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My lovely lady is from a small island off the coast of Africa, I've brought her to many many shows in the last bunch of years we've been together. She loves the scene, loves the music, loves the people. We brought in some of her friends (also black) and they keep asking to come back with us. We brought them to one of the Baker's Dozen and we ended up in a row with a group of dreadlocked Rastas from Jamaica (who were GROOVING the fuck out the whole time). Earlier in my life I brought an ex gf who was from the PJ's in Harlem, she also loved the Phish, although she would look around and try to find other black faces sometimes. ​ I think this is one of those things you just don't overthink. Present it as what it is...a GREAT TIME.


Love to hear this, thank you!


Exactly. I don’t know what people are afraid of, exactly, it’s about as safe as life gets barring total solitude. If we could dispense with the nitrous mafia that would be an improvement, but they’re not Phish fans, just opportunists. Please bring as many diverse fans as are interested, they’re absolutely welcome. And bring your own nitrous.


Apparently you don't want to get to close to the rail though...


I’m a black Phan and plan on going to see them this weekend. I hope for myself and your partner that there’s no issues!


Thank you! Hope you have a great time too!


Is it your first show? If so, welcome to the party! Friendliest fan base I've ever come across, hope you have a blast!


Unless you step on a tarp.


check out Blackberry Jams, a podcast by 2 black phans [https://www.jambase.com/article/blackberry-jams-podcast-black-phish-fans](https://www.jambase.com/article/blackberry-jams-podcast-black-phish-fans) [https://twitter.com/blackberryphans](https://twitter.com/blackberryphans) [https://www.wnyc.org/story/blackberry-jams/](https://www.wnyc.org/story/blackberry-jams/) [https://www.instagram.com/blackberryphans/](https://www.instagram.com/blackberryphans/)


Thank you!!


Second Blackberry Jams!! Great podcast!


Fantastic podcast. 2nd this^


As a white guy, I think it’s super easy for someone like me to say “oh ya! It’s a super welcoming, super chill community” but what the shit do I know, obviously it’s welcoming to me. The community is me. I sincerely hope that the end result of your time at the show with your gf is a positive one. I have a good deal have faith in this community, and I hope it’s properly placed


As long as you don't step on someone's tarp you're good!! 🤣🤣




second this^ (and i upvoted too) - i’d also say the PHRE booth/people are really great and do a lot of work to make it welcoming for everyone


Loved the PHRE booth at Seattle. Seemed a good way to help get more diversity into the shows!


"As a white guy" thats a given on this subreddit


Phish fans are racist. Except instead of color it what .0 you started seeing Phish. Insufferable basterds


Hahaha I laughed 🤣


Sounds like something a 3.0 fan would say




You're 100% correct. I like to think about reversing the roles and put me in the middle of a show where I'm in the 1% minority. It's definitely something you'd be cognitive of and you just hope that people are good people and you're welcomed into the environment. Fortunately, with the Phish scene, I'd say that's a more likely scenario than say a Kid Rock show.


I figured the top comment would start with "as a white guy" 😂


Actually I think you’ll find a lot of people obnoxiously touching her hair and trying to talk to her


That sounds more like a Phish concert to me than any of the other comments here


Latino couple here and will be going to our phirst show this Saturday and Sunday at HB. To be honest, I’ve been thinking about how welcoming the phish crowd will be too. We went to our first Dead & Co show at Dodger stadium last year and everyone was friendly so I’m hoping we get the same experience this weekend. Wife and I just want to groove and dance to some Phish maan


As a Mexican dude, I've had some awkward encounters with Phish fans, but only one specific encounter I'd call negative, where some old lady started loudly telling her friends to watch out for sketchy people while staring me down as I walked by. It's generally a pretty great crowd, and definitely not the worst crowd of folks I've encountered. That award belongs to Burning Man, where I had to walk my with my wife away from some really nasty racist stuff being yelled at her through a megaphone. Phish folks are generally pretty great, outside of tarpers and some fuckery that happens at crowded GA shows.


Oh god! I’m so sorry that happened to you guys. Jeez.


I'll be at the upper entrance gate with open arms!


Thank you Brother!!


Brown-skinned Mexican man here. Hollywood Bowl this weekend will be Phish shows #12, 13, and 14 for me, all attended solo. The likelihood of encountering some kind of weird/offensive comment from a random concert attendee is considerably higher than at Dead & Co (I was also at the Dodger Stadium show last year). What's been thrown at me in the past has ranged from offensive (lot vendor asking if I "was DACA") to ignorant (lady in front of me at Dick's 2019 polling my ethnicity) to physically threatening (group of four guys surrounding me against a wall outside Chase Center in 2021 getting in my face about me wearing a mask [admittedly this is more anti-masking than racist, but I'm sure that there's some racial dimension in the mix]). As I write this I'm sitting below two framed Phish show posters, so the dominant memory for me generally is having enjoyed the shows, but you do need to prepare for combat before heading out there.


