What’s in a Picture

three men in limestone

Photograph by Anderson Giles

Twenty years ago, Limestone (current population 2,000) was briefly the biggest city in Maine — and these festooned fellows were fairly characteristic of its citizenry. That August, some 65,000 fans of the jamband Phish trekked from across the country in campers and VWs for the Great Went, a weekend bacchanal on the old Loring Air Force Base. The state had never seen a concert crowd of its like. Phish played for eight hours, 1,100 attendees posed for a nude group photo, members of the Bangor Symphony Orchestra performed between sets, and a huge catapult-like match ignited a tower of communal artwork. Photographer and UMaine at Presque Isle art professor Anderson Giles wandered the fest like an anthropologist, getting shots like this one. Fans “frolicked in the mud” and “smoked endless amounts of pot,” observed the Washington Post. “[The traffic] has never been this bad,” a Fort Fairfield cop told the Post reporter, “not even for the annual potato blossom festival.”


Will Grunewald

Will Grunewald is Down East's associate editor.