115,000 Fans Pack the Beach for Atlantic City Phish Shows
Three nights of Phish live in concert on the beach in Atlantic City are "a wrap" to quote the Atlantic City Police Department late Sunday night.
The Vermont jam band has played Atlantic City three previous times since 2010, but never on the beach. The concerts attracted an estimated nightly crowd of 37,000, according to Atlantic City Mayor Marty Small, to see the band play a stage set up on the north side of the Playland Pier.
News reports found people who had traveled to South Jersey from all over the country to catch at least one of the concerts, which were postponed last summer in the height of the pandemic.
The sight of so many people crowded together on the beach with no mask or vaccines required was concerning for many as the delta variant of Covid-19 continues to cause a spike in infection rates nationally this summer.
Phish announced they would implement a new policy for their summer and fall tour dates moving forward. Attendees will have to provide proof of a COVID-19 vaccination or a negative test result. But such a policy wasn't in effect this weekend. That policy starts with their next tour stop at The Gorge in Washington later this month.
By all accounts, those attending seemed to have enjoyed the three-hour shows and the large crowd over a prime August weekend ensured a profitable three days for local merchants.
Local businesses now turn their attention to Wednesday's 18th annual Atlantic City Airshow, which typically draws a crowd of close to 100,000 people to the beach and boardwalk.