Thousands expected at Phish benefit to help flood victims


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. (NEWS10) — On Friday and Saturday, tens of thousands will attend the Phish Flood Recovery Benefit at SPAC. According to organizers, 100% of proceeds will go to the Waterwheel Foundation’s 2023 Flood Recovery Fund, and hotels in the area, like the Roosevelt Inn & Suites, have already been booked for over a month.

“It’s really crazy because we have a Phish concert and Travers weekend,” Lina Patel, Roosevelt Inn & Suites manager, said. “So it’s hard for people to get the rooms.”

The concert will support flood victims, their families, and local businesses that were impacted. Something that one tourist is hoping to be a part of.

“I think [it’s] wonderful,” Wendy Gutfarb said. “I asked my friends if they wanted tickets for the Phish concert. We are going to Travers, but maybe we can tailgate or something.”

John Wilson says Phish is one of his favorite bands, and giving back is nothing new.
“That’s what this band is known for doing things and for doing causes,” Wilson said. “Everything from the inception of the Waterwheel Foundation for flood victims to the Divided Sky Foundation that they put together. They just give back to the community, and so does the whole Phish community.”

On July 11, 75-year-old Linda Schwarm woke to water flowing in her front yard. She tried to call for help for herself and her neighbors who live in mobile homes.

“And I told him I would call 911, and they were rescuing people up in the village of Johnson and would be down as soon as they could,” Schwarm said. “And I said ‘fine,’ and I had two cats and put them in her carriers, and it just kept going up and up and up.”

The water then rose to her deck, and she could not get out. She was eventually rescued by first responders but lost her home.

She is currently staying with a neighbor until her insurance can help pay for a new mobile home. She says the community and her job have been helpful with the recovery efforts.

“They’ve been phenomenal,” she said. “My Price Chopper family has been absolutely wonderful. They’ve come down to help me clean what I could—providing me with meals.”

News10 and Price Chopper are raising funds to help the Red Cross with their emergency relief efforts. Details are on our website.

For those who can’t make it to the show, the band announced today there will be a free webcast of the concert on their website and YouTube channel with donation links.

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