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Vermont town prepares for Phish finale

Estimated 70,000 people expected to attend band's last show
/ Source: The Associated Press

Despite all the hubbub about next week’s concert by the jam band Phish, Angela Young had something else on her mind.

“Who’s responsible for the pigs if something happens?” said Young, who raises the animals at her farm next to the concert site.

Vermont State Police Maj. Jim Dimmick told her police would treat it like any investigation and try to identify the responsible party. Generally, he said, police presence will be strong on the concert site and in surrounding towns.

The Phish show, scheduled for Aug. 14-15 at the Newport State Airport, will be the band’s farewell performance. At least 70,000 fans are expected to attend.

Local residents met with police and promoters Monday to discuss the two-day festival. Most questions from the audience during the two-hour meeting focused on traffic, which Dimmick, town selectmen and concert promoters acknowledged was going to be the biggest problem.

“You can expect a lot of traffic delays. You can expect inconvenience,” Dimmick told an overflow crowd of about 350 people.

State police also expect to make arrests, Dimmick said, but past Phish festivals have shown little in the way of crime. Most crimes occur on the site and are usually for stolen items or property damage.

There also will likely be drug arrests, but Dimmick said, “We are not going to arrest everybody who has a joint. There’s no way we can do that.”