Phish forced to cancel this weekend’s Curveball festival

(Image credit: Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic - Getty)

This weekend’s Curveball festival at the Watkins Glen International Raceway, New York, has been cancelled at the last minute due to severe flooding in the area.

The event was once again due to be hosted by Phish (opens in new tab), who say they are “in shock” at the news and were themselves only told by authorities that the festival was off just as they were preparing for their soundcheck.

Schuyler County has experienced severe flooding over the past week which has resulted in the local water treatment plant that services the Curveball site to be contaminated.

Phish say in a statement: “The four of us are writing this from directly behind the stage at Watkins Glen. We were about to walk onstage only moments ago for our traditional soundcheck jam for Curveball when we were told the heartbreaking news that due to the unsafe water conditions in the Village of Watkins Glen, our beloved festival is being cancelled.

“We are still in shock. The entire site is already set up and ready to go after literally months of work by our beloved hardworking crew, many of whom have been here for weeks. 

“Our families are here, our gear is set, our tents are up. 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.

“We are so terribly sorry for the inconvenience that this is causing so many of you. We hope from the bottoms of our hearts that at the very least this news will reach you before too much disruption takes place in your personal lives. We know that people traveled far, at great expense. 

“We understand that people are missing work, and changing their schedules around. We wish so much that there was some way that this wasn’t happening.”

The statement continues: “This summer has been absolutely joyous, with each gig building on the previous one, and we were all buzzing with excitement about Curveball. Please accept our deepest apologies for the disruption that this has caused all of you. We wish there was something else we could say.

“Thank you all from the depths of our souls for the joy that you continue to share with us every night. This has been the greatest summer we can remember. Travel safe and know that we are as heartbroken as all of you.”

Fans already at the site are allowed to stay overnight, with the camping area closing at 12noon ET tomorrow (August 18).

Details about refunds will be issued in due course.

Scott Munro
Louder e-commerce editor

Scott has spent more than 30 years in newspapers and magazines as an editor, production editor, sub-editor, designer, writer and reviewer. After initially joining our news desk in the summer of 2014, he moved to the e-commerce team full-time in 2020. He maintains Louder’s buyer’s guides, scouts out the best deals for music fans and reviews headphones, speakers, books and more. He's written more than 11,000 articles across Louder, Classic Rock, Metal Hammer and Prog and has previous written for publications including IGN, the Sunday Mirror, Daily Record and The Herald covering everything from daily news and weekly features, to video games, travel and whisky. Scott grew up listening to rock and prog, cutting his teeth on bands such as Marillion and Magnum before his focus shifted to alternative and post-punk in the late 80s. His favourite bands are Fields Of The Nephilim, The Cure, New Model Army, All About Eve, The Mission, Ned's Atomic Dustbin and Drab Majesty, but he also still has a deep love of Rush.