A curveball is being thrown next weekend by Vermont’s finest band, Phish, and we are lucky enough to be part of it. Seriously people, SERIOUSLY, we are SO excited about this, it’s just silly.
It all started this spring when we heard rumors of Phish throwing another magical summer festival at Watkins Glen, the giant speedway in upstate New York. So we reached out to their production team to get in on the fun. They got back to us: “Dream big, let’s do this.”
There is the feeling of excited when you’re kind of excited… and then there is a whole other kind of HOLY S#*T THIS IS AWESOME kind of excited that we felt at that moment. So we immediately got to work. We dreamt, we planned, and we collaborated with the best, most creative logistics team we could find. Fast forward to this moment right now, our amazing building team is driving across the great state of New York with 3 huge flatbed trailers full of too many things to describe, which we will be putting together into a 100 seat restaurant complete with shaded hammocks under pergolas, a big beer garden with lawn games and Fiddlehead Brewery suds, as well as a farmer’s market with local organic meats, vegetables and even Jasper Hill Farms cheese.
When we say this has been a long time coming for us, we meen a loooooonnnggg time coming. We here in Pancakia are anything but alone in our love for Phish. I believe Winston Churchill once said something like, “Never before was so much awesome created by so few.” OK, he didn’t say that, but you get the point: love for the good time Phish creates goes way back. In the case of Pancakia, it harkens back to one of our first shows: the world famous New Years’ ‘95 Show at Madison Square Garden. 8 years (and many many shows) later, in our first week of operations as a little cart on Church St, bassist Mike Gordon cruised by on his Segway, bought a crepe, and then (we swear) five minutes later cruised by again and bought another. We’d like to think that Mike’s first bites of Skinny goodness still lingered in his memory nearly twenty years later when we got invited to this festival.
There is at least one thing that we here at the Skinny would like to think we share in common with Phish: they are through-and-through Vermont. They started here, they love it here, and they work together with other Vermonters like Russ Bennett to share their fun wackiness with the whole world (who else remembers the World’s Largest Cowbell Ensemble?).
Fun fact: Phish started playing at Nectars; the first commercial kitchen we ever used was Nectar’s. Burlington had a rich culture and a great music scene before Phish came into the fold, but it is inarguable that their giant cultural contribution is part of why we now punch so far above our weight as a city, both musically and otherwise.
Here’s what we can tell you about next weekend: the surprises will never end and the ridiculousness will never stop. No band could singularly get so many people to come out and keep all of them entertained 24 hours a day. We are lucky to be part of it, and we hope that we can put just a little bit more curve in this year’s curveball. Hope to see you there!