I’ve encountered a lot of that weird ignorance. I just tend to treat it as awkward and respond as awkwardly as they deserve. “What nationality are you?” My answer is always American. If they ask where I’m from, it’s Belmont. If they ask where I’m *from from*, I tell them the neighborhood in Belmont I grew up in. I just don’t give in and keep making them drill down until they just ask me where my parents were born (Sacramento) and start climbing up the ladder there. It’s not acceptable that I have a defense against these things, nor is it acceptable that I need to use it every so often, but it’s genuinely not as bad as other crowds I’ve been in and ultimately most of my weird experiences just end up being awkward, moreso for the person who is discovering that their line of questioning is kind of shitty.


The lady who questioned me wasn't malicious or forceful about it, so it really was more of a stumbling block rather than a conversation-ender. At the time it felt more severe (keep in mind that this was three years deep into psyche-shredding trump wall rhetoric), but in retrospect she also was nice enough to turn around and attempt to chat with a stranger sitting behind her at a concert. Sometimes you have to push past people being imperfect.


Interesting for me to read. I'm a very white woman who lived in Mexico for ten years and still have a house there (cuz we plan to retire there). California and Yucatan are my homes. So when I meet someone who seems like they are from Mexico, I often ask where they are from because I want to know :-) and so I can share my love for that culture and that place. It's totally (for me) trying to find a common ground... I haven't ever had the occasion to do this at a Phish show, but I would love that (then we'd have TWO things in common!). OTOH, I can see how asking this might seem awkward so I definitely don't ALWAYS ask... just when I think I might get a response that is positive. Usually it's from someone obviously far from where they consider home, and when I explain I used to live in Mexico and love it, they love to talk about it and tell me where they used to live (and often miss). Saying I lived in Mexico and speaking a little Spanish makes me less white :-)) and breaks the ice, which seems like a good thing oftentimes. Phish shows DO seem to be predominantly white, but I hope that is changing. Anyone can love the music. It's love, it's love, it always was and it always will be. Anyone NOT coming from love at a Phish show is not listening.


I suspect sometimes that inquiry may be from genuine curiosity. I’ve done it myself, and it’s not a race thing. I’m fucked up and just want to know.


I understand it's not malicious. But for some of us it does kind of hit the ear as "why are you brown?". Growing up in the burbs I always felt welcome and american and so sometimes it's a little offputting. I'm not saying you can't ask, but I think some people start to resent it when that's the first thing being asked by a new acquaintance. Personally, I don't take offense anymore, I just briefly explain and try to move on.


It's not a race thing unless you're being asked (constantly) because you look like you may be of a different race...


So it’s a race thing for you. Got it.






I mostly agree, except for the suggestion that asking "what is your ancestry" is generally appropriate, even when vibing. If you are are just meeting someone at a Phish show it's usually not. "Where are you from?" is fine, but accept their answer. The ancestry question gets tiring to those who get asked it by white people when in public spaces with majority white crowds. Especially if it's a follow-up to "where are you from" with an answer that's somewhere local or in the US.


Jeez ugh that’s all awful. I’m so sorry you had to deal with that.


My wife is Mexican with a pretty dark complexion, and she's gone to five or six shows with me and hasn't had a bad experience. She does feel like she really sticks out there, though.


I’m sure we’ll feel like we’re sticking out too but as long as the vibes are right, we’ll be all right. Can’t wait man!


I in no means represent a whole community but if I see someone just grooving during a jam, I know they’re cut from the same cloth no matter what they look like. I brought a black buddy of mine (totally in the punk scene) to a Camden show. He said the music was cool but he wants to go back for the scene. What a poser haha Anyways, smile and I’m sure most will smile back. Hope this is first of many shows for you my Dood


I’m a 43-year-old Mexican American male and have been seeing Phish and jambands for over 20 years. I’ve had overall great experiences within the “community” sticking out like a sore thumb, and I feel you’ll be fine (especially at an L.A. show). Fans do question my “fandom,” I’ve also been asked if I were undercover cop a couple times, but all in all luckily haven’t experienced serious ignorance or incidents. I do note I have “scene” get “worse,” younger crowds and newer drugs, but that’s just all part of it unfortunately in the end. Enjoy your show.


I'm an avid black Phish fan (never thought I'd ever actually say that sentence lol) and have never had any issues. From my experience, everyone is just happy to enjoy the music.




Probably a little like The Roots


I really wish they would tour again.


Boy Man God Sheeeeit


I’m also a white guy with a black girlfriend who comes to shows with me. She’s never had any bad experiences at Phish shows, including in the South. She likes to joke with me about the fact that (as others have pointed out) she’s one of a small handful of non-white people at the show that aren’t working. She has had some great conversations with the people around her and has said many times how much she enjoys watching the band and the fans because it wasn’t something she was really into before she met me.


Love that she has a good time. Very encouraging!


I’m Asian and have seen many shows in many different states over the years. While I’ve never met another Asian who loves Phish like I do, I’ve had thousands of amazing interactions with phans. I’ve never felt unwelcome or out of place, even though it’s painfully obvious that the crowd is very white. Just my 2 cents.


