How Tough Will Vegas Tickets Be?

Phish Vegas 2014 Ticket StubPhish’s catalogue is full of references to ticket stubs, demand, and keeping from the cold and getting through the night thanks to colorful material – PTBM tickets, one assumes. And yet, despite all this lyrical encouragement, when it comes to predicting demand for various tickets, we’re often in the dark – yes, even dark in the daytime.

Case in point: the peculiarities of this year’s Vegas run have many of my friends and frequenters of Phish message boards lost as to which, if any, shows will be as tough to score tickets to as the band’s previous Vegas run, in 2014. After all, this is a four-night stand (that one was three) and this Halloween falls on a Monday (last time it was Friday). Both of these variables will inevitably affect demand – some people might be more or less likely to attend four shows than three; some people will presumably be less likely to attend a Monday Halloween show than one taking place on a Friday.

Thankfully, all the information we need to gauge demand for shows is just an internet away. And since, like many of you, I’ve been having trouble determining the appropriate size of army to assemble for the purposes of securing Vegas tickets, I decided to reach out and grab that internet, and try to figure out what the demand for these shows will be.

Specifically, I wanted to know whether most people would see all four shows, only the weekend shows, or some other combination. And for those who could only see a couple shows, would they skip Friday 10/28, so that they could take Monday and Tuesday off and see Halloween? Or would more skip the much-anticipated Halloween show, because a Monday night show is just unfeasible?

To answer those questions, I created a survey. Over the course of 24 hours from Tuesday to Wednesday of this week, I collected 130 responses from wooks just like you, all of whom are attending at least one show. Some of my findings were surprising; others were exactly what one might expect.

Phish Vegas 2016 Ticket Demand Pie Chart
(Click to expand)

For starters: just over half of those who are planning to go to Vegas will see all four shows. About one-third of the remainder plan to see all but Friday. Roughly 10% of the total intend to hit only 10/30 and 10/31. The two next largest groups, combining for over 11%, plan on attending either the first two, or the first three shows of the run.

But what is probably most relevant to ticket-procurement strategizing is the total demand by night. In contrast to 2014, where Halloween was by far the toughest ticket, followed by 11/1, this year’s Halloween show appears to be about as difficult – or maybe even slightly less difficult – than 10/30. (With 114 out of 130 respondents planning to attend 10/30, this appears to be the highest-demand show. Apparently all the propaganda that’s circulated around Phish and Sundays has had its intended effect.)

Phish Vegas 2016 Ticket Demand Bar Graph
(Click to expand)

And while 10/29 through 10/31 are all in the same ballpark, demand-wise, Friday 10/28 appears to be the easiest ticket by a long shot, with only 71% of all Vegas attendees planning to be at that show.

All this tells us how high the demand will be for each show compared to each other show. But what about the overall demand? Will this be a tougher ticket than Halloween 2014? This is much harder to answer. After all, to figure that out, we’d have to know how many total people are planning to go to Vegas, which is nearly impossible to determine.

That said, this information should at least help you to figure out just how many great-aunts to ask to fill out lottery requests for you for each show. If you were planning to put all your eggs in the Halloween basket, save some eggs. And if you and your pets are each putting in their own lottery requests, you may want to be cautious about ending up with more Friday night tickets than you have pets, and being unable to unload them when the time comes. Whatever you do, choose wisely, because the last thing you want is to end up ticketless, driving home to Mom and Dad to spend a weekend with no cares.