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Phish apologizes to fans, promises gift

/ Source: The Associated Press

The hundreds of Phish fans who were turned away from the band’s farewell concerts earlier this month have been given an apology and the promise of a free gift.

“The last thing any of us wanted in the band’s final hour was to leave some of our most dedicated fans feeling angry and disillusioned,” Phish manager John Paluska says in a statement on the band’s Web site.

An estimated 65,000 fans attended the Aug. 14-15 festival. Many others were turned away because of muddy conditions. Heavy rains turned the farm fields in Coventry and grounds of the Newport State Airport where a camping site was set up and where the concert was held into big mud bogs.

Concertgoers who were turned away will receive a face-value refund on their tickets and a free download of the Coventry performances, Paluska said. They’ll also receive an autographed book of photos from 1994 to 2004.

Dave Werlin, president of concert promoter Great Northeast Productions Inc., also issued an online letter of apology, saying organizers gave traveling concertgoers the best information they could.

“This was an extraordinary weather-driven situation,” Werlin said. “Please know that this was not for a lack of planning.”

Werlin said about 1,000 tickets were sold at the gate to fans who were in cars with ticket-holders. “We simply did not have the resources to deal with turning vehicles away,” he said.