Big Cypress – A peek into past Phish Festivals. A brand new experience is just around the corner in Indio, CA. Join us for Phish: Festival 8, Oct 30th, 31st and Nov. 1st. Visit phish.com/festival8 for complete details.
“The Big Cypress Box Set is the holy grail of Phish DVD releases.” (via @glidemag)
Big Cypress was the fifth and largest of seven weekend-long festivals hosted by the rock band Phish. The event took place on the eve of the millennium – December 30 and 31, 1999, at the Big Cypress Indian Reservation near the Big Cypress National Preserve in southern Florida. 85,000 people attended, making it the largest Millennium Eve concert on earth that night, surpassing shows by Sting, Barbra Streisand, Aerosmith, Billy Joel, Eric Clapton, Rod Stewart, The Eagles, Eminem, Jimmy Buffett, KISS, Metallica, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Elton John.
In a 2000 cover story for Entertainment Weekly, three of the four Phish members declared Big Cypress to be the greatest Phish concert ever. It was also voted as the most popular Phish show ever by fans in the final volume of The Pharmer’s Almanac. It was also the longest Phish concert ever, culminating in a seven-and-a-half hour second set from midnight on New Year’s Eve to sunrise New Year’s Day . Phish was the only band at the event, performing five sets of music (nearly sixteen hours) over two nights. As fans left the concert area at sunrise, The Beatles‘ “Here Comes the Sun” played over the PA speakers.
Peter Jennings reported on the huge audience in an episode of ABC World News Tonight. The band’s performance of “Heavy Things” was broadcast during ABC‘s millennium coverage. Following the song, at the band’s request, fans chanted the word “cheesecake” instead of cheering to confuse viewers at home (although in the end, the broadcast cut away before the gag could play out). The ABC broadcast was also shown to billions around the world apart of 2000 Today. At the beginning of the band’s legendary seven-and-a-half hour second set, guitarist Trey Anastasio mentioned that the band had portable toilets onstage so they could use the restroom during the marathon set, and a team of security guards lined the stage to prevent band members from “wimping out” and trying to leave the stage. In a later interview with Charlie Rose, Anastasio stated that this was the peak of Phish’s career.
Both of these video clips are of absolute supreme quality…from a time in the bands’s history, in which many fans still feel was & will always be, the greatest night of music played by the band. Regardless of opinions on the band, their music, or their fan base, the all night NYE ’99 party that took place at Big Cypress broke boundaries and set records across the board. Multitudes, of whcih, that will stand for a very long time before another band comes anywhere near achieving their equivalent in the near future. Unless, of course, Phish feels the need to do so at Festival 8.