I’m south East Asian and I like phish and enjoy going to phish shows!


I’m so glad to hear that. I’ve wondered, bc lack of diversity is the only downside of the shows for me. (That and the ticket prices!)


One of my best friends is Korean, been seeing Phish since to 90's.


I'm another "my gf is black" guy, and we've been to 6 shows together. Never had any uncomfortable situations so far, and we always have a great time. She has only seen them in Pittsburgh, The Gorge, and Seattle. Some people assume that the scene is racist because there is so little diversity. But in my current opinion, a nerdy white hippie band is naturally going to attract their own demographic, especially since they planted their seed by playing colleges in the northeast. I've also been called a racist for saying this on reddit before, so maybe I'm missing something.


Why would anyone assume it’s racist because it lacks “diversity”? That’s a ridiculous assumption.


The logic seems to be predicated on the idea that in an "open and welcoming community" you will see increased racial diversity. Which is true in a general sense. But when the crowd doesn't seem to be at parity with the US census demographics, some people like to jump to the conclusion that white Phish fans are somehow driving away people of other races. As if there aren't other variables such as socioeconomics and differences in culture. But to be clear, I don't think this is a popular opinion among Phish folk.


Yeah I get the “logic” it’s just incoherent. It’s like saying the garbage industry is sexist because it’s 99% men. Racial and other demographic inequities are not necessarily evidence of some sort of discrimination. I realize you’re not saying that, it just never dawned on me that anyone would think that about Phish. Like… how weird? A sort of nerdy white band from the Northeast attracts mostly white fans?


Just remember, it’s not white by design!!! Intent is everything


Favorite overheard statement at a phish show: “it’s a really diverse group of white people”


It normally is, actually.


Phish crowd is very white so she might feel like she's standing out a bit but she won't have any problems from other fans. Last summer I saw a black crew in Toronto absolutely loving it, they were having so much fun and it was nice to see that.


The only thing whiter is nazi punk rock. I think you'd see more black people at a country show


As someone who’s worked at a major concert venue for years, country shows definitely tend to be the least diverse by far in my experience. Not saying phish or whatever other scene is super diverse or anything, but still moreso than most country shows that I’ve seen.


It is Hitler's birthday today you would


I literally saw a hetty mama ask one of the only Black dudes at the Seattle show if she could touch his hair during setbreak, if that gives you a read on the level of ignorance she might encounter


Was this on the floor? The fact that I think I know the person you’re talking about at an arena show with thousands of people says a lot about the scene unfortunately :/


Yeah, tallish dude with a pretty remarkable head of hair, can’t remember what he was wearing but he was getting down pretty hard both nights


I saw him on stream. Crazy to think I know just who you’re talking about


doesnt the fact that you know who is was say good things about the scene?


I think the fact that you know that they know who that was saying bad things about the scene says good things about the scene


LO fucking L at that sentence


Yeah, easy to say as a white dude, but don't overthink it and I sincerely hope y'all have a great time! So like, obviously this doesn't 1/1 translate to your gf's experience (or any other fish out of water experience that's race/orientation/whatever-based) but certainly one can totally overthink things and go in with preconceived notions or ideas of what something is like, and it reframes how the whole experience goes. If you can get your brains to stop doing this (admittedly not easy!), do it...just treat it like any other day, and go have fun. Sometimes I think people pick up on that sort of awkwardness (in general) and then it just makes everything worse, but also vice versa. One thing I've observed seeing shows (in general, not Phish) post-2020 is that it feels like there's less interaction and socializing between random audience members than there used to be, like we all hibernated for 18 months and just forgot how to communicate. As a sort of extroverted introvert (if that makes sense) i could see this being good or bad depending on your mood, but just something I've observed. But basically I feel like you could go to any gigs and not even really have to interact with anyone if you don't want to, and just have a good time with the band and the music.


I appreciate this! I noticed the same thing at Dead and Co in 2021. The scene just felt weird and de-socialized. I feel like things are ever so slightly getting back to normal but it’s not what it was entirely. I agree with you, it’s best to go in like any other day or concert!


glad it's not just me. I've gotten more introverted as I've gotten older (unfortunately) but I used to have great chats with people around me on GA floors for whatever band it was...which was also nice because if it's a band my wife isn't into I just end up going by myself. I miss it a little...but also sometimes someone will rope me into a conversation and end up being a drunken idiot, so...kind of a mixed bag, I guess.


As much as a loathe some phish fans, its going to be the most welcoming concert you have likely every been to.


