One day before Phish’s annual summer festival was set to begin in Watkins Glen, New York, local officials announced they were pulling the plug due to health concerns over the area’s drinking water. “With a 14 county State of Emergency still in effect, the prospect of additional inclement weather, and a mandatory boil water order for the Village of Watkins Glen issued today, Schuyler County and the New York State Department of Health are unable to issue the required permits for this weekend’s Curveball Festival,” those two entities said in a joint statement. More than 30,000 fans—many of whom had already arrived and set up camp when the cancellation was announced—were expected to attend the three-day festival, the latest in a long line of summer events put on by the Vermont-based jam band over the past couple of decades. In a separate message on Phish’s website, the four band members told fans that they were about to walk out onstage for their soundcheck when they received the “heartbreaking news that due to the unsafe water conditions in the Village of Watkins Glen, our beloved festival is being canceled.” They added, “We are still in shock... We keep waiting for someone to come over and tell us that there is a solution, and that the festival can go on. Unfortunately, it is not possible.” The county is allowing festival attendees who have already arrived to stay overnight before the campgrounds are closed Friday at noon. Full refunds are expected.
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