No camping at Phish shows near Denver over plague concerns

Posted: Updated:

Thousands of people who planned to camp during three days of Phish concerts at a stadium outside Denver will no longer be able to because of concerns that fleas in and around nearby prairie dog burrows could spread the plague.

You read that right. Phish. Prairie dogs. And the plague.

The Denver Post reports public health officials are still finding infected fleas in fields surrounding Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City. The stadium's owner decided to ban camping during the concerts over Labor Day weekend, and the band posted the notice on its website Tuesday.

Between 2,000 and 3,000 people were expected to camp.

The band's well-known Shakedown Street, where fans sell souvenirs and food, also will not be allowed because the area normally used by vendors outside the stadium is on a dirt road.

It may come as a shock that the plague is still a thing. According to the CDC:

The bacteria that cause plague, Yersinia pestis, maintain their existence in a cycle involving rodents and their fleas. Plague occurs in rural and semi-rural areas of the western United States, primarily in semi-arid upland forests and grasslands where many types of rodent species can be involved. Many types of animals, such as rock squirrels, wood rats, ground squirrels, prairie dogs, chipmunks, mice, voles, and rabbits can be affected by plague. Wild carnivores can become infected by eating other infected animals.

Scientists think that plague bacteria circulate at low rates within populations of certain rodents without causing excessive rodent die-off. These infected animals and their fleas serve as long-term reservoirs for the bacteria.

After forming in 1983, Phish is still a thing too. And they are coming back to the East Coast this fall. Some, including front man Trey Anastasio, would say the band didn’t really become “Phish” until Page McConnell joined to play keyboards and piano in 1985. So far, they have played 1,683 shows – each with unique setlists filled with improvisation spanning all genres of music.

Since reuniting after a five-year gap in 2009, Phish has played 24 shows at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.

Phish will be in Providence, Rhode Island (Nov. 29-30) and at the Nassau Coliseum on Long Island (Dec. 1).

Got 23 minutes?


AP Wire Services were used in this report.

 

 

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