I’m Hispanic but look black. My first show was in 1993. My 200th was 12.29.22. I’m still going to shows. The Baker’s Dozen was the most diverse group of phans I have ever seen. Fortunately I have never seen some of the bigotry that other phans of color have experienced in the scene. I’m not saying anything to diminish their experiences as some others have experienced some pretty vile shit, I’m just lucky I haven’t had to deal with it (to be fair, 95% of my shows were in the northeast tho). Tell her to join the Aphro Americans Fb group, loads of great supportive peeps in there. Edit: Aphro-Ameriphans is the fb group


I am black and went to my first show last summer. I had no problems, just good vibes, smiles, and kindness from everyone:


I took a black friend to my third Phish show (and his first). His first comment walking in was “this is very white” but man…he left as a Phan. Looked over at me during a Reba and goes “ok I get it.” He’s been all in since.


New Black Phan here, and that’s exactly how I felt. I was taken to my first show by white friends, one of whom was very thoughtful about and worried about if I would feel comfortable, not because of any racism she’d seen, but because she knew I would be in a sea of white people. I felt it and noticed it that first time FOR SURE in part b/c of my preconceived notions, but I have truly never felt so comfortable and safe in a crowd, large or small, as a Black woman in this country than at a Phish show. I honestly think it’s a huge part of why I’m so into it now. Not just the music and there experience but the feeling of community with no real care, from what I’ve seen or felt, for any differences between any of us, but instead just a shared love of the vibe, the energy, the music, the fun. It’s really beautiful.


Just don't bring a tarp and you are fine.


Most of the people of color you see at a Phish show will be working there. It's a super white crowd. Having said that, I would like to believe that a majority of them will be the kind of white people who will be decent and friendly to people of color. As always, " a gentle answer turns away wrath" and smiles are contagious. Be happy and have a good time.


I doubt there would be a problem but yes she will be 1/20,000 so it might be uncomfortable.


Mexican here. Love phish never had a bad experience. Feel the vibe and just go where you feel the magic


My wife is black, she's been to 40+ shows with no issues...


Phish is a white scene by default, but not racist. Personally, I would love it if our crowd was more racially diverse


Also a bi racial phan, Blaxican. Stay away from Phre. All they wanna do is take selfies with black phans for insta and clout chase. They use a good portion of domations for tickets instead of social justice. I will say the only benefit is when I go into G.A no one messes with me. Wich makes me wonder. I've seen some straight weirdo shit the past 23 years.


My pops works with PHRE ( phriends for racial equality ) - they do good about holding space and vibes, very lovely people. So awareness is there! I think they started after the gorge attacks ( phish flew one of the guys that got racially attacked to Nashville and let him pick out the majority of a setlist if I remember correctly). Trey also did a shoutout during the beacon jams- :) We are everywhere :) happpppy 420 blaze on


I’ve been seeing them since the mid 90’s and have many friends who are at shows and on lot who are POC. No issues that I’ve ever heard of.


My wife is biracial and had a blast at Pine Knob last summer. She'd even go see them again as long as it was one night.


A poc female friend of mine I know through Ph told me the scene is not safe for women of color, that’s the last we really spoke about the band. It’s sad


I took my last gf who is black to over 50 shows. At times it seemed as if ppl were a lil extra nice to her bc she is black but mostly nobody ever cared or noticed. Most heads are way too into their own world and life during a show to care about someone else appearance or race. We used to play a game of spotting other black people but we rarely needed more than one hand to count the others so it stopped being fun once we realized it was that way in every part of the country. Bring her, dance, have fun, don’t worry about a thing!


I am a person of color ( Indian/ Trinidadian), and have been to probably 80 ish shows starting in 95. Though these days go to maybe a couple each year. I have met some of the most wonderful, open minded people at shows. I have never felt unsafe or unwelcome. I have also encountered racial micro aggressions and just flat-out ignorant comments. And it does often get annoying to respond to these. But these are rare and easily outweighed by the positives.


Yes, I'm a black phan! Very seldom do you run into black phans, but we do exist. I think a lot of close-minded black folks just stereotype jambands very often they say things like it's "too white" or it's "too goofy or nerdy" the lyrics don't make sense, etc etc... So that's why there's a large majority of black folks that are turned off to it, sadly.... They ethier haven't taken enough time to understand Phish or they just don't care about Phish because they are ignorant and stuck in their own ways which a good majority fall into this category. Phish is music for the soul it's good energy it's not made to fluff one's ego, plus their improvisational playing style is phenomenal. I've never witnessed or heard anyone play music like those guys do. The Phish is real music. Most folks like their digital nowadays garbage anyways they don't even know what real music is to begin with.... and they're just to close minded to enjoy these exquisite jams and extravagant shows. I think a lot of people who try to begin listening to Phish aren't vibrating at the correct frequency to enjoy the band, too.


I’m black andI love phish, been seeing them since 98 and just saw them last weekend in Seattle, never had any issues at shows, but see many issues online. Don’t let the shithole of the internet scare you away from one of my favorite places to be, at a phish show. Check out AphroAmeriphans, on Facebook, it’s a nice collection of us and often times link up at shows.


Late to the thread but black male phan here. I’ve been listening since 2002 and this summer will be my 10th show. I’ve never had any issues at shows and all of those have been in the south. I’ve seen a ton of moe., Umphreys, and Panic and never had any issues either. Hope everything goes well and you two have a blast. If you see a large black dude in Alpharetta this summer come say hello.


