What’s the Hold Up? Mike’s Tour and Phish Tickets

At this time last year, fans not only had their Summer Tour Leg 1 dates, they also had their tickets.  While many are speculating on what and where the Summer Tour dates are going to be (as I did here a week ago), not many people are talking about when Phish are going to announce these dates.

Unlike Trey’s recent tour, Mike’s tour (starting in 2 days) is not selling out.  The only sellout show for Mike is the tour’s first show at Revolution Hall in Troy, NY.  I wouldn’t doubt if Phish is delaying their announcement of the Summer Tour out of fear that it may detract from Mike’s ticket sales.  

Let’s be honest; most people buying tickets to go see Mike are not going because they love Mike’s solo stuff (same with Trey but certainly to a lesser extent), most probably have not even heard any of his solo stuff since his partnership with Leo Kottke, they are going to get their Phish fix.  If Phish released dates today there is no doubt that a good number of people considering seeing Mike next week would end up saving that money for some Phish Summer Tour Tickets by Mail that would be going on sale next week, albeit Mike’s tickets are about half the price ($20.00 pre-sale, $22.00 day-of).  
Chances are this wouldn’t be the first time Phish strategically held off the release of tour dates in fear it will effect other ticket sales.  It was pretty common knowledge that Phish didn’t sell as many tickets as they had hoped for “Festival 8”, the 3-day Phish fest over Halloween weekend just outside of Palm Springs, CA.  I remember rolling up with no line (un-heard of at Phish festivals) and asked the ticket taker “how many tickets did they sell?”  He said under 30k, that’s about 10k less than Alpine Valley and certainly short of the average 60k from previous festivals (80k for Big Cypress in 2000). 

People were wondering when Phish would be announcing Fall Tour dates.  Trey, in an interview with an Atlanta radio station, already confirmed that they would be touring after Festival 8 in the fall.  The online Phish community were circulating dates of places rumored to have confirmed Phish concerts in the fall.  Festival 8 was a week and a half away, when were they going to let us know about what’s after?  As it turns out they released the dates about a week before the beginning of the festival, they waited less than a month before the tour opener on November 18th at the Cobo Arena in Detroit.  Assuming this year’s tour starts around early to mid-June, we are obviously not in the same “red zone” that we were in last fall.  

Despite the frustration behind the Fall Tour last year, their logic was certainly sound.  Almost all the Fall Tour dates last year were in the North East, where Phish festivals usually are.  If someone who lives in CT was debating whether or not to drop 600 dollars on a flight to LAX, then $300 on a rental car for the weekend (not to mention the $200 price tag for the ticket)  just found out that in less than a month Phish would be in New York, Maine, Albany and Philly–of course that’s going to keep a lot of people from buying that festival ticket.

So back to the main point, Phish knows when and where they are playing this summer.  There has to be something keeping them from announcing by now.  Only thing I can think of so far is—MIKE SAYS NO!”

Mike Gordon Solo track released on Mike-Gordon.com—>Mike Gordon – Birth of the Universe