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June 15, 2011

Police arrest 24 at Phish concerts at Merriweather Post Pavilion

phishdrugs.JPGTwenty four people were arrested at a couple of Phish concerts over the weekend, Howard County Police said in a statement today.

In addition, three cars containing drugs, including ecstasy and pot, were seized, as well as $2,000 in cash. Twenty citations for underage drinking were also issued.

There's regular police enforcement at Merriweather during the summer concert season, but, "additional resources were allocated for the Phish concerts, which have historically shown increased drug activity at the venue," police said.

For the concert, police sent  officers from the special ops, vice, narcotics, traffic and patrol divisions.

Phish begun a two-night residency at Merriweather on Saturday. The concert drew more than 19,000 people on Saturday and 16,000 on Sunday, according to police.

Police did not say when the arrests took place, or if the individuals have been released. 

In total, 24 people, ages ranging from 19 to 41, were arrested on drug-related charges. They came from Maryland, South Carolina, Washington D.C., Virginia, Delaware, Pennsylvania, and at least one person, from Texas, and another from California.

Police seized marijuana, hashish, ecstasy, nitrous oxide and methamphetamine at the concerts. A 2000 Chevy Truck, a 2000 Saab, and a Honda motorcycle containing drugs were also seized.

Some Midnight Sun readers who were at Merriweather over the weekend commented on the show earlier this week.

Photo: Howard County police search a man's car before a Phish concert Saturday at Merriweather Post Pavilion (Steve Ruark/Special to The Baltimore Sun)

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Posted by Erik Maza at 3:27 PM | | Comments (28)
Categories: Music News


What a shocking waste of police resources. At a time when state budgets are running out of money left and right, how much money do you imagine is wasted arrested kids at a concert? Good job police, way to make the community safer

I've been a fan of Grateful Dead, Little Feat, the Band, the jambands of today including Phish for decades, Many Decades. But the flamboyant drug and alcohol use the fans of these great bands display is absurd. The music takes you to transcendental places. If you need the drugs, you don't get the music. I don't want you morons drugged up on the roads or even as pedestrians. Pot, LSD, ecstasy all spit in the face of art and the mysteries of what great music from Bach to Garcia impose on us. Screw the druggies. They are too dumb to appreciate art on its own?

gimme the name of the idiot who authorizes this huge waste of money and resources....what a joke.

Thank God that Phish fans were protected from being exposed to drug use. I'm sure it was the last thing they expected when they went to the concert.

Only 24 arrested out of over 35,000 at a rock concert?? Lol. Nice crowd, drug use is declining, way to go...

Go ahead and arrest those pothead hippies!

i just wish we had chain gangs in Maryland for these little dope fiends.

The only bright side to this story is that the Phish concert distracted the Vice cops from their weekly routine of breaking up harmless neighborhood poker games. Please stop trying to save us from ourselves...

Black and Whites baby!! Arresting unlawfuls LOL

*LOL*........Sounds like they must have arrested some of the posters on here and taken away their stash! *LOL* Wanna do you stupid freakin' drugs, losers, go burn your brains out somewhere else, not behind the wheel of a car (or motorcycle) while my family or I may be on the road.

Good job law enforcement!! Keep these HOPHEADS out of our Utopian town!!

I know there's always arrests at Phish shows, but I think if Merriweather had some sort of normal parking lot setup, the arrests would be even more down.

Shakedown Street is typically police-free, in a wink-wink manner. But it's tough to set up that area of vendors (both legal and illegal) when you're in a mall lot.

Bummer to those that got popped.

What a giant waste of taxpayers money. The money wasted on arresting people for pot could probably be used for things like, oh I don't know SCHOOLS!

didactic: You think your musical hero's were sober? That's kind of hypocritical since they were assuredly high when creating and preforming most of the songs. Gonna have to defer to Bill Hicks on this one...

didactic1, I agree with you whole-heartedly that people on any substance have no place driving, but as long as they have a designated driver I really don't care what they do during the show. Beyond that, do you think the Grateful Dead would have sounded anything like they did if not for drugs? They got their start playing at Ken Keasy's 'Acid Tests' while they and the audience all drank from a barrel of electric kool aid. Drugs and music go hand in hand, for better or worse.

keep in mind that all of these artists you named, in addition to many others, were under the influence when they created this music in the first place. now obviously they are illegal, but i do think they have their place and can add something in the art world, and other areas as well. sure the cops know that this show will be worse than others in terms of drugs, etc, but this still doesn't mean they need to go "all out" and try to prove some point nobody is paying attention to, and most, quite frankly, are annoyed by

Idiots. Kids trying to make a quick buck and now look where it got them. I don't feel bad, they knew what they were getting into. Didn't the same thing happen at the last phish concert with extra vice and under covers?

