The Great Went
an easy drive from any direction (!?!)
August 16th &17th 1997
Loring Air Force Base, Limestone Maine
General Admission onsale May 16th at the Forum Box Office (Presque Isle, ME)* *Tickets will be available at this outlet with no service charge. Ticketmaster: 207.775.3331
from http://www.loring.maine.com/current_events.html :
THE GREAT WENT PHISH WILL PERFORM AT LORING IN AUGUST
These are the Phish Phacts as we know them! The Loring Development Authority is pleased to announce that it will be hosting a three day outdoor concert venue by the musical group Phish called The Great Went on August 15, 16, & 17, 1997 at the Loring Commerce Centre in Limestone, Maine. The event is expected to attract between 50,000 and 75,000 fans per day and will take place on the 1,600 acre airfield, which includes 2 two mile long runways! Like last year's Clifford Ball, the affair will not only feature the internationally acclaimed band, but will include camping, great food, three sets per day by the band, (August 16 - 17), plenty of surprise activities and A GREAT TIME!
Transportation to Loring AFB, Maine
This is the most remote place in the Eastern US. The Boston Globe Magazine just had an article on the area, and said it takes 6 hours to get from Portland ME to Presque Isle, the "big" town in Aroostook County. [Maine Atlas says 296 miles for this trip.] From there it looks like 20 miles into Loring AFB, which is next to the town of Limestone. [Mapquest directions below.] The roads are probably in pretty good shape, since Loring used to be a major air base, but Route 1 is a single-lane road up there, and if "up to 150,000 people" are going to the show, the traffic could easily add 2 or more hours to such times... if you're lucky. Much like last year, expect delays! You might want to drive up Thursday Night to arrive really early Friday and beat the crush. (The shows are Saturday & Sunday.)
To follow these, bring a map, and USE YOUR TRIP ODOMOETER! [Note you'll have to find an unnamed "local road" on #12-#13 below.]
From: Darien, NY To: Limestone, ME
Direction, Distance 1: Go North on State Rte 77 to I-90, 7.8 miles
2: Go East on I-90(Portions toll) to I-81, 120.2 miles
3: Go North on I-81 to Canada, 93.5 miles
4: Go West on Thousand Islands Bridge to Provincial Hwy 401, 1.4 miles
5: Go Northeast on Provincial Hwy 401 to Queb Autoroute 20, 105.2 miles
6: Go Northeast on Queb Autoroute 20 to Queb Autoroute 540, 12.9 miles
7: Go North on Queb Autoroute 540 to Queb Autoroute 40, 4.2 miles
8: Go East on Queb Autoroute 40 to Queb Autoroute 25, 32.4 miles
9: Go East on Queb Autoroute 25(Tunnel) to Queb Autoroute 20, 8.0 miles
10: Go Northeast on Queb Autoroute 20 to Trans-Canada 185, 243.6 miles
11: Go East on Trans-Canada 185 to Trans-Canada 2, 54.3 miles
12: Go East on Trans-Canada 2 to local road, 38.5 miles
13: Go Northwest on local road to Maine, 1.7 miles
14: Go South on US 1 to State Rte 161, 23.1 miles
***AT THIS POINT YOU ARE IN CARIBOU. I THINK THE NEXT STEP IS WRONG, AND YOU ACTUALLY WANT TO TAKE RTE 89 EAST ABOUT 5 MILES TO LORING. BY THIS POINT IT SHOULD BE EASY TO GET DIRECTIONS OR FOLLOW SIGNS. MAKES YOU WONDER ABOUT THE REST OF THIS MAPQUEST ROUTE, THOUGH.
15: Go Southeast on State Rte 161, 3.2 miles Total distance: 757.7 miles
From: Boston, MA To: Limestone, ME
Direction, Distance 1: Go North on US 1(Portions toll) to I-95, 12.4 miles
2: Go North on I-95 to New Hampshire, 28.0 miles
3: Go Northeast on I-95(Portions toll) to Maine, 16.4 miles
4: Go Northeast on I-95(Portions toll) to I-295, 45.5 miles
5: Go Northeast on I-295(Portions toll) to I-95, 10.6 miles
6: Go Northeast on I-95(Portions toll) to US 1, 243.9 miles
7: Go North on US 1 to State Rte 161, 45.6 miles
***AT THIS POINT YOU ARE IN CARIBOU. I THINK THE NEXT STEP IS WRONG, AND YOU ACTUALLY WANT TO TAKE RTE 89 EAST ABOUT 5 MILES TO LORING. BY THIS POINT IT SHOULD BE EASY TO GET DIRECTIONS OR FOLLOW SIGNS.