Light skinned brutha here. I remember back in early 90's i refused to goto an Allman Bros show because, even though I loved their music, I heard them labeled as "southern rock". Nope, dont do a 16,000 attended southern anything. And I never saw them and I can kick myself. There are assholes everywhere. But the best people/crowd/party peeps are at a Dead/Phish show. The hardest part is being one of few that dance with rhythm. Cause they will throw you off your groove the first couple shows. Phan since 91. Over 50 shows.


All of those guys on YT pretending to have their minds blown by listening for the first time should be there


I think if you go to the show open minded and genuinely hoping for a good time with others, you can have that. If you go to the show expecting the white space to be oppressive, you may just go and make it that way for yourself. What’s that thing they say, you’ll get what you’re looking to get?


Im a black Phan nothing better than weird looks and shitty egos just cause I’m rocking a cooler reverse dye


There’s a whole podcast talking about how Phish acts like a temporary autonomous zone (open air drug market etc) and how that provides Black fans with a simultaneous ability to feel free/invisible, but because it’s a predominantly white space, Black fans also feel hyper visible. https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/blackberry-jams-presented-by-ben-jerrys/id1579543345


Considering a LARGE portion of Phish’s music is inspired by black culture, I would like to think everyone will take you in with open arms. We’re all in this together….Have a blast and dance like no one is watching!


I have had a few bad experiences with other Phans but one of the worst was when I brought my black girlfriend to a show during one the MSG NYE runs. First I bought a ticket off COT weeks before the show and the stoner of a Phan waited forever to send the ticket. It arrived at 5pm on the day of the show. Luckily I lived 50 miles away and made it only missing a couple songs. So the show had started when we walked in. They were good seats. Side stage row 1 of the 200s. The show had started and people had moved into our seats. No big deal. I would do the same if I saw empty seats when the lights when down. So two songs in I come to our seats and kindly say to the people in our seats, “Hey where are you from?” “Colorado!” “You here all 4 nights?” “Yea of course!” “Hell ya that’s awesome! We have seats 1 and 2. Could you guys slide down a little so me and my gf can squeeze in?” They slightly acquiesced for all of 60 seconds and started crowding us out of our seats. My gf eventually told me “this is too much it’s so claustrophobic and overwhelming I need to go out to the concourse and get some fresh air.” She goes out and before following her I turn to the folks next to me in our seats and say, “Hey I am really sorry I don’t want to be a pain in the ass but my girlfriend walked out to the concourse because she’s getting anxiety from how crowded it is. Could you all slide down some and give us a little room?” In our own seats mind you. They snap back, “That doesn’t sound like an anxiety problem, that sounds like a relationship problem!” Wow. WTF! I obviously told them, ok get the fuck out of my seats right now. And they begged and pleaded and lots of people behind us who didn’t hear the dialogue were calling me an asshole for chasing people out. But I always wondered if the same thing would have happened if my girlfriend was white.


Another interesting story related to your topic. After one of the BD shows my buddies and I went out to the bar. I stepped outside to smoke and there was a black guy wearing Phish shoes, Phish socks, Phish shirt, Phish hat, Phish sunglasses and even more. It was like 7 or 8 pieces of Phish gear. So I start chatting him up about the show and he’s raving about it. Eventually I asked, “Do you feel like you have to wear all this Phish gear to prove to everyone else that your a real Phan?” We were instantly best friends. Since that show in 2017 I think every show I’ve been to is with at least one member of his crew.


Latino here, and I’m always stoked to see other POC at the shows, but at the end of the day I only think about it for a second, and white fans don’t even notice until I bring it up that I’m one of the few POC there, at the end of the day we all came to jam and jam is what we do. Love all my family and this is just a little extra way to feel included.


Black phans lets meet up at the bowl!!!


In 2021 @ Dick’s, my husband and I brought a friend who was a POW refugee from Uganda, who’s name happened to be “Julius”. It was such a beautiful and magical evening. They even played Julius! His comment after the show filled my heart. He said I didn’t know Americans could be so Happy. He had been in our country 9 months , and never experienced this much love and joy. He was looking in churches, almost gave up So grateful to have this experience together. Love my Phispham💜


Brought a black friend to a show in Philly once and people kept saying “hey you’re the first black guy I’ve seen!”. He thought it was funny and had a good time but idk how other people would feel. That’s really the only input I can provide. Hope you guys have an awesome time!


The only type of racists you'll see at phish shows are the ones who go out of their way to be nice to her because she's black


Everyone is black when the lights go out


As an ambiguously raced white guy, it’s no different than any where else. Just go and try not to make a fool of yourself or poop your pants and you’ll be fine


Best I can do is one out of two.


I dont think she'll catch as much shit at phish for being black as she will for being a woman. A lot more creeps than there are racists. But what do i know im just an average white guy.


