Important Information About Phish at SPAC, Including Post-Shows

This was originally posted for the June 2010 Phish shows at SPAC. With a few tweaks, some updates and punctuation improvements, here is what you need to know about going to SPAC for Phish during July 5-7, 2013.

SPAC 2012 photo by Andy Hill
SPAC 2012 photo by Andy Hill

Last year, Saratoga officials announced a crackdown on alcohol and intoxicated people in the state park known as SPA, which includes SPAC. In the past, there has always been a lot of chatter preceding the summer concert season at SPAC regarding the increased police presence and no-alcohol policy (with ticket enforcement and arrest potential). Last year, it wasn’t so bad, for once. Still, don’t treat it as a free for all – this is a New York State Park and State Troopers roam the grounds, not local police. 

First things first, follow on Twitter for helpful hints will abound throughout the weekend. We’ll be on location all weekend sharing: traffic info, park updates ( and keeping fans aware of the police presence.

You’ll need this – the map of Saratoga Spa State Park. It is VERY easy to get lost, as you can quite easily wind up walking around for an hour looking for the lot your car is in, or altogether become disoriented. Download link: SPAC Map

In the interest of making sure everyone knows what has been the norm in the past, whether you have been here before or not, keep in mind a few things:

State Troopers : Younger fans, keep the alcohol under lock and key, as alcohol sensors have been used in the past. If they see you drinking, they’ll dip in a stick detector for alcohol into the drink and then they can search you. Arcane? Yes. Illegal? Possibly. Outlandish and Insane? Indeed. Don’t stress, just play it smart! This comes from people who have been there and people who work there. Use your heads.

Hotels have also been given a contact number to call if they suspect drug use. So be careful when you are pre-gaming at the hotel or getting back and trying to enjoy the post-show scene or get some sleep.

Post show, there will be checkpoints for drunk driving and K-9 units for the obvious. Don’t leave the park without a sober driver and when you do, drive the speed limit, the cops need only a small reason to pull you over, either on Route 9, Route 50, I-87 or the small towns north and south of Saratoga.

While in town….

On July 6th, there will be a Rock Art Show, “Summer in Saratoga” featuring more than 20 artists from the Phish community; Including AJ Masthay, Erin Cadigan, Isadora Bullock, Bruce Horan, Mr. Miner, stuPINdous Creations, Branden Otto and many more. The show will be held at the Saratoga Hilton on July 6th from 10 am until 3 pm. Admission is FREE and the art exhibited fits any budget. The Hilton is right in downtown Saratoga, a short walk from many hotels in town and with ample parking.

Post shows, there are a couple of options right in Saratoga for those who want to keep the party going and are equipped with a designated driver to keep it going till the sun comes up.

Formula 5 will be playing at The Mine Nightclub, 388 Broadway well into the night with J.Logik spinning before, during and after sets.  If you are looking for the funkiest, nastiest, late night Phish after-party,  this venue is quite amazing a gorgeous underground club with a killer sound system, amazing house lights, a huge bar and room for 500 people! The light show from Illumenatrix Lighting Design and Psychedelic Wednesday staff will make this a great post show to hit off.

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The Putnam Den has fast become the premier live music venue in Saratoga, after SPAC. There are three late night shows, one for each night of Phish and only TWO miles from SPAC! The address of The Putnam Den is 63A Putnam St., Saratoga Springs, NY 12866. For more info on each of the shows, visit the Putnam Den website www.putnamden.com

Friday, July 5th – Dead Sessions plays a benefit for The Waterwheel Foundation who is supporting  Saratoga Hospital Foundation, with $2 of each ticket purchased, as well as donations raised at the Waterwheel table inside the shows going towards the Foundation. Pick up tickets here.  Show starts at 12:30am and features Seth Yacavone and sitting in for Toby Kniffin on guitar will be Adam Terrell (Assembly of Dust), Adam King  on keys, Patrick May on bass and Kevin Shapiro and Steve Hadeka on drums.

Saturday, July 6th – Twiddle, a Vermont based quartet, spins tall tales over an intricate soundscape of hi-def shred. Their fresh multi-genre approach conjures up jazz, classical, and bluegrass, but above all, masterfully blends reggae and funk. Obliterating laws of improvisation their complex arrangements never fail to leave crowds lusting for more. With sage songwriting and unmatched variety, Twiddle’s thrilling infancy will surely exceed all expectation. Tickets are $10 and this show WILL sell out. Get your tickets here. This show is set to start at 12:30 am following Phish.

Sunday, July 7th – Twiddle plays once again, this time for only a $5 cover, starting at 12:30 am. Pick up tickets here.

See you all at SPAC!