A Travel Guide to Phish Summer Tour 2021

by Sasha Savinov
Phish Summer Tour 2020

The last time Phish played a concert was February 23, 2020 in Mexico. A few weeks later, the entire world came to a screeching halt. The live music industry had no choice but to hit pause. Thankfully we are seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, and it looks like a mind-bending CK5 light show. That’s right kids, it’s time to get ready for Phish tour! In this beast of a post we’re going to look at Phish summer tour 2021 and give a rundown of all the cities and venues our heroes are playing. So let’s get down to the nitty gritty; let’s get this show on the road!

Phish Summer Tour 2021

When the pandemic shut things down last year, Phish was able to reschedule their entire summer tour for 2021. Many fans held onto their tickets (us included) and waited for an update.

That finally came last month when we got the new Phish summer tour 2021 dates. The west coast shows, most of which were indoor, all got bumped later in the summer or to fall. The rest of the summer tour remained mostly in tact aside from a few venue changes.

Phish summer tour 2021 consists of four 3-night runs, four 2-night runs, and two standalone shows. It kicks off in the most random way possible – on a Wednesday night in Arkansas at the Walmart Amphitheater.

The tour will culminate at the 10th anniversary of their annual 3-night run at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park near Denver, CO. This tour will also include the band’s first-ever performance in Arkansas and a special 3-night run on the beach in Atlantic City.

Here’s a closer look at each venue plus things to do and places to stay at each stop.

Disclaimer – all accommodation options were available and the time of publication. Some links may be affiliate links and if you make a purchase or booking, we will earn a commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks for the support!

Bookmark this post as it has restaurant recommendations nearby most venues as well as options for things to do in your downtime, if you don’t wanna rage lots, that is.

Phish in Las Vegas

We can’t wait to get back on Phish tour!

July 28 Walmart AMP: Rogers, AR

In their long and storied history, Phish has had a penchant for playing in random, out-of-the-way places. That tradition continues with Phish summer tour 2021 as the band heads to Rogers, Arkansas on a Wednesday night. It will be their first show in a year and a half and you know the energy will be through the roof.

Even better, the show is at the freaking Walmart Amphitheater. Seriously. Phish is playing Walmart in Arkansas on Wednesday. Oh yeah, and it’s actually the band’s first-ever show in the state, so I have a feeling this one is going to be a barnburner.

When the new dates got announced, we panic-bought four tickets for this show. We thought we had tickets to the first shows back in Eugene, but those got bumped to fall tour. You know we didn’t want to miss the first show back!

Then we started trying to figure out how we were going to get to northwest Arkansas on a Wednesday. Without tickets to the next three shows, we had no idea what to do in between the tour opener and Nashville. As such, we made the tough choice to trade our tickets for two 2-day passes to Alpharetta.

I’m sure it’s going to be a heater, but there’s just no way we can make this random one-off show happen. We will likely be watching the stream in Asheville crying in our IPAs, but thankfully we’ll be at shows #3-9 shortly thereafter.

Where to Stay in Rogers

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Where to Eat in Rogers

Things to Do in and Around Rogers

  • Rent a pontoon on Beaver Lake
  • Play disc golf
  • Go mountain biking
  • Visit the Crystal Bridges Art Museum in Bentonville (it’s FREE!)
  • Visit Hot Springs, AR on your way to the next show in Alabama (famous mobster hideout in the early 1900s)
  • Dig for your own diamonds at Crater of Diamonds State Park
  • Go to Eureka Springs and eat a burger at Rowdy Beaver

Special thanks to Dee – the Phish Chick who posted all these recs!

July 29 Oak Mountain Amphitheatre: Pelham, AL

Before the boys hit Hotlanta they have another one-off show, this one at the Oak Mountain Amphitheatre in Pelham, Alabama.

Unlike Arkansas, Phish has actually played a decent amount of shows here. The band has played the venue four times (94, 99, 12 and 14), and have played shows in other parts of Alabama as recently as 2015.

We were at that show in Tuscaloosa (my one and only night ever in Alabama) and it was actually tons of fun. For being in the Deep South, it was quite relaxed and the lot was raging.

This is an outdoor venue that’s smaller than many of the others on Phish summer tour 2021. It only fits 10,500, it’s on a Friday night, and it’s the 2nd show back. Looking like there will be a lot of fingers in the air for this one. By the way, who’s got our extras? If we can score tickets we’ll probably add this one to our plans.

Where to Stay in Pelham

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Where to Eat in Pelham

 

phish summer tour dicks

Ain’t no laws when you’re drinking claws on Phish lot!