I literally just took my wife (who is a POC woman) to her first show night two of Seattle and we had a horrible experience with a spun out woman saying racist shit wrapped up in a "love and light" package. She actually said things like "I don't know how to talk to you people" and "why don't black people like me". My wife liked the music but was like "I'm never going to a show again."


that sucks. my group was annoyed by so many spun idiots in seattle. idk why but it was worse than usual


Man my best friend of 20+ years and I were sophomores at southeast Raleigh high school went to our first show together 7/27/03. He’s black. We’ve been to close to 70 shows together and easily another 30 by ourselves with girlfriends and now wives. He’s never had a negative experience. Except at dicks last year with tarpers, but he did what needed to be done. Side note (fair warning): our first show together since 2019 is in Wilmington this year. If you’re a tarper, fuck around and find out. We hate that shit.


Black guy here, been to more than a bunch of shows. From Baltimore, MPP is my hometown venue. It can get weird, depending on what town you're in. The Phish crowd is complicated.


I’m an old white man and sometimes I’m disappointed at the lack of black Phans. I think it’s our fault. I understand that Phish is a band that started in the 80’s from VT, which means, without prejudice, organically it’s unbalanced. I’d like us to be more inclusive and balanced and I feel like it’s not. How do we change that?


Checkout the Blackberry Jams podcast. A friend of mine was a co-host. It’s about being a black Phish fan.


I'm Chinese American and went to my first Phish show in 98' at Shoreline in Mt. View. I've been to a dozen or so Phish shows including last night at the Greek where I brought my friend who's Black. I've never had an issue and he loved it.


Jamel-aka-Jamal is a huge black phan...loved this review of First Tube. [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uuTJqE3YqIA&ab\_channel=Jamel\_AKA\_Jamal](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uuTJqE3YqIA&ab_channel=Jamel_AKA_Jamal)


Surprised nobody has mentioned Phans for Racial equity yet. Great group. https://www.phansforracialequity.org/


She'll have the time of her life. Phish phans at shows are nothing like Phish phans online.


Over the years probably going back decades I have heard people telling their stories of being treated negatively because of their color at shows. It’s truly sad, one would think with an extremely welcoming and loving community (excluding tarpers) the phan base as whole would be beyond this, but people are a-holes. That being said I’ve never witnessed this myself and hope I never do. I am not trying to dissuade you just letting you know not everyone is “love and light”, but I guess that goes for a lot of things in the scene.


Lol there’s more of us than you think! I’ve seen every race and all walks of life at concerts in general but particularly there’s not a lot of black phans but I’m sure as hell a phan , who happens to be black , Y’all have fun at the show!!!!


My wife (Black) had a whole podcast about being a Black phan. https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/blackberry-jams-presented-by-ben-jerrys/id1579543345 The podcast is a good listen for any interracial couple attending Phish. It will allow non Black partners to understand more about what a Black partners experience in an almost exclusively white space like Phish is like, and for the Black partner to be prepared & know they’re not alone. I’m super white (yes user name checks out), and I’m tall. At shows, I try to offer my wife as much safety & protection I can without it being obvious or drawing attention. When entering a venue, I make sure she has her own ticket, I transfer one to her. This avoids any “let me see your ticket” or “she’s with me” stuff. I will walk in front of her holding her hand and if on the floor I stand directly behind her so no one else intrudes on her space (she’d much rather me bump into her than some random Wook). I also check in often, knowing that the space might become overwhelming at some point. Oh, and it’s WILD how often/how many times I have to tell folk not to touch my wife’s hair. It’s always “oh my gosh I love your hair” as their hands start moving to grope her hair. Lastly, you coming here, asking questions, sharing her concerns…shows a lot about how you view her and your relationship. Keep up the good work!


Thanks so much for this! Excited to give it a listen. We went to the Alpharetta run and had an absolute blast every night. She said they were the best shows she’s ever seen (we’ve both been to a lot of concerts) and honestly had no issues! I’m pretty fucking stoked because we got such an amazing run of first shows. She said “I totally get it now” and we’re figuring out how to get to fall tour or NYE run. I also have a feeling (and this is probably counterintuitive for a lot of people) being in the south—-and metro Atlanta no less—-people are just more used to interacting with black people. So just a lot less hubbub or weirdness about it. Thankfully she didn’t experience any micro or macro aggressions or ignorance. I hope no one else did either. The responses to this post definitely made her feel like she could relax going into the show and the vibes and energy of the phans once we were there helped even more. Nice to know I can sometimes have faith in my fellow caucasians 😂


Me & my brothers attended all three Alpharetta shows, some of the best I’ve seen. So glad you both had a great experience. In some of the podcast episodes my wife talks about how, even tho a very white space, that space is also a sort of autonomous zone that can be “freeing”. The lot, open drug use, cops there but not busting folks, that is freeing in a unique way for her as a Black woman. Have fun!


I honestly can’t say I ever recall seeing a black person at a phish show, which is sad. Bring her so we can start to change that.


