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Sphere Rescinds Ban on Man Who Took a Bong Hit During Phish Show

A Phish fan who was banned from Sphere and other Madison Square Garden Entertainment-operated venues after taking a bong hit at a 4/20 show at the Las Vegas venue is no longer barred.

In a statement to Rolling Stone on Saturday, a Sphere Entertainment spokeswoman said, “There was a breakdown in our process due to a change in personnel which resulted in the letter being sent inadvertently. This customer is not banned from our properties, however, it is still against our policies, which are in accordance with local laws, to smoke, bring glassware into our venues, and disrupt other fans’ enjoyment of the event.”

The man, who goes by @acid_farts on Instagram, spoke with Rolling Stone about the incident in an article published on Thursday. Weeks ago, he had uploaded a video where he’s seen taking a bong hit inside the venue prior to a set from Phish at the 4/20 concert, a date considered by many as a cannabis holiday. He said he wanted to take one more hit at his third and final night seeing the band before he ditched the bong prior to his flight home. “I didn’t want to walk around Vegas with it all night, so I threw it out on the way out,” he told Rolling Stone.

The clip went viral and he had also tagged the venue. “That was maybe, maybe a little oops,” he admitted. Though the venue prohibited smoking on the premises, initially, @acid_farts did not face any repercussions. However, after he purchased tickets to see Dead & Company at the Sphere for June 6, he received a legal notice delivered by FedEx. The letter from venue operator Madison Square Garden Entertainment stated that he was “indefinitely banned from Madison Square Garden, Radio City Music Hall, The Beacon Theatre, The Chicago Theatre, Sphere and any other MSG Venue.”

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@acid_farts did not immediately return Rolling Stone’s request for comment regarding the ban being lifted on Saturday. In an Instagram Story from Saturday, he shared a copy of the statement from the spokeswoman where he wrote: “Well, what the heck am I supposed to do with all this juggalo makeup I just bought?!,” a seeming quip on avoiding the facial-recognition technology Madison Square Garden Entertainment has used to identify attorneys whose firms are engaged in litigation against the company and having security eject them from shows.

“I’m really wearing it as a badge of honor,” he told Rolling Stone of the initial ban and said he was considering selling a T-shirt inspired by what happened. Following publication of the RS article, he shared links to “No Regrets! Free Acid Farts” T-shirts for sale in his Instagram Story.

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