Ready your hula hoops! Promoters are trying to bring Phish back to Colorado this summer. After a memorable four-night stand at Red Rocks Amphitheatre last summer, the reunited jam band may pay a visit to Telluride’s Town Park on Aug. 9-10 — if the interested parties can land on the same page.
“We and AEG would like to invite the band to town, if we can,” said Craig Ferguson, president of Lyons-based Planet Bluegrass and the director of the Telluride Bluegrass Festival. “We’re working with AEG because we’ve got experience in working with the community here. That’s really all. We’re trying to help them coordinate. It’s a unique opportunity that could be good for the town.”
Ferguson was in Telluride on Wednesday to meet with members of the Telluride Parks and Recreation Department. He made the trip to discuss the possibility of the shows, which would take over Telluride Town Park right after the 34th annual Telluride Jazz Celebration, which runs Aug. 6-8 with the Stanley Clarke Band, Dianne Reeves and others.
“It could happen,” Rick Herrington, director of the town’s Parks and Rec department, said of the potentially quick, overnight turnaround. “I don’t know how well it could happen, as that remains to be seen.”
Herrington points out that the many meetings needed to O.K. the Phish concerts are lined up ideally. Another Parks and Rec meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, and a CCAASE (Commission for Community Assistance, Arts and Special Events) meeting will take place the following week on March 3. If the event is OK’d by both of those groups, the concert issue will go to the Telluride Town Council on March 9.
But that might be too late for Phish – and the promoters who want to bring the band to southwestern Colorado.
“It may end up that the band won’t have a chance to consider the offer,” Ferguson said. “By the time we would be able to invite them, it might be too late because they can’t hold their entire summer schedule up.”
The town of Telluride, which blossoms into a summer-long festival of music and events as soon as the snow melts away, is already abuzz with the news of potential Phish shows. All five of the sets presented in Phish’s live box-set “Colorado ’88” were recorded at the town’s Roma Bar and Fly Me to the Moon Saloon in 1988.
“Lots of people here love bluegrass and the Grateful Dead and that style of music,” Jenny Boehm, a bartender at the Floradora Saloon, said Thursday afternoon. “I hope those shows end up happening. It’d be great.”
The news of the potential Telluride shows doesn’t neatly fit the recent rumors that pin Phish to a co-headlining spot at the third annual Mile High Music Festival, which will take over the fields surrounding Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City on Aug. 14-15. The same promoter going for the Telluride shows, AEG Live, also throws Mile High.
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Ricardo Baca is the founder and co-editor of Reverb and an award-winning critic and journalist at The Denver Post. He is also the executive director of the Underground Music Showcase, Colorado’s premier indie music festival. Follow his whimsies at Twitter, his live music habit at Gigbot and his iTunes addictions at Last.fm.