July 31-August 1 Ameris Bank Amphitheatre: Alpharetta, GA

The southern tour rolls on to a 2-night run in (sort of) Atlanta next. This was one of two runs that experienced a venue change, as it was meant to be in downtown Hotlanta at Piedmont Park.

I really feel bad for people who had tickets to the original shows, as they were not honored for the new venue. Not surprisingly, this one is proving to be a tough ticket. The place only holds 12,000 and it’s in a suburb of one of the biggest cities in the country on a weekend.

Formerly the Verizon Wireless Amphiteatre, Phish has played here 12 times. Their first run here was 4th of July weekend 2010 when they covered “Killing in the Name” by Rage Against the Machine.

The boys from Vermont last played here on a scorching hot 3-night August run in 2018. We skipped that run and the rest of summer tour to go to Curveball, and we all know how that worked out!

Thankfully we managed to make the trade with our Arkansas tickets to get into these shows. They will be our first since Dick’s 2019 when I got my 100th and I couldn’t be more excited.

Where to Stay in Alpharetta

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Where to Eat in Alpharetta

August 3-4 Ascend Amphitheater: Nashville, TN

The land of hot chicken is up next as Phish heads to Nashville and the beautiful Ascend Amphitheater. Seriously, this is easily one of our top five venues to see Phish in.

It’s in a great location, there’s not a bad seat in the house, and it being Music City, the production value crushes. Phish was the 2nd band ever to play here back in 2015, and we were in attendance. Fun fact – it will have been exactly 6 years to the date since that show on night two!

Ascend is located right on the banks of the Cumberland River in downtown Nashville. Between the pit and the reserved seats, the capacity is about 2,500, while 4,500 barefoot children will be dancing on the lawn.

Phish Nashville

Ascend is a beautiful venue!

Even though these shows are during the middle of the week, this will be a tough ticket. The secret is out that this venue is great and Nashville is just a fun city to visit and home to many phans. We scored tickets in the lotto and have been holding onto them ever since.

We were at that first Ascend show back in 2015 but missed the run in 2016 when Bob Weir sat in. At the time, we were working on a farm in Oregon saving money for the Halloween run in Vegas. It hurt to miss that one…

Phish next played Ascend as part of my Rock-tober, and I was in attendance for those. Rachel, meanwhile, was at the 7in7 digital nomad conference in Medellin. She was doing professional things while I was doing #wookshit. No surprise there.

Where to Stay in Nashville

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Where to Eat in Nashville

August 6-8 Ruoff Music Center: Noblesville, IN

One silver lining with the whole tour getting rescheduled is that I now get my 3rd Phish birthday show! I previously got b-day shows at the Gorge in 2011 and MSG for the last night of Baker’s Dozen. And what better place to celebrate than one of my absolute favorite places to see Phish.

This next stop is one of the most hallowed venues in Phistory. The tickets and sign may say Ruoff Home Mortgage Center, but to Phishheads this place will always be Deer Creek.

This Midwest shed has had several shitty corporate names over the years, but one tradition that has remained has been Phish burning the place to the ground over and over again. Perhaps that’s why they’re always changing the name?

Phish Deer Creek ’12

The band has played here for a total of 26 times, dating back to 1995. In addition to that first year, there have been one-night stands here in ’09 and ’16. It hosted 2-night runs every year from ’96-99, in ’04, ’10 and ’12. This will be the third 3-night run here and first since 2003.

Deer Creek has a special place in my heart. This was where I did my first multi-night Phish run back in 2003. A friend and I took a Greyhound to Indianapolis because my van broke down, then caught a cab to the campground.

We were definitely the youngest people there except for children of fans. Our camping neighbors brought us to town to buy some food, let us use their coolers, and even bought a case of beer for us newbs.

It was the best time of my life and a life-changing experience. I came back the next year for the 2-night run before saying goodbye to Phish before they broke up.

Thankfully it was only a break, and I was back five years later with Rachel and a huge crew. We returned in 2012 while living in China and then again in 2016. This is hands down one of our favorite places to see Phish.

Eighteen years later, I’m beyond excited to return. Coming the day of my 36th birthday, it’s crazy to think that I’ve spent more than half of my life now following this band around. 100 Phish shows in and I’m still going strong!

Oh yeah… tickets and all that. Sorry guys, I tend to ramble. Deer Creek is a big outdoor shed with a massive lawn, but it’s the only Midwest run this year. Saturday night is already sold out – even the Lawn Boys. Grab those Friday tickets and you know what they say about Sunday shows!

