Mini-Documentary Profiles Sober Jam Band Community


A new mini-documentary profiles the sober jam band community with a focus on Phish. While the jam scene has a reputation for fans imbibing during concerts, there’s a subset of concert-goers who choose to remain drug and alcohol free.

The 10-minute film shared on the YouTube channel of Mary Gray Johnson includes discussions with sober fans about their experiences. A number of these fans gather at setbreak of concerts to offer support and fellowship to each other. For Phish fans, The Phellowship has a table at every venue the band plays. Sober Dead fans started Wharf Rats in the early ’80s and their tradition of supporting each other continues on Dead & Company tour and beyond. Members of Jellyfish are clean and sober fans of The String Cheese Incident, while The Gateway is a community of clean and sober Widespread Panic fans, Happy Hour Heroes are clean and sober moe. fans, Much Obliged are clean and sober Umphrey’s McGee fans and Digital Buddhas are clean and sober the Disco Biscuits fans.

Those in the video discuss how yellow balloons are used as a sign of gatherings of sober people. Some in the clip had a hard time at first but found a supportive community and now enjoy concerts as much as they did when they were using. One woman featured in the mini-doc found her husband through one of the sober communities for live music fans. “When I got sober a big fear of mine was ‘am I going to have fun again?’ This has definitely been a gateway to fun for me,” said Greer G. one of the fans profiled. “To be able to still go to shows, know that there’s other people like that with you that you could just rage with, dance the whole show with, have the best time but stay sober [is incredible],” shares another fan. Watch the mini-documentary below:

[Hat Tip – r/Phish]