Phish fans were super-bummed when the legendary jam band had to cancel their planned New Year’s Eve run of shows at New York’s Madison Square Garden due to the rapidly spreading Omicron variant of the COVID-19 pandemic. The four-night string of shows originally planned for Dec. 29-Jan. 1 were pushed to April 20, 21, 22 and 23 of 2022.
“Phish Radio & @SiriusXM present Dinner And A Movie: Live from the Ninth Cube! Phish will perform three full sets this New Year’s Eve, LIVE from the Ninth Cube,” the band wrote in an Instagram message announcing their rejiggered plans for Friday night (Dec. 31). “The show will be performed without an audience and will be webcast for free on Phish’s YouTube channel and LivePhish.com, with a simulcast on Phish Radio on SiriusXM. Phish will take the stage promptly at 8:30PM ET on December 31st.”
The latest gig in the band’s Dinner and a Movie series, where the members of the group choose recipes to go along with the music, with the NYE edition featuring singer/guitarist Trey Anastasio’s mouth-puckering recipes for lemonade, a whole roasted chicken with lemon, a lemon pasta vegetarian entrée and lemon bars for dessert. Since the start of the pandemic, the Dinner and a Movie series has distributed nearly $900,000 to the band’s WaterWheel Foundation to non-profits around the country.
“Our friends at @SiriusXM have generously underwritten production costs to make this webcast free, and we are hoping to come together once again as a community to support those in need,” they added. “We will also have three limited edition posters available from the original Garden run for sale beginning this Thursday via Phish Dry Goods, along with some additional event merch. Proceeds from these poster sales will be donated to The WaterWheel Foundation.” Shortly after the NYE gig, the performance will be available on the SiriusXM app.
The MSG shows would have been Phish’s first gigs at the venue since their pre-pandemic 2019 NYE run. “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.”
Tickets for the original shows will be honored at the new spring dates, with refunds available for those who cannot attend the April gigs. Phish is also selling limited-edition posters from the 1994-95 MSG run starting Thursday (Dec. 30), with proceeds going to the WaterWheel Foundation.
See the announcement below.