Phish entered early developmental stages in 1983 at the University of Vermont. Over the last 30 years, Phish have established themselves as an essential staple in the psychedelic and jam rock genres. However, in addition to selling millions of records, concert tickets, and becoming one of the most influential rock bands in the country, Phish have also shifted their attention to charitable outreach programs.
In 1997, Phish established the Waterwheel Foundation, an organization designated to oversee all of the band’s involvement in charitable and non-profit organizations. Beginning in Vermont, today Waterwheel has developed a touring division that follows the band to each of their stops. There, Waterwheel teams up with local non-profits and donates the proceeds from Waterwheel merchandise to those non-profits, in attempts to create a sense of local community in a package from out of town.
The types of organizations Waterwheel vary from women and children outreach programs, urban gardening, land conservation, clean water, food banks, and more.
Phish, however, was not alone in this endeavor. Popular ice-cream wizards Ben and Jerry have also taken involvement in Phish’s charitable nature. After teaming up with Phish to create the famous flavor “Phish Food,” the two groups agreed to use the profits for charity. Thus, the start-up money for Waterwheel was conceived.
So, if you feel like making some contributions to non-profit organizations, enjoy loud music, and are interested in beholding the existential oddity that is a Phish crowd, then make your way down to your next local Phish show!
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