Sphere Unbans Phish Fan Who Snuck In Bong

Sphere Unbans Phish Fan Who Snuck In Bong

In a surprising turn of events, Sphere Entertainment has reversed its decision to ban a Phish fan who went viral for sneaking a bong into one of the band’s concerts at the high-tech Las Vegas venue. The incident, which took place on April 20th, saw the fan, known by his Instagram handle @acid_farts, posting a video of himself taking a bong hit during the show. The video quickly gained traction online, leading to a permanent ban from all Madison Square Garden-owned properties as of June 6th. However, the company has now rescinded the ban, citing a “breakdown in process.”

“There was a breakdown in our process due to a change in personnel which resulted in the letter being sent inadvertently,” a Sphere Entertainment spokesperson said in a statement released on Saturday. “This customer is not banned from our properties, however, it is still against our policies, which are in accordance with local laws, to smoke, bring glassware into our venues, and disrupt other fans’ enjoyment of the event.”

The fan, whose real name remains undisclosed, operates a Phish fan account called @acid_farts. In an interview with Rolling Stone, he revealed that he has attended 187 Phish concerts in his 30-something years of life and expressed no regrets about sneaking the glassware into the Sphere. The initial ban had disrupted his plans to see Dead & Company last week, making the reversal a significant relief for him.

Given MSG’s use of facial recognition software, a permanent ban from the company’s venues is not something to be taken lightly. The technology is designed to identify and keep out individuals who have been banned, making it nearly impossible to bypass such restrictions. Despite this, the fan’s story has taken a positive turn, allowing him to continue attending concerts at MSG properties.

The incident has sparked widespread media coverage and has become one of the most talked-about viral stories of the week. While the initial ban was attributed to a mistake, @acid_farts humorously speculated that the band might have discussed his case in a break room. “I’d like to think the band was personally discussing this matter in a break room between a practice session or something being like ‘what should we do about this Acid Farts thing?’ Prob not, but it’s a funny thought,” he said.

Capitalizing on his newfound fame, @acid_farts launched a product page for a t-shirt featuring a drawing of his infamous Sphere bong hit and the words, “No Regrets … Free Acid Farts.” All proceeds from the shirt sales will be donated to the Divided Sky Foundation, a non-profit co-founded by Trey Anastasio that provides educational and introspective programming to support individuals affected by addiction. Pre-orders for the shirts are available through June 14th.

Reflecting on the past few days, @acid_farts noted that he has been “laughing all week” and quoted a fitting Phish lyric, “You got one life, blaze on.” The fan’s lighthearted approach to the situation has resonated with many, turning a potentially negative experience into a memorable and charitable endeavor.

The original incident occurred during Phish’s 4/20 show at the Sphere, part of a four-night run from April 18th to April 21st. The video of the bong hit, posted on Instagram, showed @acid_farts taking a hit while standing up, exhaling the smoke into the air, and chanting “U.S.A.!” The post quickly went viral, catching the attention of both Phish fans and the venue’s management.

The initial ban letter from Madison Square Garden Entertainment cited the fan’s violation of the guest code of conduct by visibly smoking in the venue. The letter stated that such actions would not be tolerated and that the fan was indefinitely banned from all MSG properties, including Madison Square Garden, Radio City Music Hall, The Beacon Theatre, The Chicago Theatre, and the Sphere.

Despite the serious tone of the ban letter, @acid_farts maintained a sense of humor about the situation. He posted a photo of the letter on Instagram with the caption, “The sphere sent me a plaque to commemorate what is now officially the first bong hit ever taken in the sphere.”

The use of facial recognition technology by MSG and Sphere Entertainment has been a topic of considerable debate. While the technology is intended to enhance security, its application in this case highlights the complexities and potential pitfalls of such systems. Nevertheless, the fan’s story has brought attention to the issue in a unique and entertaining way.

As Dead & Company continue their 30-show residency at the Sphere, the fan’s reinstatement serves as a reminder of the importance of clear communication and fair enforcement of venue policies. For @acid_farts, the experience has been an emotional roller coaster, but ultimately, it has allowed him to continue enjoying the music he loves.

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