCH’S i’m lovin it . god i wish i could be cool and live on the eastcoast and be negative to other fans who enjoy the music wow it must be cool livin on the eastcoast and being misrable an hatin you guy’s are the best, only true phish fans live on the eastcoast so theres noway anyone from cali or any where else could posibly be a fan because they dont live on the eastcoast. if you guy’s listen to yourselves you sound like a bunch of selfritious ass’sss. there was a good amount of people from cali who made the trek out thee for the hampton show’s and the tour so in that sence we like ourphish out here too, soo if you are going to hate plz stay at home and dont come to cali because this is a kind and friendly state and we have enough probloms to deal with and we dont need any eastcoast negatvity and its about 114 degree;s in datland AZ it’s alot hottter ther than it is in indio much love everyone.

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