Those who demand pavs will have to work a bit harder, so sign up for Cash or Trade and get that gold membership or get your finger in the air.

Where to Stay in Noblesville

You should most definitely camp somewhere near the venue. All of the affordable Airbnbs and hotels nearby are all booked up.

August 10-11 Giant Center: Hershey, PA

Finally, Phish summer tour 2021 points towards the east coast. Even though they’re an east coast band with an east coast fanbase, there will be very few shows in the area (cue the moaning and groaning from east coast fans on the internet).

They were supposed to play at the 10,500-seat arena that hosts the Hershey Bears minor league hockey team. Due to the pandemic, the shows were moved to the larger Hersheypark Stadium. This was another one where people who had tickets to the original did not get to see them transferred.

Phans will be able to enjoy rollercoasters and waterslides during the day, which is pretty freaking awesome. I went to Hershey Park when I was a kid on a family vacation and remember having a blast.

Perhaps the band will harken back to the Chocolate Night from Baker’s Dozen since they’ll be in a place called Hershey. Another rendition of “Chocolate Rain” sure would go over well here!

This is another Tuesday-Wednesday run and the capacity is 30,000. Tickets are already everywhere on Cash or Trade and it looks like this will be the easiest run of tour to get into.

After doing the southern run plus Deer Creek, we’re going to bow out at this point. It’s a 9-hour drive or so from one show to the next and we know we’ll be pretty burnt out and in need of a few days off. Kudos to those of you who can persevere to the finish line!

Where to Stay in Hershey

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Phish Concert

Phish tour is the best.

August 13-15 Atlantic City Beach: Atlantic City, NJ

Put your tye-dye on, fix your dreads real pretty. Meet Phish in August in Atlantic City.

Who knows if the Boss or the Situation will be in attendance, but one thing is for sure – 30,000+ fans will fill the beach in Atlantic City, New Jersey this summer.

That’s right, kids. Get ready to GTL and beat up the beat, because it’s Jersey Shore – Phish Edition! Don a tracksuit, gel your hair, get a spray-tan on and yell “Cabs are here!” several times a day.

Many fans (ourselves included) were hoping for an east coast festival this summer to make up for Curveball, but it seems like this is basically the replacement. There’s a Ferris wheel, but you definitely don’t want to camp out in Atlantic City!

You’ll find those 1.0 fans with their “jobs” and “stable bank accounts” staying at the fancy casino resorts near the Boardwalk. No one will be staying at any Trump casinos here, though, because they all went bankrupt. Sad!

The w00k class, meanwhile, will have a tough time deciding between schlepping back and forth from far-flung campsites or cuddling up next to a crackhead under a bridge. Atlantic City, baby!

Kidding aside, a 3-night run on the beach on the east coast is sure to be a rager. We originally wanted to do this run last year and had a hostel, but we canceled it when the shows got moved and never re-booked a room. Since accommodation is proving to be really expensive for this one, we’ll be watching from the couch.

As far as tickets go, Saturday night is already sold out. There are tons of Friday and Sunday tickets popping up on Cash or Trade, though, so I’m sure if you went it wouldn’t be that hard to get in to all three.

Where to stay in Atlantic City

With this being the only show in the northeast, on a weekend in the summer, all the affordable hotels got booked up on rumors. The only places left are $1k+ for three nights. No thanks.

Many phans have been recommending folks to book an Airbnb that’s a 20 to 30-minute drive away. It’s not ideal but at least you’ll have a spot.

August 27-29 Gorge Amphitheatre: George, WA

Next up for the Phish from Vermont is a 3-night run at the legendary Gorge Amphitheater. This is far and away our favorite place to see our favorite band, and we’re super excited about making our 4th trip to the storied venue.

There’s just something special about the Gorge. Sure, Red Rocks is amazing, but my vote for the top venue in the country goes to this GORGEous place in George, Washington.

I’ll never forget the feeling of walking up the hill and seeing the Gorge for the first time ever back in 2009. It’s an absolutely breath-taking place and the perfect venue for Phish. I can’t wait to feel the feeling I forgot (or didn’t) at the Gorge once again.

We also went to the Gorge in 2011 (birthday show for this guy!) and again in ’16 as part of our month of music.

Phish at the Gorge!

Two-night runs were always the standard for the Gorge, but that changed in 2018. It’s basically a festival now, just without a Ferris wheel.

While it’s on everyone’s bucket list, there’s no denying that the Gorge is a royal pain in the ass to get to. It takes over 2 hours from Seattle and about 4.5 from Portland. The juice is well worth the squeeze to make it here, though!

