More Than 185 Phish Fans Busted After Two Days of MSG Concerts, Police Say

By Murray Weiss and Aidan Gardiner  on December 30, 2013 3:58pm  | Updated on December 30, 2013 5:02pm

 Phish lead singer Trey Anastasio (left) and bassist Mike Gordon perform on stage at Keyspan Park on Coney Island June 17, 2004 in Brooklyn, New York.
Phish lead singer Trey Anastasio (left) and bassist Mike Gordon perform on stage at Keyspan Park on Coney Island June 17, 2004 in Brooklyn, New York.
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Scott Gries/Getty Images

MANHATTAN — Police caught more than 185 Phish fans in the first two days of the jam band's four-night pre-New Year's concert series in Madison Square Garden, with two more shows on deck Monday and Tuesday night.

The fans were arrested or issued summonses for offenses like marijuana possession, open container violations and ticket scalping, police said.

DNAinfo New York first reported that dozens of people were arrested by the end of Saturday's show, which sold out soon after it was announced in October. 

Among the 66 people arrested, 46 were charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance and 18 were arrested on other drug-related charges, according to the NYPD.

Other charges included criminal possession of a weapon, criminal possession of a forged instrument and ticket speculation, police said. Some of those arrested faced multiple charges.

Of the 123 people who were issued summonses, 87 people were ticketed for open-container violations, and another 31 were cited for unlawful possession of marijuana, police said.

Madison Square Garden did not respond to requests for comment. 

Sweeping arrests have become increasingly common at Phish concerts. In November, New Jersey police arrested 42 people at an Atlantic City concert, the Press of Atlantic City reported. An earlier concert, in July, resulted in 80 drug-related arrests and 95 citations issued over a three-day set of concerts in Saratoga Springs, the Saratogian reported.

The jam band, which has accumulated a loyal army of fans, or "Phish heads," who follow the band from city to city, has long been linked with drugs, from its psychedelic logo to its lead guitarist Trey Anastasio, who in part blamed the band's 2004 break-up on his drug addiction.

The remaining MSG shows are being streamed live on livephish.com.

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