Phish Festivals: Postcards From Page Side – When The Circus Comes To Town [Hidden Track]

From the Clifford Ball’s artwork, Ball Square (which again will return this year), and the fact that things were taking place on a decommissioned airforce base (a theme that would continue in latter years and festivals), the sheer scope and ambition that went into the first festival was unprecedented and never seen before. Ending a short, but ferocious Summer ’96 U.S. Tour, the band arrived just across the river from their Burlington base at the time ready to deliver, and boy did they. From the often praised “best set ever” of 8.17 II, which included a Slave to the Traffic Light that is many fans’ favorite version, the band was razor sharp. But, Phish had more in store, including what would become another staple of their festivals: playing a secret set at a random time during the weekend.

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