CAPTIVE IN COVENTRY
Captive In Coventry Home Page
Day 1 - Wednesday
Day 2 - Thursday
Day 3 - Friday
Day 4 - Saturday
Day 5 - Sunday
Day 6 - Monday
Day 7 - Tuesday
30 Miles South of the Festival Commons
Muddy Sandals in Lyndonville, VT
Well I have to admit that promoter Dave Werlin got
it right when he told 400 somewhat worried Coventry
residents packed into the sweltering gym at the school
in the beginning of August that the entire festival
event would be like a bad winter snowstorm. You hunker
down for a few days while it all blows around. Then it
goes away, the sun comes out and everything gets back
to normal. I smiled when he said it. It seemed right and
I wanted to beleive him. And it turned out he was right.
The majority opinion up here is that it all turned out
OK. The biggest surprise to everyone I think was the
good spirited nature of Phishheads in general. This
was immediately apparent in the news articles in the 2
generally conservative local newspapers. Their reporters
were canvassing the local stores where everyone was stocking
up on supplies as they came north. The repeated story from
every store owner was not just how "well behaved and respectful"
Phishheads were, but that it was quite a contrast to the
rude behavior they were used to from local youths.
A lot of you have been concerned about the garbage that was
left behind. There was a lot of it along the roads. But within
2 days Rt. 5 was spotless. It took another few days to get the
interstate cleaned up. Every day on my way home from work you
could see another section had been cleaned. I saw a headline in
one of the local papers that the promoters were going to pay
the state highway department the $35,000 bill to clean it up.
Both local newspapers made a big deal about the trash. One
played up the contradiction in a photo of a huge pile of trash
under some "Don't Trash Vermont" Phish signage. The other one
talked about the citizens being ..."up in arms"...about the trash.
I can assure you (as I did the newspaper) that there were no
residents of Coventry brandishing weapons in anguish over
all the garbage. I sent the paper those pictures of the Clean
Vibes crew picking up the trash on Rt. 5 and told them to get
the story right.
And what else can you say about the Clean Vibes crew. They rule.
They've got it right. They don't talk, they do. I want them to
be on my Town Selectboard when they grow up. But it wasn't just
Clean Vibes. There was the guy who jumped out of his car to help
me pick up some trash that had accumulated around Wheelock Rd.
Thanks to all of you who felt the importance of being responsible
for your collective trash. (And a special thanks to Clean Vibes)
The Campsite One Week Later
The festival site is getting back to normal. The Maxwell's
are regaining their pasture little by little. Although the
story now is that their biggest crops next year are going to
be tent stakes, sandals, and rubber boots. They have evidentally
decided to keep the upside down maple trees and the rock
Economically a lot of people did all right. It all
depended on which side of the traffic flow you were
on. Although it seems Martha's Diner didn't do as well
as they were expecting in the middle of it all. And
there sure seems to be a lot of bottled water still
stacked up on pallettes along Rt. 5.
Drastically Reduced Prices In Irasburg
But maybe the biggest positive effect was the creation of
the 'Pickup Truck Taxi Service". I think a lot of guys who weren't
expecting to get anything out of the whole shebang except
aggravation and grief, found a niche where they could make
a few bucks. I know some of you got soaked (monetarily)
trying to get rides off the Interstate to the festival on
Saturday. And there was even a letter to the editor in The
Chronicle this week by an irate local who decried taking
advantage of people in such dire straits. But it sounds like
in general most of you who were relying on local transportation
to get in and out, found a deal that was worth it to you.
Friday Aug 13
Tuesday Aug 31
A note on the weather. The appologies that everyone has
received from Phish Central about the unpredicatabilty
of the weather are based on fact. Nobody expected this
kind of late summer weather up here. It has continued to
rain since all of you have left. The other night we got
3.0 inches of rain here. Some of the roads were flooded
in the morning and they closed the school. I went out to
the garden this evening to pull some carrots up and I got
eaten alive in 30 seconds by all of the mosquitos hovering
in all the greenery.
So all in all I'd say it was a positive experience for
our little town. The official 'post mortem" meeting between
residents and the promoters hasn't happened yet so there
will still be ample opportunity for those who had a problem
with it all to be heard. But there has already been a call
to put together an official scrapbook of the event to be
ensconced in the town vaults. And judging by the letters
to the editors page of the Chronicle there are a lot more
people who were glad to meet all of you for a week than not.