Phishing Fan Banned From Sphere For Bong Rip: ‘No Regrets’ (2024)

A Phish fan’s claim to stoner glory at a 4/20 concert earned him a burn ad that extends to some of the biggest arenas in the country, but he’ll always be able to claim he was the first—and maybe the last—to take a bong in the Sphere.

Weeks ago, Instagram user @acid_farts, who refused to share his real name Rolling Stone, uploaded a video of himself puffing on a seed of pot smoke at the $2 billion Las Vegas venue ahead of a set from the jam band on what many consider a cannabis holiday (not that your typical Phish head limit consumption to one day per year). It was the third and last night he’d seen them play that week, he says, and he didn’t want to try to bring the bong — which he’d bought in town — on his flight to the West Coast. So he lit up once again to cheers and applause from his audience section and later dropped the glassware. “I didn’t want to walk around Vegas with it all night, so I dumped it on the way out,” he explains.

Of course, when @acid_farts came out of the psychedelic show, his clip was already going viral in the online Phish community. He had also tagged the official Sphere account to let them know about his stunt. “It was maybe, maybe a little, oops,” he says. After losing his Wi-Fi signal shortly after posting to Instagram, he didn’t realize how widely the footage was circulating until it was too late to do anything about it. The 187-concert Phish veteran, who covered the Vermont band consistently from age 13 to 30, remembers thinking, “Well, I guess I’ll just have to live with this decision.”

Despite Sphere’s “strictly enforced” ban on smoking, including e-cigarettes, anywhere on the premises, @acid_farts faced no immediate consequences for his actions. In fact, when he made plans to see Dead & Co. playing Sphere on June 6 to celebrate a friend’s 40th birthday, the two agreed that he seemed to be in the clear. However, @acid_farts feels that his purchase of the Dead & Co. ticket. this past weekend triggered a June 3 legal notice that was delivered by FedEx to his home as he prepared to head to the airport.

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“I opened it up and there was this letter saying you’re banned from the Sphere,” he says. “I told myself I was going to the Sphere right now.” The letter from the operator of the Madison Square Garden Entertainment venue, which Rolling Stone also independently confirmed as authentic @acid_farts bars at New York venues Madison Square Garden (a perennial stop for Phish, known for playing there on New Year’s Eve), Radio City Music Hall and the Beacon Theater, as well as the Theater from Chicago. However, @acid_farts says there are other places to see Phish and has “no regrets” — well, except for one: “I’ll never see the Rockettes at Radio City Music Hall,” he jokes he. (Representatives for the entertainment company declined to comment on the record for this article.)

However, @acid_farts feels his accident raises the issue of privacy in live entertainment spaces. Venues, promoters, ticket sellers and even artists have stepped up data collection efforts in recent years to the point where the average viewer may not always realize how their behavior is being tracked. Madison Square Garden Entertainment, in particular, has faced criticism for using facial recognition technology to identify lawyers whose firms are involved in litigation against the company and having security remove them from shows — including, yes, the Rockettes.

Of course, alerting a venue that you’re breaking their rules is a completely different case, although @acid_farts still likens it to “lions going after flies” and sees it as a “bad business model”, which is with other participants. at Sphere shows that openly post themselves taking hits from vape and dab rigs. He also says he got a “weird vibe” the last time he saw Phish at MSG in 2017, after which he decided, “I don’t think I want to go back. I’m on the West Coast. It’s an East Coast show. It’s like, “Oh, I can’t go to MSG in the winter anymore.” I agree with this.” He’s open to appealing the ban if that’s an option, though if not, he’ll settle for the members of Phish to sign the ban letter.

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“I wear it as a badge of honor really,” he explains, and already has an idea for how to make the most of the incident: sell a T-shirt, perhaps reading “Free @acid_farts,” with the proceeds going to the Divided Sky Foundation, a new addiction recovery center founded by Phish frontman Trey Anastasio. Either way, he notes, his story “is in the Phish pantheon now,” and fans are free to run with it.

And for those wondering exactly what strain @acid_farts was packing at Sphere, he reveals that he’s “a sour diesel man for life.” What he won’t share is exactly how he smuggled that bong into the arena. “It’s a no comment,” he says with a laugh. “It’s a trade secret.”


Phishing Fan Banned From Sphere For Bong Rip: ‘No Regrets’ (2024)
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