Phish have called off their four-night New Year’s Eve run at Madison Square Garden in New York City due to ongoing concerns over the Omicron variant of Covid-19.
Phish was set to play every night from Dec. 29 through Jan. 1, marking their first gigs at the Garden since their New Year’s run in 2019. The shows have now been pushed to the spring, and will be held April 20 through 23, with a special three-set show — like the one originally planned for New Year’s Eve — taking place on April 22.
“The health and safety of Phish fans, our crew, and venue staff is paramount in our minds,” Phish said in a statement. “While Phish has played shows this year as the pandemic has continued, this variant’s ability for rapid transmission is unprecedented. We are also mindful that a significant number of people travel for these shows and then return to their communities, and we want to avoid accelerating transmission of the virus. Finally, even with the strictest of tour Covid protocols, the prolonged exposure of a four-night indoor run (plus the days of preparation and travel) to critical crew and staff considerably increases the possibility of having to shut the shows down once they’ve started.”
All tickets to the original shows will be honored at the new dates, and ticket holders who purchased through authorized channels will be contacted with more information. Those who are unable to make the new dates will be able to request a refund for the next 30 days starting today, Dec. 23.
After a year-and-a-half off from touring because of the first pre-vax wave of the pandemic, Phish returned to the road in July, though their tour wasn’t without controversy. The band’s summer run launched just as concerns about the Delta variant were rising, prompting some often vicious fighting about vaccines and masks among those in online Phish communities.
Concerns about virus spread at Phish shows returned after Phish wrapped their run of Halloween shows in Las Vegas. Per a Boston Globe report, fans said the venue, the MGM Grand Garden Arena, had poor ventilation, and few fans were wearing masks, despite a Nevada law requiring masks inside. Additionally, the halth departments in Vermont and Rhode Island recorded multiple Covid-19 cases potentially linked to the Halloween shows.
From Rolling Stone US