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Big Cypress Will Host Phish Millennium New Years Event

BIG CYPRESS - The largest known outdoor millennium event in the world - a rock concert by the legendary band Phish - will take place Dec. 30-Jan 1 on the Seminole Tribe of Florida's remote Big Cypress Seminole Indian Reservation.

The concert, which is expected to attract more than 50,000 campers to cattle pasture land just south of the Big Cypress Rodeo and Entertainment complex, was announced Aug. 11 by Phish officials from the band's hometown of Burlington, Vermont.

The announcement ended several months of negotiations between Phish and the Seminole Tribe of Florida and extreme anticipation on the part of Phish fans, who comprise one of the largest and most loyal followings of any world touring musical act in history.

"I've been fishing for a long time, trying to catch the big one," said Seminole Chief Jim Billie, a singer/songwriter in his own right. "Now, I've finally caught the biggest Phish of all. We are happy to host Phish and all their fans. Sho naa bish."

"We've got some really, really cool ideas [for the show]," Phish guitarist Trey Anastasio said, recently in Rolling Stone. "We're gonna try to take everything we learned from our four summer events and create this. That's why we really, really wanted to find a spot that was outdoors. We've been working at it for, like, two and a half years. It's perfect; it couldn't be better.

"The access is really good, you know, the roads going in and stuff. The site is beautiful. It's a wildlife preserve. There's all kinds of animals and trees. It's just a beautiful place. And the people that we're working with are really, really great. They're totally in the right spirit and everything." The group Phish (keyboardist Page McConnell, guitarist Trey Anastasio, drummer Jon Fishman and bassist Mike Gordon) first formed in the early 1980s. Their eclectic music and cult following has often been compared to the Grateful Dead; despite the lack any major hit or regular top-40 radio play, Phish is one of the top grossing concert acts in the world.

The concert/camping area will cover more than 500 acres of Big Cypress cattleland - beautiful sprawling fields dotted with clumps of cypress and oak. And, it will be staged in the spectacular tradition of the Vermont quartet's historic summer festivals which include The Clifford Ball, Great Went & Lemonwheel.

On Dec. 30, Phish will play an afternoon set of music followed by two evening sets. On December 31, Phish will begin with an afternoon set, then return to the stage just before midnight and play until sunrise.

Tickets are $150 in advance, and include two days of concerts and three nights of camping. Tickets will go on sale to the general public on Saturday, Sept. 25, starting at 10a.m. EST. They will be available without a service charge at the War Memorial Auditorium box office in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. No other in-person ticket outlets are planned at the present time. Tickets may be charged by phone, starting on Sept. 25 at (954) 523-3309; (404) 249-6400 and (214) 373-8000 or purchased online at http://events.ticketmaster.com. No single day tickets will be sold to this event. There is a limit of four tickets per person.

In advance of the public on-sale, mail-order tickets will be available for a limited time through Phish's newsletter and this web site. Please note that advance tickets will not be sold at any of the Seminole Indian reservations in Florida, including Big Cypress. All usual commercial camping and other lodging facilities at Big Cypress will be closed to the general public during the event.

As capacity is limited, purchasing tickets well in advance is highly recommended, and also helps us plan for services. Children under four years of age will be admitted free if accompanied by parent/guardian. Pets are not allowed.

Parking lots and camping areas will open on Wednesday, Dec. 29, starting at 2 p.m. and close at 5 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 1. Free potable water, hand sinks (no showers), portable toilets and on-site medical facilities will be provided as well as a variety of tasty, low-priced foods and a commissary selling sundries.

More information will be available over the next few weeks at www.phish.com, in the Seminole Tribune and on the Seminole Tribal website at www.seminoletribe.com.

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