Phish Fan Banned from MSG Venues for Ripping a Bong at the Sphere Has "No Regrets"

The violation of the venue's code of conduct took place, as one might expect, on April 20

BY Megan LaPierrePublished Jun 6, 2024

Madison Square Garden Entertainment Corp. (MSG Entertainment) — the James Dolan-founded holding company that operates Madison Square Garden, as well as a host of other venues including Radio City Music Hall, the Beacon Theatre, the Chicago Theatre and the Sphere — has banned a Phish fan from all of its locales after they posted a video of themselves ripping a bong at the April 20 concert of the jam band's Las Vegas residency.

Proprietor of the Instagram account @acid_farts posted a video clip of the fan taking the hit at the show, writing, "First bong hit to ever be ripped in the @spherevegas @phish Somebody call @guinessworldrecords 4/20/24."

UPDATE (6/6, 4:43 p.m. ET): In an interview with Rolling Stone, @acid_farts — who declined to provide the publication with their real name but has apparently been to 187 Phish concerts and is good with he/him pronouns — revealed that the 4/20 show was his third and final night seeing the band that week. He hadn't wanted to try to bring the Vegas-bought bong on his flight home, so he disposed of the glassware on the way out of the venue.

Shortly after tagging the official Sphere Instagram account in the Instagram post, he said he lost his Wi-Fi signal and only returned to see just how widely the footage had circulated. He told Rolling Stone that he remembered thinking, "Well, I guess I'm gonna have to live with this decision."

However, despite the Sphere's "strictly enforced" prohibition of smoking of any kind anywhere on the premises, @acid_farts faced no immediate consequences for the bong rip; he actually made plans to see Dead and Company there for a friend's 40th birthday — a transaction that he believes trigged the legal notice delivered to his home this week.

"I opened it up, and there was this letter saying you're banned from going to the Sphere," he said. "I was like, I'm literally leaving for the Sphere right now." That being said, he told the publication that he has "no regrets," aside from joking that he'll never see the Rockettes at Radio City Music Hall.

MSG Entertainment was none too pleased to see this making the rounds online, although I'm not sure what they thought would happen, holding a Phish concert on the dankest day of the year. A Phish fan account on Twitter has seemingly acquired a letter from the company, dated this past Monday (June 3), written to inform the bong-ripper — implied to be the owner of the @acid_farts account — that they are banned from all MSG-operated venues from here on out.

The document is signed by MSG Entertainment Senior Vice President and Associate General Counsel, Christopher Schimpf. It reads:

On April 20, 2024, you posted an Instagram video of yourself smoking inside the Sphere with the caption "First bong hit to ever be ripped in the @spherevegas @phish." You knowingly violated the guest code of conduct by visibly smoking inside the venue. Sphere Entertainment Co. will not tolerate actions that threaten the safety and security of our guests, and employees.

In light of your conduct, you are hereby indefinitely banned from Madison Square Garden, Radio City Music Hall, The Beacon Theatre, The Chicago Theatre, Sphere and any other MSG Venue (the "MSG Venues"). You are not to enter into or remain in any of the MSG Venues at any time in the future. If you enter any of the MSG Venues, including, with respect to Madison Square Garden, the box office, Chase Square and the concierge areas, law enforcement will be contacted to ensure your expulsion and you will be subject to the penalties.

Some might say it simply had to be done, and that one @acid_farts's valiant sacrifice is not to be forgotten. If anyone's asking Drew Carey, you know he'd say it was worth it. 

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