If you are into the band, then you’ve spent time on an abandoned tarmac in the northeast corner of the United States. Well, Phish 3.0 has introduced us to a new and improved band. That we’ve already established.

But that’s not all. We have now been privy to quite a new way to experience the magic, especially on Halloween.

Phish’s 8 was by FAR the best festival they have ever put on. I feel like I went on a real vacation to see my favorite band.

For starters, arriving to super sunny California was an absolute pleasure: endless bluebird days followed by angelic sunsets and starry nights. No more RV or tent camping necessary! We all stayed in luxurious resorts minutes away from the site. Each morning, we awoke with such intense gratitude. Days and evenings prior to the show were spent lounging by the pool and looking at views like these:

Once it was time to head to the Empire Polo Grounds, we all gasped in delight as we took our shoes off and buried our toes in the manicured grass. No mud? No dirt? Come on, this is wonderful.

With hours before the show and tons of eye candy, it was time to go explore the site. Burning man-like artists, a vibrant castle called the “Coil,” brilliantly decorated “creatures,” delicious food from vendors, and a BIG screen TV laced with palm trees at the “Overlook” were just a few of the magnificent features to gaze upon.

And kids….lots and lots of kids. This was one of the best parts of 8…seeing all the families bring their young ones. They even came up with costumes that truly embodied a Phishead’s creativity. One day, that child will see photos from the weekend and say, “my parents outfitted me in a Fishman dress and I loved it!” [Editor’s note: One hopes].

I stopped these boys for a minute. They asked me why I wanted to take their photo. I said, “here’s the deal boys…once upon a time, before you were born, your parents saw many Phish shows. Then when you came into the world, it was harder for them to get to see the band they loved so much. Now, 8 rolls around, and it’s the ultimate opportunity to bring you to experience something that means so much to them. Plus, it’s FUN for you.”

“Oh, we get it, this is the coolest place in the world to be right now.”

Yup…you get it boys.

As each evening set in, the sunset cascaded around the site and glowed off the mountains. We were all happy, TRULY happy.

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