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I don't know where this is from, but my sister just sent it to me and I laughed...

Festival in Tennessee Shut Down

The usually peaceful neohippies who gathered this weekend to hear a

large gathering of their musical heroes erupted into a mass war by Saturday

afternoon. It all started over perceived insults backstage as the festival

began on Friday when Phish frontman Trey Anastasio made an offhand comment

to the String Cheese Incident's Bill Nershi and Michael Kang. "We were all

ready to get it on and that fucker said we should enjoy the last moments of

our popularity before his old band came back and wiped our copycat asses

out of music all together," Kang was quoted as saying from his bed at a

local hospital where he was having the spray painted phrase "Wookies and

posers love me" removed from his back.

Reached at his Vermont barn/recording studio, Mr. Anastasio said he

was just angry that Nershi knocked over his pile of cocaine and was further

angered by the sight of Kang who, "stole every lick I ever played," as

Anastasio tells it. With all of the sycophants and hangers on of the rival

bands backstage together, the anxious energy was worse than the border

between neighboring Afghan warlords.

"I don't know what happened but suddenly there were hula hoops up

people's asses and Birkenstocks flying everywhere," said Robert Randolph.

Randolph, a relative newcomer to the scene and active churchgoer, did not

take part in the tussle. Instead, he took the moment to discuss beginning a

new super band with Phil Lesh and Warren Haynes.

The first silos of the weekend war were over quickly as security

easily overcame the drugged out, emaciated vegans but there was still

illness simmering as the String Cheese Incident took the stage to open the

festival. By that point, word of Anastasio's slight had reached the

thousands of fans waiting for their favorite band to play.

"I crumpled to the floor in tears," one female fan said today, "I

mean, I LOVE SCI but I really only listened to them because I was too young

to go see Phish when they were around. I had all these friends who'd been so

peaceful and wonderful up to that point but, now, they were all like 'you

have to choose, you have to choose, Trey or Cheese, Trey or Cheese." That

dividing line quickly defined the audience and the 10 or 12 Incident

loyalists left were sent packing back to their tents to plan their

resurgence as the splinter group called the Bright Shiners. They were not

heard from again until Saturday as the their band was booed off the stage

after covering the Allman Brothers Band song Mountain Jam for about 40


Promoters only managed to calm the tide of negative sentiment by

bringing out Robert Randolph and the Family Band feeling that the big

hearted, big smiling performer would bring the new age peaceniks back to

happiness. That attempt worked but only until it was learned that

Anastasio's Band would be banned from participation in the festival as a

result in his part of the earlier dispute. The Family Band's customarily

high energy closer, "I Don't Know What You Come To Do," was quickly

overpowered by the throngs of Phisheads who started an impromptu protest

chanting, "get back on the train, get back on the train" repeatedly.

As things started to get rowdy, festival promoters brought

Anastasio out on stage with an acoustic guitar which automatically sated the

crowd as speculation began to float as to whether or not he was actually

going to play. "Dude, I was like, dude I can't believe they're not going to

let Trey play. I mean he's like god dude, ya know?" one male festival

participant said, "and then he came out with the acoustic and all these kids

around me were like, 'man I hope Mike come out like they did it at Jones

last summer.'" Anastasio did an acapella version of Happy Birthday followed

by three notes on his instrument which prompted the legions of fans to go

back to their

tents happily discussing how "Trey is god," and "Trey still has it."

Strife did not invade every corner of the festival grounds on

Friday, though. Fans of Widespread Panic held an all night party at a remote

corner of the camping area in anticipation of the arrival of the Panic tour

bus the next morning. "I got laid three times," Boulder resident Adam Stern

was heard saying to at least a few dozen different people.

As the sun rose the next morning, hopes of a return to the joyous

vibes of the scene's past were all over the place. The Phil Lesh Quintet

set up and began the day's music creating calm and intricate tapestries to

try and heal the previous nights wounds but that vibe quickly turned raucous

when the Spreadheads showed up early to wait for their band's set which was

to follow Lesh. Many of them hadn't slept in a few days and were anxious for

some of edgier southern rock for which Widespread Panic is known. Pushing

and shoving and jockeying for prime viewing space quickly replaced the

peaceful aura and promoters began to get nervous again, even more so since

Anastasio was no longer there to appease the crowd. But there was still hope

that the elder statesmen and former Grateful Dead member Lesh could calm

them down. Instead, his voice was overpowered by a fan from Weehawken, NJ

who berating everyone near him.

Again, it turned out to be the music that worked things back to

manageable levels as Widespread Panic announced they would extend their

lot to 3 sets. Unfortunately, the Bright Shiners sabotaged the bands

equipment so they were cut short during a section they call "Drums" during

the second set. A couple of the Bright Shiners were captured but going after

them strained the law enforcement resources at this remote sight which

opened the door to the growing war between band factions for the rest of the

day. "This wouldn't happen at a West Coast festival," attendee Allan Morris

was quoted as saying.

Minor battles erupted for control of supply lines for gooballs, drugs

and liquor but no weapons were present. Narcotic deprivation and head

locks into unwashed armpits were the only tools available to impose

submission beyond the usual "my band is better than your band" taunts.

Within hours, state law enforcement officials took over the festival

making a few hundred arrests and clearing out the almost destroyed camping

area. The only tent left standing belonged to a vendor selling hats made out

of hemp who was flying a banner above his table which read, "the world is

coming to an end so buy a hat."

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