Unlike other large multi-day festivals, which feature a parade of different artists, the Super Ball IX held at Watkins Glen International raceway, featured only one – Phish. Their fans would have it no other way.
Thirty thousand fans had come from all across the country for a full three days of immersion in Phish music and Phish culture which included, multiple sets by Phish, interactive artwork, a variety of food & beer from around the world, on site camping and a late night surprise set.
The hub of the festival site was the Brown United main stage which held a large Clair i-5 line array outdoor system with Clair BT-218 subwoofers and Clair P-2 front fill. Three delay towers with Clair R-4s past the mix tower assisted in covering the vast raceway infield turned concert site. All Main Stage system elements were powered by Clair StakRaks featuring Lab Gruppen PLM amplifiers.
Garry Brown manned the FoH position with a Midas XL-8 console interfaced into a Midas 9696 recorder. Garry’s outboard gear included Crane Song HEDD 192s, Waves Maxx BCL, GML 8200s and Manley Vox Boxes.
Mark “Bruno” Bradley handled the monitor mixing duties on a Yamaha PM5D with Clair 12am wedges onstage. Mark relied on the onboard equalizer, gate, and compressor features of the PM5D.
The late night set was a surprise treat for the fans and commenced in the early Sunday morning hours after the previous night’s Main Stage set. The word of this event was closely guarded as Phish wanted this to be unexpected. The stage was housed inside a wood structure fashioned to resemble a self storage facility and once the music started, the audience could only see the back lit silhouettes of the performing band members inside the structure. This set featured Phish creating free form experimental jams. Five Mountain Staging towers arrayed in a circle around the perimeter of the Ball Square area each supported fifteen Clair i-3 line array elements and six Clair BT-218 subwoofers configured as a 5.1 surround system. Each array was facing inward with the stage “warehouse” positioned in the middle of the Ball Square area. Garry used a second Midas XL8 to handle the Ball Square band inputs and created the “surround” panning effect that moved the instruments around the sound field by panning between the five towers. Mark implemented a second Yamaha PM5D for all stage mixing duties.
Phish fans that did not make it to the event had access to all music via live streaming audio on livephish.com and Sirius XM Satellite Radio. The festival featured its own radio station, “The Bunny”, that broadcasted music and event information to attendees. Onsite tapers recorded and uploaded recordings of the show to be shared amongst the fan community.