Tour organizers agree to donate some proceeds from Aug. 19 date to
assist in state-wide emergency.
In an effort to assist in the recovery from recent fires that have ravaged
sections of Florida, the H.O.R.D.E. festival - founded by Blues Traveler
frontman John Popper - is planning to donate proceeds from an Aug. 19 tour
date in Live Oak, Fla., to a fund set up to aid fire victims.
Festival organizer Dave Frey said the decision to give a portion of the
show's proceeds to the Florida Fire Emergency Relief Fund, which has been
established to aid victims of the fires that have swept across the state
this summer, was made after several scheduled H.O.R.D.E. (Horizons of Rock
Developing Everywhere) dates at Suwanee Park, in Live Oak, Fla., were
scratched due to fires in the area.
"After talking with the promoter about putting the show on, he'd say, 'On
a normal day, you might not want to do this. There's these fires going
on,'" Frey recalled, adding that he had been trying to plan a show there
for weeks. "We had same conversation month after month, and then suddenly,
the fires were on CNN. We thought, 'This is ridiculous. We should forget
about coming here or do something meaningful here.'"
Founded in 1992 by Popper, the annual summer H.O.R.D.E. festival has
catered to jam-and groove-oriented rock fans who like a melange of
roots-rock, folk, psychedelia and jazz or blues improvisation, including
the blues-boogie sounds of Popper's band, Blues Traveler. Other bands on
the '98 tour include swing-rockers Cherry Poppin' Daddies, roots-rocker
Ben Harper and pop-rockers Fastball.
"On behalf of the people of Florida, I want to thank the members of these
bands for reaching out and providing a helping hand to these families,"
said Florida Gov. Lawton Chiles in a statement released Thursday. "These
much-needed dollars will help rebuild communities affected by the
The latest spate of fires torching the southernmost state in the union
has affected a generous swath of land, including portions of Flagler,
Volusia and Brevard Counties, causing millions of dollars in damage and
leading to a state of emergency.
In addition to establishing a toll-free number (888-963-2484) to enable
people to donate to the cause, a pair of Live Oak area radio stations are
holding canned-food and bottled-water drives, with donors receiving a pair
of tickets to the benefit concert in exchange for donated goods.
This type of aid effort is not without precedent, Frey said, citing a
previously successful attempt to aid flood victims in 1993, when the
Mississippi River swelled over its banks.
"We've done this before in 1993 in St. Louis, when the floods happened
there. We raised three-and-a-half semis full of food and bottled
water," he said. "We just took the same idea and applied it to this."
While Popper's band is currently touring with H.O.R.D.E., it also recently
played at the 1998 Tibetan Freedom Concert to raise awareness about
Chinese oppression of Tibet. Blues Traveler recently scored on the charts
with 1997's Straight On Till Morning LP and songs such as
Additional donations for the Florida Fire Emergency Relief Fund can be
sent to Florida Fire Emergency Fund, c/o Ticketmaster, P.O. Box 471,
Orlando, FL 32802.