Phish’s History As A Wedding Band

By Scott Bernstein Jan 21, 2016 8:53 am PST

Phish receives so many requests to play fans’ weddings that they added a response to the FAQ on to the question “How do I get Phish to play at my wedding” which reads, “Due to the volume of requests received, it is not possible for us to become involved with individuals’ marriage, birthday, quinceañera or other celebrations. Nonetheless, please accept our best wishes for the future!” However, during the group’s early days in Vermont they did serve as a wedding band on a handful of occasions. In fact, a fan recently Tweeted a photo from a wedding Phish played in 1988 seen above.

The rare photo was taken on May 28, 1988 at a wedding in Waitsfield, Vermont. While the performance is documented on, little is known about the circumstances or what the band played. “It is not known for sure whose wedding this was, the exact venue or whether somebody might have a tape of this wedding reception. Accordingly, the setlist is unknown,” reads the show entry on In more recent years Phish reunited to perform at a pair of longtime organization members’ weddings during their “hiatus” and “breakup.” On December 1, 2001 the quartet played three songs in Boston during the wedding of manager Jason Colton, while on September 6, 2008 the band reunited at tour manager Brad Sands wedding in New York City to perform three tunes. Watch video shot by photographer Jeff Kravitz of “Julius” from Sands’ wedding which was the foursome’s only performance during a breakup that last from August ’04 until March ’09:

Phish’s first turn as a wedding band is thought to have taken place in Burlington on September 26, 1987. While little information about that appearance is known, the most documented wedding “show” of the group’s early days took place at the Burlington Community Boathouse in Burlington, Vermont on August 12, 1989. Phish performed at a reception following Steve and Beth Drebber’s wedding for one set of jazz and one Phish set. Audio of the Phish set has circulated for decades and can be heard here including the only known cover of The Allman Brothers Band’s “Blue Sky.” Archivist Kevin Shapiro posted extensive notes on the performance containing the full setlist of the jazz set.

Another Phish appearance as a wedding band took place at light designer Chris Kuroda’s wedding on September 4, 1999 in Stowe, Vermont. The band played six songs at the reception including a version of “Possum” featuring Kuroda on lead vocals. If you were in attendance or have any further information about the 1987 and 1988 wedding appearances shoot us a note on Facebook or Twitter.

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