Thursday, June 13, 2024

Sphere Rescinds Ban on Man Who Took a Bong Hit During Phish Show

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A Phish fan who was banned from Sphere and other Madison Square Garden Entertainment-operated venues after taking a bong hit at a 4/20 show at the Las Vegas venue is no longer barred.

In a statement to Rolling Stone on Saturday, a Sphere Entertainment spokeswoman said, “There was a breakdown in our process due to a change in personnel which resulted in the letter being sent inadvertently. This customer is not banned from our properties, however, it is still against our policies, which are in accordance with local laws, to smoke, bring glassware into our venues, and disrupt other fans’ enjoyment of the event.”

Following the news that he is allowed back to the Sphere and other MSG venues, the once-banned Phish fan who goes by the handle @acid_farts on social media tells Rolling Stone that he has heard from reps involved in the ban being lifted and will be reaching out to them.

“I have full respect for the band, and the level of the team and their management, everything that goes into the shows. And I just, I’m so happy I get to go to Phish shows, like that’s the whole the whole thing,” he tells Rolling Stone. “I just want to go to shows, and I want to continue going to shows, and sharing my love for music with my friends, and being a respectful patron.”

@acid_farts first spoke with Rolling Stone about the incident in an article published on Thursday. Weeks ago, he had uploaded a video where he’s seen taking a bong hit inside the venue prior to a set from Phish at the 4/20 concert, a date considered by many as a cannabis holiday. He said he wanted to take one more hit at his third and final night seeing the band before he ditched the bong prior to his flight home. “I didn’t want to walk around Vegas with it all night, so I threw it out on the way out,” he told Rolling Stone.

The clip went viral and he had also tagged the venue. “That was maybe, maybe a little oops,” he admitted. Though the venue prohibited smoking on the premises, initially, @acid_farts did not face any repercussions. However, after he purchased tickets to see Dead & Company at the Sphere for June 6, he received a legal notice delivered by FedEx. The letter from venue operator Madison Square Garden Entertainment stated that he was “indefinitely banned from Madison Square Garden, Radio City Music Hall, The Beacon Theatre, The Chicago Theatre, Sphere and any other MSG Venue.”

In an Instagram Story from Saturday, he shared a copy of the statement from the spokeswoman where he wrote: “Well, what the heck am I supposed to do with all this juggalo makeup I just bought?!,” a seeming quip on avoiding the facial-recognition technology Madison Square Garden Entertainment has used to identify attorneys whose firms are engaged in litigation against the company and having security eject them from shows.

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“I’m really wearing it as a badge of honor,” he told Rolling Stone of the initial ban and said he was considering selling a T-shirt inspired by what happened. Following publication of the RS article on Thursday, he shared links to “No Regrets! Free Acid Farts” T-shirts for sale in his Instagram Story, with proceeds going to the Divided Sky Foundation, a new addiction recovery center founded by Phish frontman Trey Anastasio.

This article was updated with a statement from the man who was initially banned from the venues about his thoughts on the ban being lifted.



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