Thousands of Phish fans head to WGI for Magnaball Festival this weekend

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Thousands of fans from all across North America are coming to Watkins Glen this weekend for one reason.

“I came to see sort of the grand finale of really strong tour by a band that I love to see called Phish,” Brian Stollery, a fan from Brooklyn, NY said.

“We are here for Phish!” Stefan Glidden, a fan from Los Angeles, CA said. “This is Magnaball, this is their 10th festival. A lot of us came from all over the country and right now we are setting up camp because this is our home for the next four nights.”

Many fans will spend the sold out festival weekend camping on the grounds at WGI. Bonnie Bull and her friends came all the way from Charleston, SC to see Phish for the first time.

“I’m just like so stoked to finally actually see them because they never like come down to where I’m from, so getting to come up here, you know making a 13 hour trek up here for them, like it’s totally worth it,” Bull said.

Phish fans say that Magnaball is unlike any other concert or festival experience out there.

“Well you go to some festivals and you have all sorts of different bands, you know, competing bands,” Stollery said. “You can hear sound coming from other stages, and here it’s just one band and everyone here is part of that, and here to support that. And it’s really groovy, it kind of feels like 30,000 of your best friends.”

The main message the fans want to get across- when you’re a Phish fan, you’re family.

“This is us, this is what we do,” Glidden said. “It’s more than just the music, it’s a whole community that comes together not just for the music, but to hang out and have a great time.”

The 3-day festival kicks of Friday and goes until Sunday evening. The band will play multiple sets, but fans can also check out art exhibits and a variety of other attractions.

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