The plague, or Black Death, decimated the European population in medieval times and has returned to ruin Phish concert-goers’ camping plans.
The band announced Tuesday that camping and vending will be canceled for their Labor Day weekend performance at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce, Colo. due to concerns of plague-infected colonies of prairie dogs. The disease will not, however, stop Phish from jamming through their famously long sets to a crowd of their hippy devotees as the Tri-County Health Department deemed the arena and the surrounding asphalt parking area safe.
Parking will be restricted to asphalt lots with new free off-site parking made available with shuttle services to the concert. Areas traditionally used for vending and campsites will no longer be available. Camping and RV tickets will be refunded.
Phish wrote in a statement, “We recognize the tremendous inconvenience this may cause for those who had planned on camping.”
Officials shut down affected areas of the nearby Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge beginning in late July and ending on Aug. 17 as a precautionary measure against the disease spreading. Prairie dog burrows have been treated with insecticide to kill plague carrying fleas that could potentially spread the disease to other animals, according to U.S. Fish and Wildlife.
Perhaps Phish will appropriately throw in their funky 1994 song “Down With Disease” into their set list.