Sphere Reverses Ban On Bong-Hitting Phish Fan

The ban from Madison Square Garden Entertainment venues for the bong-hitting Phish fan who goes by the Instagram handle @acid_farts has been lifted.

By Scott Bernstein Jun 10, 2024 8:30 am PDT

A Phish fan who goes by the handle @acid_farts on Instagram is no longer banned from Sphere and other Madison Square Garden-owned venues. Sphere Entertainment reversed its position after sending the fan a letter last week barring him from its properties due to his usage of a bong at Phish's 4/20 show in Las Vegas.

“There was a breakdown in our process due to a change in personnel which resulted in the letter being sent inadvertently,” a statement from a Sphere Entertainment spokesperson issued on Saturday began. “This customer is not banned from our properties, however, it is still against our policies, which are in accordance with local laws, to smoke, bring glassware into our venues, and disrupt other fans’ enjoyment of the event.”

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The Phish fan started the situation when he posted video in which he takes a big pull out of a water pipe on the marijuana high holiday of April 20th at Sphere in Las Vegas. “First bong hit to ever be ripped in the @spherevegas,” @acid_farts wrote and added, “Somebody call @guinessworldrecords.”

Fast-forward to Thursday, June 6, the day the fan received a legal notice via FedEx from Madison Square Garden Entertainment, operators of Sphere. The letter dated June 3 noted the fan was “indefinitely banned from Madison Square Garden, Radio City Music Hall, The Beacon Theatre, The Chicago Theatre, Sphere and any other MSG Venue (the ‘MSG Venues’),” due to violating “the guest code of conduct by visibly smoking inside the [Sphere].” The initial letter advised the man he was, “not to enter into or remain in any of the MSG Venues at any time in the future.”

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The story went viral after the legal letter was posted online. Both Variety and Rolling Stone confirmed the letter was real. Representatives for MSG Entertainment/Sphere Entertainment refused to comment further at the time until issuing the statement recinding the ban.

Rolling Stone spoke with @acid_farts, who was initially planning on attending Dead & Company‘s show on Thursday at Sphere before the ban. “I have full respect for the band, and the level of the team and their management, everything that goes into the shows. And I just, I’m so happy I get to go to Phish shows, like that’s the whole the whole thing,” the fan told Rolling Stone upon learning he was no longer barred for MSGE properties. “I just want to go to shows, and I want to continue going to shows, and sharing my love for music with my friends, and being a respectful patron.”

Dead & Company finished the fourth weekend of their Dead Forever residency at Sphere in Las Vegas on Saturday. Phish launches their summer tour on July 19 with the first of three nights at Xfinity Center in Mansfield, Massachusetts.

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