BURLINGTON, Vt. (AP) – The hundreds of Phish fans who were turned away from the band’s farewell concerts have been given another apology and a promise for a free gift.

“The last thing any of us wanted in the band’s final hour was to leave some of our most dedicated fans feeling angry and disillusioned,” Phish manager John Paluska said in a statement on the band’s Web site.

Concert-goers who did not attend the festival will receive a face-value refund on their tickets and a free download of the complete Coventry performances, Paluska said. They will also receive an autographed photo book containing photographs taken from 1994 to 2004, many shots previously unpublished.

Dave Werlin, president of Great Northeast Productions Inc., also issued an online letter of apology, in which he said organizers gave traveling concertgoers the best information they could.

“This was an extraordinary weather-driven situation,” Werlin said. “Please know that this was not for a lack of planning.”

Heavy rains turned the farm fields in Coventry and grounds of the Newport State Airport where a camping site was set up and where the concert was held into big mud bogs. It became impossible to put the thousands of additional cars that were anticipated into the mess.

Werlin addressed rumors that a large number of tickets were sold at the gate to the show. He said about 1,000 tickets were sold to ticketless fans who were in cars with ticketholders.

“We simply did not have the resources to deal with turning vehicles away,” he said.

Phish fans who had tickets but did not make it in to Coventry offered mixed responses to the statements Monday evening.

“I feel like my best friend died and I missed the funeral,” Greg Myles wrote in an e-mail. A 13-year Phish fan, Myles traveled from England to attend the Coventry performances. “A picture book, that’s it …”

Shane Thomas, 32, said he appreciated the band’s gesture. “I think that’s actually a very noble thing,” the Newport News, Va., resident said. “There were a lot of fans like me who cut their losses and left, I’m glad they’re getting recognized.”

Brooklyn, N.Y., resident Elisheva Sophie Ross said in an e-mail that she looks forward to receiving her book in the mail, particularly with the band signatures.

“A limited edition signed photo book is a good place to focus memories,” Ross said, “and the image of Trey (Anastasio) having to sit and sign thousands of books makes me smile.”



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