WaterWheel Foundation Turns 25 and Celebrates with Aquarium Rescue Unit Tribute | Music News + Views | Seven days

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  • courtesy of the artist
  • Colonel Bruce Hamilton

In 1997, Burlington’s most famous musical export, Phish, established the WaterWheel Foundation. The non-profit organization serves to oversee the jam group’s various charitable activities with a focus on supporting Lake Champlain watershed cleanup efforts. The group used their royalties from popular Ben & Jerry’s ice cream flavor, Phish Food, to launch the foundation.

WaterWheel celebrates its 25th anniversary on Sunday, September 25 with a blast at Nectar’s – a fitting venue as the downtown Burlington club helped propel Phish from humble college band to world-touring juggernaut. Ben & Jerry’s will present the event, featuring a live podcast from Osiris Media, a music-centric podcast network.

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Phishing in the early days - PHOTO COURTESY BC KAGAN

  • Photo courtesy BC Kagan
  • Phishing in the early days

There’s a theme to the celebration, too: Hosted by guitarist Bob Wagner (Kat Wright) and featuring an assortment of musical talent from Vermont, the show will also be a tribute to the late and great Colonel Bruce Hampton and his band, the Rescue Aquarium. Unity.

Hampton, a legend of the Atlanta jam scene and Southern rock, died onstage in 2017 at the Fox Theater during a 70th birthday celebration. Its music was a massive influence on Wagner, who calls the Aquarium Rescue Unit “arguably one of the most influential jam bands of all time”.
All proceeds from the show will be donated to WaterWheel. A Phish and WaterWheel memorabilia raffle will also raise funds for the foundation.

Since its inception, WaterWheel has donated more than $3.7 million to more than 500 nonprofit organizations through its Touring division, which raises funds in the communities where Phish performs. Additionally, he raised $2 million for organizations working directly to protect Lake Champlain, $2.5 million for various other Vermont groups, and an additional $1 million to benefit more than 30 beneficiaries through the campaign. The foundation’s Dinner And A Movie, where the band’s past shows are screened.

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Waterwheel Foundation - COURTESY OF BOB WAGNER ©️ SEVEN DAYS

  • courtesy of Bob Wagner ©️ Seven days
  • Waterwheel Foundation

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit liveatnectars.com.