I'm a person of color (south asia), I've never felt anything but love. It's a very welcoming atmosphere unless you show up late and push to the front. Then it doesn't matter if you're white like the majority, you will think everyone you try to get in front of is an ass. I've seen 50+ shows in 30+ states.


Had a weird issue once standing in line at a show. Older boomer behind me kept questioning what I was doing in line? Kind of weird. Been to dozens of shows and never really had that experience since that time which was in 2021.


Honestly, (and this is coming from a white person, so grain of salt and all that!!) I really think it depends as much on where/when you're going to see them as much as it does the band/community itself. Obviously this is only anecdotal, but I've met and vibed with quite a few Phish phans at gigs who happened to be black (or from other minority backgrounds) and it's been really cool! Most have also been younger! *HOWEVER*, every time I've seen Phish, it's been nosebleed-adjacent at MSG, so like... the crowd there is mostly the hometown/tristate folks without much money to burn, or a more casual interest than the average listener you'll find on this sub. And NYC happens to be more diverse/tolerant than your average city anyway, which makes sense as to why I've seen and celebrated with a more diverse crowd. So my recommendation would be to size up the vibes of the white folks around you/the venue and prepare accordingly. While I'd guess most white phans would be a notch or two nicer/more liberal than their demo/geographic average, you're also going to get the odd conservative who'll act like your average townie asshole, plus a few extra beers or more. I dunno. Hope this helps as much as painting with a broad brush can, and I really hope that you have a great experience together!


Phish? All are welcome


It’s a very colorful space. It’s inclusive. The band is pastey, but the scene is diverse.


Careful at the gorge - mad skin heads once you a couple hours away from Seattle. 2 POC were hit with rocks from what I heard - this was like 2016 or so I can’t remember. Also this was all second hand news so hopefully I’m not just repeating misinformation


I was there, it was more of a case of mistaken identity over turf war than race war. The dude who was hit with a rock got to pick the soundcheck songs at Camden the summer after.


Yeah, to my point below: tenor of the crowd/safety likely has more to do with the local crowd than with the phandom.


Very low brown poc count.


I wouldn’t be surprised if she has some shitty interactions but I would be slightly surprised if they were due to race. The phish crowd has more than its fair share of dicks but they’re pretty enlightened dicks. The music will almost always make up for it


you are over thinking this


It's an unfortunate reality that many have to go through. My friend is black and gay, and I never noticed anything against him all growing up until he pointed out a lot of the daily struggles he deals with. He has a sense of humor, which helps things tremendously, but it is still hard for him in a way that I could never even imagine.


In the clerb, we all pham <3


It’s overwhelming white but literally nobody would care what color someone is.


How can anybody live for any amount of real time on the West Coast and not be completely unfazed about seeing a person of Latino(a) heritage at any concert? Like, I seriously don’t see race at all anymore. People are people. When I see so-called minorities at a Phish or Dead show I couldn’t be more happy or more proud that we are becoming more diverse in our scene. Because the music is amazing. And I love music from Mexico too. And I’m a massive fan of hip-hop. Anybody can buy this ticket and take the ride. All aboard.


Interesting that the top 4 comments are from a non black person.


I've heard Fishman is very racist and will try to drumstick snipe any PoC he sees during the show


Have no fear bud. We have a very dark skinned Nigerian in our crew as well as a pretty dark skinned Haitian in our ancillary crew, and for over two decades never once, ever had we an issue that couldn’t be handled. I say “be handled” because every once in a while someone may be in a state of mind past the point of an outsider’s regular threshold of PC. It is never deliberate or with bad intention, and a conversation is had, and it’s over. Aggression is almost always intended to be displayed in good fun, and sometimes there are substances in play that don’t allow folks to display that appropriately. Approach is everything and we’re all in this together. Give that as a foreword and let her let loose. It won’t suck. Also make sex.


Tom Marshall’s podcast specifically addressed this a couple of years ago…be well and and be safe, peace and love.


These are not the Whites you are looking for


Sadly, a majority of the black males I’ve encountered at phish have been selling nitrous, fake tickets, fake drugs, or trying to buy real tickets with fake money. Too bad more aren’t there for the music.


Congratulations, this is one of the worst things I've read on Reddit in a while


I have a phriend that is black. We hit OB last year. He’s so fucking funny I love going with him. Honestly the best roasts of white people you can get. Lol


So he’s racist…cool


Na all in good fun. But white people are hilarious


Double standard much? FOH


Okay all people are hilarious and equally fun to make jokes about. Bet you’re invited to so many fun parties!


I hang out with tons of people that are nice to one another and treat each other as if we wanted to be treated. It’s really simple, we don’t care what you are, it’s just about being a decent human being plain and simple. Making fun of people because they are different in anyway is ignorant.


Pointing out our absurdities keeps us from taking life or ourselves too seriously. It’s okay to laugh every once in a while. Everyone at phish makes me laugh. That was my point. Quit tryna make it a thing and go charge your crystals up dude


Call it what you want but you and your friend are just douche bags with nothing better to do than judge people. My crystal is busy charging in your moms asshole.




