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Phish Phans, god are they obsessed

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By The Associated Press

COVENTRY, Vt. - With hundreds of cars stuck in the mud and more pouring in, Vermont State Police started turning back traffic headed to the Phish farewell concert on Saturday, and told ticketholders they would get refunds but no admittance.

Police erected a roadblock on Interstate 91 and other roads and told fans headed to the two-day festival at the Newport State Airport to turn around.

"Because of the heavy rains, parking inside the festival site has basically become impossible, and they're concerned for people's safety," said Adam Lewis, a spokesman for the concert promoter, Great Northeast Productions.

Heavy rains Thursday and Friday turned the campgrounds into quagmires, and local residents with tractors were busy pulling stuck cars from the mud.

Any of the 70,000 ticket holders denied entry will get their money back, the promoter said in a statement.

The promise of a refund was no comfort to fans stopped on Interstate 91, many of whom abandoned their vehicles and headed out on foot for the concert site, about a dozen miles from the nearest exit.

Cars lay empty along the side of the highway for at least two miles past the exit.

"There is no way I am not going to try to get in," said Erika Sander of Blodgett, Oregon, who flew to Manchester, N.H., and rented a car to drive to the show. She left the car on the side of the road and started walking to the concert Saturday.


You know, for those fans' sake, I really hope that they put on a really really really really really really really really really really really really good show.

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Update from msn.com

Cleanup After Phish Fans Cost Vt. $35,000

Aug 23, 10:02 PM EST

Cleaning up after fans of the band Phish cost Vermont $35,000, and it's sending the bill to promoters of this month's festival.

Hundreds of bags of trash were left alongside Interstate 91 while Phish fans were stuck between the Barton and Orleans exits for hours, waiting to get to the festival in Coventry. After state police closed the festival site to traffic because of muddy conditions, many fans abandoned their vehicles to walk the rest of the way to the Newport State Airport.

Sam Lewis, deputy director of operations at the Agency of Transportation, said the festival's promoters, Townsend, Mass.-based Great Northeast Productions Inc., would pick up the tab.

Adam Lewis, spokesman for Great Northeast, has said all along that the company would pay the cost of picking up the trash.

Crews from the agency's districts in Derby and St. Johnsbury spent three days cleaning up the mess.

Earlier last week, Sam Lewis said the fans had done a pretty good job of leaving the trash in bags. However, he said, people went through the trash bags gathering up cans and bottles to redeem them for the deposit.

Lewis said the contract with Great Northeast stipulated the promoters would pay the state $15,000 for having transportation employees pick up trash associated with the festival, primarily along U.S. Route 5.

Lewis said he didn't have any idea how many truckloads of trash were removed or how much it weighed. However, of the $35,000 bill, $8,000 of it was for dump fees, he said.

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