Phish were scheduled to put on their 11th festival, named Curveball, this weekend in Watkins Glen, located in western New York, but they’ve had to cancel the event due to the state of emergency that has been declared in the area as a result of recent severe flooding.
“With a 14 county State of Emergency still in effect, the prospect of additional inclement weather, and a mandatory boil water order for the Village of Watkins Glen issued today, Schuyler County and the New York State Department of Health are unable to issue the required permits for this weekend’s Curveball Festival,” an official statement from the New York State Department Of Health reads.
According to a post on Phish’s website, the local water treatment plant that services the Curveball festival site has been contaminated and the water is not safe for consumption, which was a major factor leading to its cancellation.
Refunds will be available, with information forthcoming. Fans that are currently already camped out are allowed to stay overnight, but the campgrounds will close at noon on Friday (8/17).
Here’s Phish’s full statement:
Dear friends, our Phish family..
The four of us are writing this from directly behind the stage at Watkins Glen. We were about to walk onstage only moments ago for our traditional soundcheck jam for Curveball when we were told the heartbreaking news that due to the unsafe water conditions in the Village of Watkins Glen, our beloved festival is being canceled.
We are still in shock. The entire site is already set up and ready to go after literally months of work by our beloved hardworking crew, many of whom have been here for weeks. Our families are here, our gear is set, our tents are up. We keep waiting for someone to come over and tell us that there is a solution, and that the festival can go on. Unfortunately, it is not possible.
We are so terribly sorry for the inconvenience that this is causing so many of you. We hope from the bottoms of our hearts that at the very least this news will reach you before too much disruption takes place in your personal lives. We know that people traveled far, at great expense. We understand that people are missing work, and changing their schedules around.. we wish so much that there was some way that this wasn’t happening.
This summer has been absolutely joyous, with each gig building on the previous one, and we were all buzzing with excitement about Curveball. Please accept our deepest apologies for the disruption that this has caused all of you.. We wish there was something else we could say.
Thank you all from the depths of our souls for the joy that you continue to share with us every night. This has been the greatest summer we can remember.
Travel safe and know that we are as heartbroken as all of you. We are standing back here behind the stage, at our party that we’ve been planning for over a year, and we have just told that it won’t happen. There’s just nothing we can do.
Thank you all for your understanding.