Phish, jam band veterans, to play three Hampton Coliseum concerts in October

The Phish rock 'n' roll circus will roll back into town in October, bringing what now looks like jam-band nostalgia to an arena that's been a sentimental favorite for decades, Hampton Coliseum.

The Vermont-based group will play shows at the Coliseum Oct. 18, 19 and 20, according to an announcement made on the band’s website. The last time Phish played Hampton, it made a similar three-night stand there in March of 2009. In that case, all three shows sold out quickly.

“It’s long overdue. It’s been four-and-a-half years,” said Coliseum Director Joe Tsao. “The Mothership is ready for Phish to return and for all the Phish heads to come back to beautiful Hampton, Virginia.”

For some fans, however, the 2009 trip to Hampton was not a happy one. Police made 73 drug-related arrests over the three days, according to news accounts. Another 193 concert-goers were charged and police confiscated an estimated $1.2 million in drugs, including cocaine, marijuana, mushrooms, Oxycotin and ecstasy.

Newport News Phish fan Adam Bollinger said he doesn’t think the 2009 crackdown had anything to do with Phish skipping Hampton on later tours. Phish has recently opted to play nTelos Wireless Pavilion, an amphitheater in Portsmouth.

“I think they might have been saving Hampton for a special occasion,” Bollinger said, noting that the band is playing dates to mark its 30th anniversary. “I think that might have played a part in it. I know they enjoy playing there.”

Phish first rocked the Coliseum Nov. 25, 1995, building on a tradition of free-flowing rock shows there established by the Grateful Dead. Phish would go on to release a six-disc box set,” Hampton Comes Alive,” which compiled entire performances from a pair of November 1998 concerts. It also ended a 4-and-1/2 year hiatus by playing Hampton in 2009. That show drew fans and media from across the nation to the Peninsula.

A limited number of tickets for the upcoming shows will be sold through the band’s secure online ticketing system, casually described by fans as the lottery. The deadline to request those tickets is Aug. 4. For details, visit Tickets go on sale to the general public on Aug. 8. Prices are $65 each night, plus fees.

Hotels in the Coliseum area are filling up quickly. Ramon Ward, front desk manager at La Quinta Inn on Mercury Boulevard said the reservations started pouring in Tuesday. By the next morning, there was no room in the inn.

“I’ve had about 20 calls, back to back,” Ward said Wednesday. “I’m telling them we’re all booked up. Every time they come, it’s a big thing.”

The following is taken from the band's website:


 You may request up to four tickets per show. For more information on these shows, please click here.

We will ONLY accept requests for these tickets during a TWELVE-DAY PERIOD.

The request time ends: Sunday, August 4th at 11:59 PM, EDT

All requests, regardless of when they are placed, are treated equally in the system. You can request tickets to one or more shows, but your entire ticket request for all shows must be placed at one time ...

Hampton Coliseum and Blue Cross Arena 

These shows have no reserved seats and seating is on a first come first served basis. For general admission shows, taping is on a first come first served basis. There are no Taper specific tickets.

Ticket request options:

    GENERAL ADMISSION  - enters your request into a random selection process for general admission tickets to the show.


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