Today, a group of Phish fans mailed an unsolicited $1,000 check to three music education programs in the area immediately surrounding the Empire Polo Grounds, site of Festival 8: the Coachella Valley High School Band, the Cahuilla Desert Academy (middle school) Advanced Band, and the Westside (Elementary) School After-School Music Program.

The recipients, chosen based on their proximity to the venue, share several things, notes Executive Director Ellis Godard: “proximity to the tour, an understanding of the magic and wonder of music, a commitment to convey that understanding to children, and the earnest need for your support.”

Distributed by the all-volunteer Mockingbird Foundation, the $3,000 in grants are part of a concerted effort to support communities touched by Phish tours, to encourage support for music education, and to help generate that support in press surrounding Phish shows. With these grants, the Mockingbird Foundation has distributed a total of $612,750.40, through 194 grants, in 42 states.

The Mockingbird Foundation is the leading provider of historical information about Phish and its music, both in print and online. It fundraises through books, innovative recordings, creative donation premiums, special events, and the website. Operated entirely by volunteers since incorporation in 1996, the foundation has no paid staff, salaries, or office, and disburses more than 99% of funds raised to charity.

Funds solely support music education for children. Most are distributed through a two-tiered application process intended to add critical support for important and innovative programs serving diverse populations. Currently, only about 1% of the thousands of inquiries received each year can be funded. Please consider helping raise that percentage!

Phish is a rock band that started in 1983 and grew to become one of the highest-grossing live acts in the nation before performing a “final show” August 15, 2004. They returned last March, and are preparing to embark on a fall tour, after Indio, leading into December. For more information about Phish, please visit