Traffic tie-ups expected near SPAC for weekend Phish concerts

Phish concerts this weekend are likely to cause traffic congestion Saturday and Sunday evenings arou

Phish concerts this weekend are likely to cause traffic congestion Saturday and Sunday evenings around Saratoga Performing Arts Center.

Gates to the two SPAC parking lots on Route 50 open at 4 p.m. both nights, and amphitheater gates open at 5:30 p.m.

Authorities will continue stricter enforcement of alcohol policies that started at the Dave Matthews Band concerts earlier this month.

Drug enforcement also will be in effect. There are usually at least a few arrests for possession of hallucinogenic drugs, including mushrooms, at the Phish concerts every year.

And the incidents can spill over into downtown. During the same weekend as the concert last year, a city police investigator was splashed with liquid LSD while arresting a man during a drug detail outside the Saratoga Springs Public Library. It was not clear whether the man had been at the Phish concerts.

Authorities announced on Tuesday they plan to have uniformed and plainclothes officers and investigators looking for violation of laws, including having alcohol in state parks, possession of marijuana, underage drinking and driving while intoxicated.

Officers will make arrests, issue tickets, impound vehicles, take and discard alcohol and throw violators out of the park.

Passive alcohol screening devices will be used to detect alcohol in unmarked containers, and drug-detecting canines will also be on site.

For people attending the concert, parking is available at several lots in the park for $10, in addition to the free lots on Route 50. People are encouraged to carpool.

Concert patrons are responsible for carrying their own litter out of the park, and glass containers are banned.The Route 50 entrance to SPAC is the best place to drop off ticket holders starting at 5:30 p.m. The entrance by the sun dial off the Route 50 parking lot will be accessible starting at 10 p.m. for those returning to pick up concert-goers.

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