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Phish festival ticket sales set this week

Katie Tabeling

Phish, seen here performing in 2003 at Alpine Valley Wisconsin, has set ticket sales for its Dover festival slated for August. | PHOTO COURTESY WIKICOMMONS

DOVER — Ticket sales for eclectic rock band Phish’s Mondegreen festival will go live starting Thursday, building momentum for the return of live music at The Woodlands in Dover in August.

The Mondegreen festival, set for Aug. 14 to 18, will start selling travel packages on Jan. 18, starting at 11 a.m., with camping and weekend passes going on sale the next day. Tickets range from $450 for general admission to packages around $3,050 for all four days. Payment plans are also available for purchases more than $400.

Phish announced its return to the multi-day festival last September, promising that its 11th festival would be held in central Delaware. Its last festival, Magnaball, took place in Watkins Glen, N.Y., in 2015, drawing about 30,000 fans over three days. The concert promises four days of Phish performances as well as an “array of interactive fan experiences, specially curated regional food and drink, art installations, and much more,” according to its website.

Mondegreen also marks the first Phish live performance in Delaware in more than 20 years. In the band’s early years, it played the Bob Carpenter Center at the University of Delaware in 1994. Since then, only a solo performance by singer and guitarist Trey Anastasio at the Grand Opera House in 2018 has graced a Delaware stage – meaning interest in the Delaware festival could be high.

Phish is well-known for pioneering festivals as an experience, as the band rarely plays the same song twice the same way – and set lists have never been duplicated across 1,700 shows. Phish first launched the concept in 1996 with the Clifford Ball that included two days of music from the band as well as a symphony orchestra, as well as overhead flights from aircrafts and carnival rides.

Fans can also rent tents for the festival starting at $1,150 or can pay around $150 to car camp. Other campground plans include RV camps or group parking to ensure friends are near each other.

Mondegreen also marks a return of live music at the Woodlands after two years since the Firefly Music Festival, Delaware’s hallmark music, went dark. After a decade-long run at the outdoor venue adjacent to the Dover International Speedway, drawing around 50,000 fans annually, festival organizer AEG Presents did not hold Firefly in 2023 saying it was going to “take a year to recharge our lights.” While it said Firefly would return in 2024, no announcement for next year has been made. In prior years announcements of dates were made in November.

AEG had not immediately responded to a Delaware Business Times inquiry about the future of Firefly.

Meanwhile, Delaware’s tourism officials have been working behind the scenes to secure the hotel blocks for the concert series since the fall. For years, Kent County Tourism Corporation served as the intermediary with AEG to book hotel rooms for Firefly, and it’s the same story for Mondegreen, Kent Tourism Corp. President Pete Bradley said.

We are excited for the planned Phish concert which will be a fantastic economic driver for our region. Phish has a very devoted and loyal fan base that are willing to travel to see them which translates to out-of -state visitors and overnight hotel stays,” Bradley said. “As evidenced by Firefly, Dover Motor Speedway and AEG are very experienced in putting together very well run and successful events at the Woodlands.”

For more information about Mondegreen and how to buy tickets, visit mondegreen.phish.com.

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