CAPTIVE IN COVENTRY
Reports from behind the lines in the Coventry 'Green-Zone'
Day 1 - Wednesday
Day 2 - Thursday
Day 3 - Friday
Day 4 - Saturday
Day 5 - Sunday AM
Greetings from behind the lines.
THE SUNDAY FESTIVAL AUG 15:
THE APPROACH - AIRPORT RD
We got in the car and headed for Ground Zero.
RT.5 was empty until we got about a mile from
Airport Rd when traffic started to back up. Cars
were jammed together on both sides of the highway.
We crawled through the intersection, Karen squeezed
over to the side, and as the Airport Rd. State Trooper
started hollering at us to get moving I hopped out,
said goodbye and was on my way.
I crossed the intersection and started walking up
Airport Rd. After the chaos at the junction it turned
into a long, quiet, hot walk. I passed unhappy looking
Phishheads going the other way. When I asked why the grim
face they said 'it's a long walk back to the car'
The trek up Airport Rd. brought me face to face with
a sampling of what apparently is the official political
line of Phish Nation. Every few hundred feet you came upon
a sign with an admirable, pithy slogan meant to keep Phishheads
from totally going nuts and tearing the place up.
With slogans like, "Don't Jersey Vermont", "Be Safe-
Party Hard-Leave Only Footprints" and "Be The Change
You Want To Be", Phishhead philosophy seems to want to
put a softer edge on festival reality. But when I pass
a small black and red "George Bush is a punk-ass chump"
sticker on a traffic sign it occurs to me that at least
a few Phishheads want nothing to do with the soft and
As I topped the hill and entered the Festival realm I
got a good look at the 'Kingdom Pickup Taxi Service' in action.
Truckloads of longhaired Phishheads were being taxied up
to the main gates by crew-cutted locals in their pickups.
Further up towards the gates, negotiations were going
on between a driver and a group that wanted to head out.
A perfect example of the free marketplace in action.
Freedom of choice, 'You can pay me or you can walk'.
A little further up the road and I came to the main
gate which was basically deserted. I traded my ticket
for the coveted blue writstband and headed toward the
the campsite gate. A quick bag check by Phishland Security
and I was all set. As I gathered my bag and started walking
away a bushy haired, tie-died dude caught up to me and said
out of the side of his mouth while looking straight ahead
"Thanks man.", I asked him what for, and he said "Wait a
minute" as we walked out of earshot of the security guys.
Then he turned to me and said "Thanks for getting your bag
checked. I threw mine down next to yours and the guy never
bothered to go through mine. And I've got 5 glass bongs I'm
going to sell in there." Then he mummbled something about
'Jedi Force' being with him and he ambled away into the
campsite ready to sell his wares.
I never saw the guy or the bag until he walked up to me.
So either he was dreaming or tripping (or both), or I've got
to pay more attention to what's going on around me.
THE CAMPSITE - WALKING THE PERIMETER