The numbers are in: With help from fans, Phish raised over $3.5 million at this weekend’s sold-out flood recovery benefit shows at SPAC. 100% of the net proceeds will help the victims of catastrophic flooding that befell the band’s home state of Vermont and its surrounding areas in early- to mid-July.
“We are so grateful to everyone who donated their time and resources to make these benefits possible, and those that attended the shows or watched online,” said keyboardist Page McConnell. “The joy in the room at these concerts was undeniable. But for the people affected by the flooding, it is an ongoing struggle. That’s why we are continuing to accept donations, raise awareness and distribute the funds.”
New York Governor Kathy Hochul posted a backstage photo thanking Phish for helping to raise millions of dollars to support flood victims, their families, area business, and local nonprofit organizations. Derek Trucks, who joined the band as a special guest on Saturday in what fans are hailing as one of the best sit-ins in Phish history, is notably absent from the photo, but drummer Jon Fishman‘s custom flood-themed dresses can be seen hanging in the background.
“Dropped by [SPAC] to thank [Phish] for raising $3 million to help flood victims from the Hudson Valley and Vermont,” the Governor wrote calling the four musicians “Great guys!”
The flood recovery benefit shows were added to Phish’s summer tour schedule after the tour had already begun, a rare occurrence for the band. The shows came together quickly in response to a spate of severe flooding that the National Weather Service characterized as, “Extensive flooding to communities, washouts of numerous roads and bridges, and even the occurrence of land and mudslides resulted in significant property losses. The most widespread and significant flood damage occurred as a result of prolonged heavy rainfall during the 10-11 July 2023 period, when rainfall amounts of 3 to 9 inches were observed across the state over 48 hours.”
As Phish keyboardistMcConnell, who still resides in Vermont, explained to FOX 5 New York‘s Steve Lacy when the shows were announced in late July, “We started planning this event pretty much the day that the destruction and the flooding started. We’ve been on tour for about three weeks now, so I haven’t even been home for any of this, but of course we knew about it and everyone’s contacting us and we’re seeing the papers and seeing videos, and it’s heartbreaking. There is a lot of destruction and devastation and a lot of people are really having a hard time.”
The shows may be over, but donations are still being accepted for the WaterWheel Foundation’s flood recovery fund. Read L4LM‘s reviews of Friday and Saturday, and click here to donate. An array of Benefit merchandise is available now at the Phish Dry Goods store.
— Governor Kathy Hochul (@GovKathyHochul) August 26, 2023