News circulated this week that for the first time in 40 years Alpine Valley in East Troy, WI, a staple summer venue for Phish since 1996, will be have no concerts all summer. The largeness of the venue, especially since its expansion (pushing 45,000 capacity I believe) makes it difficult for most of today’s acts to fill. In recent years the only regulars has been Dave Matthews Band, Jimmy Buffet, and Phish.
With those three major acts gravitating towards Chicago venues more, Alpine has been suffering. Some phans think this is good because they don’t like how out of the way Alpine is for most people. Many also dislike the omnipotent police and security presence there. Almost all hate the steep slope of the lawn (although the pavilion alone holds close to 10k). However, Alpine to many represents what summer tour is all about: being in the middle of nowhere, a sprawling lot scene, the stars, and the stench of cow manure there and back.
Anyway, here’s the official numbers highlighting Phish’s waning ticket sales at the massive venue as reported in a local Milwaukee paper. Obviously in 2009 when both nights sold out (despite many tickets going unused) the number given must represent attendance of both nights. If all numbers are for both nights, that would mean 2015 only saw an average of about 17,300 per night…incredibly low considering the capacity.