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Dozens Arrested Outside MSG at First of Phish's Pre-New Year's Shows

By  Murray Weiss Jess Wisloski and Gustavo Solis | December 29, 2013 2:08pm | Updated on December 29, 2013 3:20pm

 Roughly 60 were arrested on Dec. 28 at the first of a series of Phish concerts that take place yearly at Madison Square Garden.
Dozens Arrested at First of Phish New Year's Eve Shows
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MIDTOWN — Dozens of people were arrested outside a Phish concert Saturday night, the first of an annual series of Madison Square Garden shows leading up to New Year's Eve, a source told DNAinfo New York.

An NYPD spokeman confirmed that there were more arrests than usual in the area around the arena, but would not say exactly how many people were arrested and for what charges. A court official estimated it approached 60 total arrests.

It is the fourth year the band preformed sold-out shows at the Garden in the days leading up to a final New Year's Eve concert.

The official, who was not involved with the arrests directly, said while law enforcement does see an uptick around big concerts, Saturday night's numbers were massive.

"That's a lot of arrests," the official said. "Much more than usual."

"As you can imagine, there are a lot of intoxicated people and a fairly high number of ejections at Phish concerts and a number of disorderly people who are intoxicated outside," the official added.

A security guard working outside the complex on Sunday afternoon confirmed that the number of Phisheads kicked out of MSG had kept his team on the move.

"We had a busy night," said the guard, who declined to give his name. He wouldn't go into the number of ejections but said there were "a lot." Calls to MSG were not returned Sunday.

Police at recent Phish concerts in Atlantic City arrested 42 people on charges ranging from drug distribution and possession, to imitation drug sales and prostitution. MDMA, psilocybin mushrooms, LSD, pills, 51 nitrous oxide tanks, and marijuana in both dried-leaf as well as brownie or cookie form were confiscated at the Oct.31 and Nov.1 shows, the Press of Atlantic City reported.

The source pointed out that at Madison Square Garden, "there are a lot of counterfeiters selling tickets too."

Concert-goers who spoke outside the Garden on Sunday said despite the apparent uptick in security issues, they weren't worried about the implications.

"There's nothing safer than a Phish show and no where else I'd rather be," said Evan Marx, 27, from Brooklyn. Marx, who had tickets for several of the concerts, said that Saturday's show was fun and had a lot of security but nothing seemed out of the ordinary.

Another ticketholder of all four shows, who would not give his name, said he had two friends that were arrested, but said he didn't know what the charges were. 

"It's a Phish show, there are a lot of drugs," he said, but added that he felt safe about it, and looked forward to the upcoming shows.