8: Go Northwest on State Rte 161, 6.1 miles Total distance: 416.2 miles
Approximate road distances:
Boston Mass- 420 Miles
NYC, New York - 600 Miles
Chicago, Ill - 1225 Miles
Toronto, Ontario - 700 Miles
Montreal, Quebec - 380 Miles
Portland, Maine - 309 Miles
Since it's recommended going through Canada (you'll need a driver's license and birth certificate) to get from Darien NY to Limestone, here are some tips on border crossing:
I recommend that anyone crossing an international border obey the following, admittedly fascist, rules:
1) Don't take anything some may think you shouldn't in ANY quantity. A LITTLE of anything at an international border can be as bad as a LOT in many other places. Better to take the chance and get what you "need" in Maine. If you feel the need to carry, take an all-US route. [From Darien to Limestone via Worcester MA / I-290 is 850 miles.]
2) Don't look like you're going to a rock show. Men should be freshly shaved. Every time I go through customs I see some scruffy-looking dude get hassled. (Once it was me.) Keep your weird clothes packed until you're back in the US.
3) Despite # 2 above, it's probably NOT a good idea to lie about where you're going, if asked, especially on the return trip into Maine, when it will likely be obvious that that's where most crossers are going. At any rate, inconsistent or incredible stories, like scruffiness, will lead to a hassle/search, which may kill an hour or more of your time even if your car is perfectly "clean."
Not many options/seats. Also, you cannot fly into Loring itself -- the runways are closed -- but
you can get about 20 miles away (Presque Isle) or even closer (Caribou).
1) USAir flies 19-seaters from Boston to Northern Maine Regional Airport /Presque Isle. Rent a car or hitch from there. (I don't know about the rental situation.)
2) Pine State Airlines flies 9-seaters from Portland to Northern Maine Regional Airport /
Presque Isle. On this plane, they ask your weight and you can't carry a lot of gear. Reserve
3) Charter a plane. Not as expensive as you might think, if you've got, say, 5 people to split the cost. Try Air-Tech Aviation in Presque Isle, or Jerry's Flying Service in Caribou (the town between Presque Isle and Loring).
The Loring Commerce Center info above indicates there will be camping on the AFB site, presumably with plenty of disgusting Porta-Potties. A Loring representative wrote me that, "The ticket price includes both camping and the concert, although the areas will be separated by a "buffer zone.""
Other Places: According to "The Maine Atlas" ($16.95, get one any stop in Maine, or at 207-865-4171), there are no developed camping areas nearby, and the closest "Primitive Campsite" is about 5 miles away. But the whole Aroostook County area is hurting economically and has been depopulating, especially around Loring ex-AFB. (For example, 5 car dealers went out of business in Caribou.) I'm sure there will be many locals looking to rent tent sites, and possibly houses/barns.
Caveats: I've never been that far north before. (Neither have most Maine residents.) My info comes from printed and web documents. If anyone who lives there has useful added info or a correction, please email me.
While the area is real rural (Limestone, Caribou and Presque Isle each had about 10,000 people in 1990 -- and have fewer now that the AFB is closed), Maine people tend to let you do your own thing. That said, Loring still has some military offices (accounting), but they presumably aren't going to be shocked by "normal" outdoor rock concert activity. I'm sure a few clowns will get arrested, but if you don't make a scene (like, whip your bong out in view of Route 89), and aren't blatantly selling anything illegal, it should be a reasonably mellow scene.
http://www.loring.maine.com Loring AFB at a Glance 8,700 acre site with more than 300 buildings 3.1 million square feet of business/commercial, industrial and aviation space more than 75 miles of paved roadways [not to mention 2 massive runways] [Where will the show be in relation to this wasteland?]
Area Information For lodging, dining and tourist info, please visit one of these sites.
Northern Maine Recreation http://www.mainerec.com
Northern Maine Development Commission http://www.thecounty.com/tourism.html
Northern Maine Chambers of Commerce http://www.mainerec.com/chambers.html
State of Maine Web Site http://www.state.me.us/
You can often get unlimited mileage if you're returning the car to the same city you started in. Trucks never seem to have such a deal. Also, when you make a reservation, be sure you meet any age minimum. It's often 25 years old, sometimes waived for AAA members.
A Loring representative emailed me that, "Cellular phones work in most areas of Loring."
Some fun facts about Loring AFB
Some pictures of the base...
Have UFO's visited Loring in the past? You be the judge...
Afraid of being irradiated by the old nukes? See what AFRAT can do for you!
Want to buy a house at Loring AFB?
Information provided by Dave Pittelli
Page assembled by Mike Terran, the Cerulean Blue Ranger
Please send info and suggestions to both Mike and Dave
1997 The Wellington Ladies Welfare League
last update: 23:04, 4.15.97