Blues Traveler frontman John Popper and his counterparts at the H.O.R.D.E. tour announced that the tour will be pitching in to aid relief efforts in parts of Florida that have been ravaged by wildfires for the last several weeks.
The tour has vowed to devote proceeds from its August 19 stop in Live Oak, Florida (just outside of Jacksonville) to reforestation efforts in northeastern Florida through the Florida Fire Emergency Relief Fund.
"We're really psyched we could help," Blues Traveler frontman John Popper told MTV News on Friday. "This happened right in the market where we were trying to work a show in, and when we heard the news, obviously we knew the show was going to be effected, and we just wanted to help. It turns out we were able to, so we're glad we had a machine in place." [400k Audio]
Those who cannot attend the concert, but wish to aid Florida's reforestation efforts
can make checks payable to "Florida Fire Emergency Fund" c/o Ticketmaster PO Box 471, Orlando, FL 32802. You can also reach the Fund toll-free at 1-888-963-2484 or at www.ticketmaster.com.
Florida Governor Lawton Chiles cheered the effort, saying, "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. These much needed dollars will help rebuild communities affected by the fires."
The pledge is just one of many charitable undertakings for the H.O.R.D.E. tour this year. The annual outing, which this year features performances by Smashing Pumpkins, Fastball, Paula Cole, Ben Harper, and many others, will also devote money from ticket sales to Planned Parenthood, VH-1's Save The Music campaign, and LIFEbeat's battle against AIDS.
When asked if these charitable actions stem from sort of sense of societal obligation, Popper said, "If you're talking about responsibility, I guess you
have to go back to the Constitution, the law, which says no. No one has a responsibility to help anyone, and that's why helping is such a nice thing, and such a good thing. And when I say 'good,' it's good for the person who's doing the helping too. It makes us feel good that we can help. If we didn't get involved in the community there, I suppose life would go on, but it wouldn't be as good a life."