In a move that sent shockwaves through the Phish community, Festival 8 was downgraded from a rating of AAA to AA+, following the tremendous performance of Phish at SuperBall IX. The major rating agencies, including Standard and Poors as well as Moody’s all agreed that the music played at SuperBall IX was so impressive that it warranted not only a rating of AAA but also a downgrade of the most recent Phish festival, Festival 8.
“Well, I don’t know if I should be elated or upset,” opined Trey Anastasio, guitarist for Phish. “On the one hand, its great to see that SuperBall IX got a AAA rating but to have your last festival downgraded as a result, thats just a headscratcher. Was SuperBall so good it could affect the past? Whoa. I gotta sit down,” remarked Trey as he took a seat and stared blankly out the window for 10 minutes.
When presented with the findings, some Phish fans called foul but a few were able to look at the big picture and offer their opinion. “I was at Festival 8 and yeah, it was amazing, from the Stones set, the Burble and the acoustic set, but if you’re gonna compare the two, SuperBall smokes Fest 8 like a bag of headies,” noted longtime Phish fan Mark Kelley. “Maybe it was so intense that it made the last fest look worse by comparison. I can get behind that man. Really, I can.”
The downgrade does little to effect the economic pull of Phish, which has already released a 3D movie of the festival set in the Coachella Valley of California and has little marketing planned for Festival 8. “SuperBall stands to benefit in a great manner as being the upper echilon of Phish festivals in the 21st century,” said Louis Criscione, head analyst at Moody’s and Phish fan since 1987. “Having seen The Went, The Wheel, IT and all the other festivals, there is no question in my mind this festival deserves a AAA rating. They went above and beyond throughout the festival. There wasn’t a dull moment.” Criscione continued “And shit man, the Storage Jam? Un-fucking-real. Best Sleeping Monkey ever!”
Criscione was fast to point out that SuperBall IX would benefit from the rating two-fold. “First, the band can charge what they want on all merchandise from SuperBall IX, whatever is leftover that is. Second, they can’t take their time planning their next move for a festival. If they return to Watkins Glen, they’ll be expected to put on a show just as good, if not better than SuperBall. The fans will want it and expect it. We’ll expect it, because the bar is now set high.”
At press time, there was no comment from The Burble.