As it’s a massive venue that’s entirely GA, tickets should be relatively easy for this one. Some years they are on the floor, but that’s not always the case. We recommend just buying your 3-day pass in advance to avoid disappointment and long lines at the box office.

We were really excited last year when the Gorge run was scheduled on our 5-year wedding anniversary. It’s a bummer that didn’t get to happen, but we made the best of it with an amazing Great Smoky Mountains road trip. This year we’ll be seeing the Disco Biscuits on our 6th anniversary. How romantic!

Where to stay:

Camp at the Gorge Amphitheatre Campgrounds

Where to eat:

BYO camping food or Shakedown

Things to do:

August 31-September 1 Lake Tahoe Outdoor Arena at Harveys: Sateline, NV

The penultimate stop of the tour is the scenic Lake Tahoe Outdoor Arena. This venue will forever live in Phish lore for the Tahoe Tweezer from summer ’13, easily one of the best jams of the 3.0 era.

Located in Stateline, Nevada, the arena holds just 9,300. Even though these shows are in the middle of the week, it’s always a hot ticket here. These are sold out and there seem to be no extras.

With the lake as its background, this is definitely one of the prettiest venues Phish plays. Their last appearance here came in the summer of 2018 when a 2-night run served as the tour opener.

We’ve never been to Tahoe but have heard great things. Since we were already planning on heading out west for Eugene, we decided to try our luck at the lotto and actually scored tickets. One look at hotel and Airbnb prices, though, and we had to bail.

We already promised them to a friend who’s from the area and we’re happy they get to go. One of these days we’ll make it there!

Where to Stay in Lake Tahoe

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Where to eat in South Lake Tahoe

There are a million restaurants in the area but these come highly recommended:

September 3-5 Dicks Sporting Goods Park: Commerce City, CO

Phish summer tour 2021 finishes up with the annual pilgrimage to a field named after male genitalia. For the 10th time, Phish reminds us how much they love Dick’s by returning to Commerce City, Colorado for a 3-night Labor Day run.

After surviving the prairie dog plague in 2019 and COVID in 2020, phans are ready to celebrate this momentous occasion. Unfortunately, once again there will be no camping allowed at Dick’s. We never camped out as we have lots of friends in Denver, but everyone who did says it was a blast.

There have been many legendary Phish Dick’s shows over the years (Thank You encore comes to mind) and this year is sure to be one for the ages as well. With so many Phishheads in Colorado and the fact that this is a destination show for many, Dick’s is a hard ticket these days.

Still plague free!

We’ve been to Dick’s every three years since ’13 and have always had a blast. The 2019 run, in particular, was such a fun time. I got my 100th show and we got to rage with some of our favorite people for a few days.

With tickets looking like they’ll be all but impossible for this one, we’ll be sitting it out. Our plan is to stick around the Pac NW a bit after the Gorge and go camping at Crater Lake for a few days. We’ll probably be able to find a heady bar or brewery in Oregon that’s streaming the shows, so that’ll still be lots of fun.

Where to stay for Phish Dick’s

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Enjoy Phish Summer Tour 2021!

“In a world gone mad, a world gone mad, there must be something more than this!” That seems like a fitting quote to end this Phish summer tour 2021 post on. We’re so ready to feel the feeling we forgot, and we know you all are as well!

After going almost two years without a Phish concert, we’re definitely going to get all the feels and cry tears of joy when they hit the stage in Alpharetta. It’s going to be a special summer, that’s for sure.

We’re so excited about Phish tour this year that we’re going for 21 in ’21! If it goes as planned, the last one will be Halloween in Vegas and will also be Rachel’s 100th.

Thanks to some clever travel hacking and some lotto luck, we already have tickets for 16 of the shows and all of our flights booked. Now we just need to connect the dots and figure out rides, places to stay, and all that fun stuff. Oh, how wonderful it is to be planning a Phish tour again!

For the summer tour, we’ll be at Alpharetta x2, Nashville x2, Deer Creek x3, and the Gorge x3. If you’re going to any of those runs, drop us a line and let’s rage lots! We’re always up for making new Phish friends.

Also, if you have any tips to add for any of the destinations on this summer tour, please leave a comment here and let us know!

Whatever you do, take care of your shoes. See you on tour.

 

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2 comments

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2 comments

Augie Hoffmann February 7, 2020 - 10:58 pm

Thanks for the tips! See you on tour!

Reply
Rachel Story February 19, 2020 - 8:46 pm

Sure thing, thanks for reading! See you on the road 🙂

Reply

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