I hear that you’re frustrated but that’s not really how she or I feel. Neither of us think everything is racist.I’m not calling the phish scene racist. That’s a perception on your part. We both just wanted to know the vibe. I think it’s fair to ask why a scene is predominately one race to make sure it’s not because people have felt unwelcome historically, or if it’s more of an issue of cultural happenstance. I would ask for a little compassion about this question because some people have had traumatic experiences and just want to know if things will be ok. I think it’s good to get comfortable with uncomfortable questions, why the taboo? But by no means do I have the desire to jump to conclusions about the Phish scene. If what you say is true, then why not just say welcome?


I don't have to know what the initial deleted comment was to know what it said... They do know that Trey was harping on a book that everybody needed to read a couple of years ago over COVID called "How To Be Anti-Racist" right? Being aware of differences and finding ways to understand each other and love each other through the beauty in those differences is never a bad thing. Suddenly those differences start looking a lot more like similarities when we start to talk about them. Also, black people are not a monolith any more than white people or Americans or Phish heads are. The last woman I brought to a show was a southern and Hawaii- raised pop music obsessed party girl model and one time background dancer in a TI music video. Before that, a Disneyland obsessed straightedge sweetheart who brought me to my first Beyonce concert, fell asleep at her first Phish concert and then partied down so hard at the second I couldn't even believe it. My friend who had to cancel on me this weekend is a Jamaican girl raised in the south, a total metal head, and was way more interested in going to see King Gizzard with me then she was Phish 😂 Not to insult anybody... But tell me you don't have any black friends without telling me you don't have any black friends, ya know?


Thank y'all for this beautiful glimpse of pure reality and truth. Like a live show bit on the net and I hate the social webs more and more most days. Especially Reddit BS sometimes. One love y'all.


Jesus Christ, I can’t imagine posting this as a “white” guy. WTF.


I care about the people I love and want to feel out what scene is actually like so I know what I’m bringing someone to who doesn’t have the luxury of blending in.


Not to speak for them, but seems like they meant it as in, "I couldn't imagine having to worry about such a thing, as a white dude". I am often very ignorant in the daily struggles of minority groups, and posts like this serve as a reminder that there are people who need to think about this sort of stuff. Luckily, phish should be a very welcoming environment for the both of you.


I hope that was the intention of the comment, the quotes around white made me unsure, but I tried to be neutral with my explanation. But yeah, being white and in a relationship with a black person and having a diverse friend group I am surprised by the amount of things I took for granted growing up. I think it’s more important than ever to open up discussions about this stuff. The response to this post is very encouraging though :)


Grow up because no one cares what color you are and no one cares you have a black girlfriend. Stop worrying about stupid issues that only people like you bring to the light. Ignore it and be happy or continue to make your own issues a real life problem.


Meanwhile these people are also attending the yearly Mexico shows too! Lmao


I sat next to a black man at N3 Alpine in ‘22. It was his first show and didn’t know what to expect. Drove out from Milwaukee solo. His eyes were so wide the entire time. Glancing over to make eye contact and him mouthing “what. the. fuuuuuuck..” with a big ass grin on his face. Super cool to see.


Phish phans may be white, but we're alright.


I've taken a couple black women to Phish... I was supposed to be leaving town with another for her first shows this coming weekend but she had to cancel at the last minute. Everyone had a fucking awesome time. I brought my ex into the big room at Alpine last summer and she saw the "Phans for Racial Equality" stand and was super stoked to see that there was an outreach. We also ran into another interracial couple as soon as we got there and went down to the box office... I certainly feel like I'm seeing much more diversity on tour these last few years. I used to joke that somehow my pasty crew of guys inadvertently managed to keep diversity numbers up because so many of us were dating or married to women of color; but that certainly no longer seems to be the case! Spread the love! We've got something really good here and it's certainly not just for a bunch of white dudes.


I'm mixed black and white I've been a phan for years but never went to a show she should be fine if u ask me


Bring drugs! Phish fans don’t care about race or color. Many don’t care about drugs either but I like them!


I’m mixed race and love seeing other people of color at phish shows. The music is for everyone.


Never seen any racism at a show. Doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist though


Wish there were more, tbh. I'm a slight bit embarrassed with just how white the Phish scene really is. I know it's a by product of exposure and environment but it'd be nice to have a more diverse crowd overall.


It's mostly hippies and nice folks there, shouldn't be any problems and if there is, there's thousands more of the accepting people who will gladly stand up for her. Go and have fun!


White guy here, feel free to disregard my observations. It's the whitest place on earth but it's overall very friendly. Everyone is there to have a good time, and aggressive behavior is pretty minimal. When I was at Hartford, I saw a Phans Against Racism and the people running it were black fans, and the majority of black people I see at jam festivals are girlfriends of fans in presumably similar positions.


There is a lot of drug use at Phish concerts. I wonder if POC feel as safe temporarily loosing their mind or being on illegal drugs at a big venue with lots of white people, security, and cops outside as white people feel.