Last weekend Phish
played a three-night stand at Saratoga Performing Arts Center, aka SPAC, in Saratoga
Springs, NY. The first Phish show, which happened last Thursday, took place after a
torrential storm enveloped the area leaving the lawn in bad shape from the get-go. Right
after Phish left town, the venue has been hosting the New York City Ballet for a
one-week residency that started on Tuesday. Some of those attending the ballet were
find barely any grass left on the SPAC lawn.
SPAC President and Executive Director Marcia White said a harsh winter, late spring and
recent torrential rains had "taken a toll on our lawn, which we deeply regret," according
to the Times Union. "As an outdoor venue, one of our
greatest assets is our beautiful park setting," White continued. "However, this also means
that we are vulnerable to the damage that can be caused by the weather, as evidenced by
the current condition of SPAC's lawn. However, the exhilarating, world-class performances
on our stage and the ambiance of the Spa State Park still offer an experience that is
second to none." Yet ballet fans blame the venue for booking three rock shows just
before the ballet hit town. "Having no lawn shows contempt for the classical arts
audience," members of the Save The Victoria Pool Society said in a statement as per the
Times Union. The Times Union also reports that, "Some said SPAC management should not have
allowed Live Nation, which signs rock acts for the venue, to schedule three Phish shows
ahead of the ballet's opening. They said the same thing happened to SPAC's lawn last
summer when Phish performed consecutive shows prior to the ballet's arrival."
Saratoga mayor Joanne Yepsen issued a statement saying the city is ready to help, "The
partnership between the city, state parks and SPAC is critically important to all of us.
We are ready to explore how the city can help make this more of a positive experience for
many of our residents who appreciate and attend classical arts performances."