Haha friggin IDIOTS. Ho.Co. police do this EVERY YEAR at phish concerts at merriweather. The past three years to be exact. Dumb kids looking to get a quick buck and now look where it got them. No pitty. -----And sorry busting meth and ecstasy dealers is certainly not a waste of money and resources. Plus they netted three vehicles. Good job for the effective sting op HoCO. See if they show up again next year, which they will

First off I just want to say that Merriweather is the worst amphitheater I have ever been to. It's only a matter of time before the office complexes engulf it (RIP Polaris in Columbus, Amsouth in Nashville and soon to be Deer Creek in Noblesville). Way to roll out the special ops, vices and more cops than necessary to arrest the obvious. I went to both shows. I've been to a lot of Phish type shows over the years and the drug was on par with what it always is. The parking situation did magnify the situation and yes some people could not be stupid and realize this was not a normal Phish scene. Any chance a high end, planned community, can roll out the police and mobile command units it will. When I went to Bonnaroo, back before it became cool and Kanye showed up, the drug use was pretty heavy and there was only a fraction of the police there compared to what Howard Co. rolled out.

Two nights does not a residency make.
Two nights is flopping on your friends couch, not living there

First off, didactic1,,,, no need to put POT in the same sentence as LSD and Ecstasy. They in no way compare....

Second, your righteousness, has no right to know what goes through peoples heads,,, sober or not.

You are probably one of those people, who blog, to impose your idealistic views on people. Get your head out of your ass, for a minute, and respect mankind.

Every year after Phish plays we get this same news story on how many arrested, and then its followed by the same old debate.

Any chance this blog might review the "music"? Went to both shows again this year and had a blast. We must be in a recession. There were no helicopters this year. "STAY OUT OF MALIBU LEBOWSKI!!!"

Is this a...what day is this...?

Hey Merriweather policeman, policeman came to my house

Sitting in my hotel this afternoon on the couch smoking a big old blunt.
My girl came up next to me, sat down, and before I knew it I was nibbling on her tasty, moist....bundt....cake that she cooked in her cooking class. She cooks a really good bundt cake, it's got like an essence of lemon and stuff.

And I said....WHAT?!?!?!

Can we please move on from this stereotype? Of course there are drugs at Phish shows - Show me a gathering of 20-30 somethings where there's not drug use?
The major difference, IMO, is that Phish attracts liberal, progressive minded people who feel like smoking pot is not such a big deal, so they don't go out of their way to hide it amongst their peers. I highly doubt that mid-concert they groove out of the venue to sell some to little Billy on the swingset, compelling as those 80's propaganda commercials may be.
Why is time being wasted on this? Do something worthwhile - get out of Merriweather and cruise on over to Baltimore City where there is a real drug problem to take care of.

How has there not been a "shooting Phish in a barrel" joke yet???

Yeah @Jeanna M ... HOWARD COUNTY Police should go to Baltimore City where there is a real drug problem!

Of course it's not an either/or thing. A drug arrest doesn't mean a murderer is getting away.

These morons are doing something illegal, and which happens year after year. The arrests are pretty well publicized. You go to a Phish show, do some drugs, get arrested. Not the polices fault for going after the low-hanging fruit. Good for them.

Nice post! I've looked at the rest of your blog, and its "delicious"!

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About Erik Maza
Erik Maza is a features reporter at the Baltimore Sun. He writes for several sections of the Sun paper and contributes weekly columns on music and nightlife. He also writes and edits the Midnight Sun blog. He often covers entertainment, business, and the business of entertainment. Occasionally, he writes about Four Loko, The Block, the liquor board, and those who practice "simulated sex with a potted palm tree." Before The Sun, he was a reporter at the Miami New Times. He's also written for Miami magazine, the Orlando Sentinel, the Sarasota Herald Tribune and the Gainesville Sun. Got tips? Gripes? Pitches? He's reachable at Click here to keep up with the dumb music he's listening to.

Midnight Sun covers Baltimore music, live entertainment, and nightlife news. On the blog, you'll find, among other things, concert announcements, breaking news, bars closings and openings, up-to-date coverage of crime in nightlife, new music, round-the-clock coverage of Virgin Mobile FreeFest, handy guides on bars staying open past 2 a.m. on New Year's Eve and those that carry Natty Boh on draft. Recurring features include seven-day nightlife guides, Concert News, guest reviews of bars and concerts, Wednesday Corkboard, and photo galleries, as well as reader-submitted photos. Thanks for reading.

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