(CelebrityAccess News Service) – Exactly one year after launching LivePhish.com, Phish's groundbreaking digital download service, the Vermont band will, as of January 1, donate their net proceeds from the service to The Mockingbird Foundation, a non-profit organization founded and run by Phish fans that supports music education for children.
In its first year of operation, LivePhish.com has generated over $2 million in sales. The service offers high-quality, unedited soundboard recordings of select Phish concerts in MP3 and CD-quality FLAC files via a state-of-the-art delivery system. All shows are available to fans within 48 hours after the end of each show.
"Playing live music has always been a source of indescribable joy for me, and everyday I count my blessings that I'm able to make my living doing something that I so deeply love," Phish guitarist Trey Anastasio said. "It's exciting then to think that a person can come to a Phish concert, and know that all the profits from the subsequent downloads of our music will go directly into children's music programs. The fact that The Mockingbird Foundation was created by Phish fans makes it all the more inspirational to us."
The Mockingbird Foundation, is run entirely by a volunteer staff and with almost no overhead, has made nearly $200,000 in grants since its inception in 1997. Grants to date have come from proceeds from various projects, including The Phish Companion, a comprehensive and authoritative reference guide to Phish and their music, and "Sharin' In The Groove," a two-disc album of Phish covers by notable artists such as Dave Matthews and Jimmy Buffett, among others, available at record stores nationwide. A second edition of the book will be released in the spring.
Recipients of these grants have included schools, community centers, workshops, camps, and scholarship programs from Maine to California, from Appalachia to the Southwest, and from Kentucky to Kosovo. Their funding guidelines define music education for children broadly and somewhat unconventionally, and have enabled the Foundation's efforts to go beyond schools to hospitals, shelters and foster homes.
Proceeds from LivePhish.com's revenues are expected to dramatically increase the number of organizations that the Mockingbird Foundation is able to fund. The proceeds add an additional feedback loop into the relationship between Phish and their fans: Revenue raised through fan purchases of LivePhish downloads is channeled to the volunteer, fan-run non-profit that funds music education for children. –Bob Grossweiner and Jane Cohen