Here’s one way to utilize a closed theater: Trey Anastasio and MSG Entertainment announced The Beacon Jams, an eight-week virtual residency at New York’s Beacon Theatre to be streamed for free exclusively on Twitch.
This is the first virtual residency for MSG Entertainment, and it’s certainly one with an unusual twist: it’s also a platform for donations, which will benefit Phish’s long-running nonprofit, the WaterWheel Foundation, and its new Divided Sky Fund (DSF). The proceeds from the Trey Anastasio concerts will be used to deliver help to those affected by addiction and help further plans to open a treatment center in Vermont. You can watch the concerts here.
“When we thought about playing the Beacon, I was reminded of the meaning of the word,” Anastasio says. “A beacon is a beam of light, often from a lighthouse, which sends it out to sailors who are lost at sea and all alone. They look for the beacon and it guides them home.
“Sometimes gifts come wrapped in strange packages. A lot of this is thanks to Twitch and our friends and family at MSG Entertainment. When the idea to do these benefits was born, everybody at MSG Entertainment jumped in and partnered with us and the Divided Sky Fund, which is very kind of them. This is an opportunity for forward motion.”
“We’re thrilled to be able to partner with Trey on this very special and first-ever virtual residency at the Beacon Theatre to benefit two immensely important causes – the Divided Sky Fund and the WaterWheel Foundation,” said Darren Pfeffer, executive vice president, MSG Entertainment. “As we navigate the live music scene through this socially distant world, we couldn’t think of a more natural way to bring live music to so many fans for such a great cause. Trey’s connection not only with the Beacon Theatre, but with all our venues over the years, including Madison Square Garden, The Chicago Theatre, and Radio City Music Hall, have made this unique concept a perfect partnership.”
The WaterWheel Foundation was created by Phish in 1997 to oversee the band’s charitable endeavors. The Foundation raises money primarily through its Touring Division, partnering with local non-profits in communities Phish visits on tour and with national organizations during times of need. The Foundation has donated millions of dollars to hundreds of non-profits. The Divided Sky Fund will focus on delivering quality care and compassionate treatment for those suffering from addiction. Fans will be encouraged to donate throughout the eight-week event; net proceeds from merchandise sales during The Beacon Jams will go directly to the DSF.
“I’ve been sober for 13 years,” Anastasio says, “It’s a great blessing in my life. We started talking about the idea of a treatment center about a year ago. I was worried that the project would get derailed because of the pandemic but it didn’t – it actually picked up steam; things are really rolling along now. The Beacon Jams emerged as a way to raise money for it while also allowing me to play for the fans again.”
Photo by Angela Cranford/MSG Entertainment.