Phans Rent All Available Cardboard Boxes on AirBnB For “Baker’s Dozen” at MSG

by Dan Kelly
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For the hardcore phans that scrambled to purchase tickets for Phish’s entire “Baker’s Dozen” run at Madison Square Garden this summer, the recent unexpected release of additional dates in additional cities across the country came as a swift kick in the groin.

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“I would say it’s a little bothersome when you commit to an entire run in one of the most expensive cities in the world because you thought those were the only gigs this summer,” says 134-show vet Chad Edwards of Hartford, CT. “Then the band releases additional dates in other cities that we now have to find tickets and lodging for, too.”

It ain’t easy – or cheap – to tour with the band.

When the standard rate for a two-star hotel room in Manhattan is north of $250 a night, attending all 13 Baker’s Dozen shows (from July 21st through August 6th) and enjoying the amenities of a reasonably respectable hotel simply isn’t feasible for even for the most rabid, well-heeled fans.

The historic Baker’s Dozen run is sure to attract some of the most “financially inclined” phans, but Edwards simply shrugs it off as another part of the game he’s more than willing to play.

“Don’t get me wrong, we want more shows, and we always do the whole tour,” Edwards says rather matter of factly. “Our crew is just gonna need to be a little more creative this summer to cut costs.”

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To that end, Edwards and his friends have decided to avoid hotels completely during their summer visit to NYC – instead opting to rent out cardboard boxes from the homeless that sleep and socialize around the legendary venue located in the heart of Midtown Manhattan.

No-frills boxes surrounding MSG are going for as little as $13 a night (check AirBnB and Craigslist for availability).

Edwards and his crew are not alone in their cost-cutting plan. Other phans are staking claim to boxes of their own, and the local homeless community is loving every minute of it.

These humble but street-savvy “box fort” owners – who use the nearby Dunkin’ Donuts to access free wifi on their tablets and mobile devices – are taking advantage of websites like Craigslist and even AirBnB to cherrypick renters during the Vermont band’s extended stay.

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According to one homeless woman we spoke with, known only as “The Landlady,” the impending flock of Phish tourists seems “just fine” with the prospect of sleeping in filth under flimsy roofs of cardboard.

“I’ve got my box rented out to three different guys throughout the entire run,” says The Landlady with a toothless grin. “It’s probably some of the best money I’ve had coming my way in years. My only rule is no ‘lot dogs’ in the box. Cats okay, purr.”

Dan Kelly is a music snob and satirical writer best known for his work on Dead-50.net. Growing up in the southwest suburbs of Chicago, he was exposed to a part of the jam scene that his parents luckily knew little about. When he’s not complaining about the sound quality of your latest AUD recordings, he works as a Web Content Strategist in Omaha, NE. You can reach Dan at DKelly@SongMango.com.

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