Recently, there was a post that accused the Dave Matthews Band of being hypocritical in their endeavoring to utilize their fortune as musicians towards creating a positive environmental impact in the world, because of an incident in Chicago where the hired hand tour bus driver dumped sewage into the Chicago River. The post inferred that Mr. Matthews a hypocrite because of that incident, and was obviously composed in order to smear his name and activities.
So I took some time here to research and post some history of the DM Bands activities towards making a positive difference in the world. Maybe the incident in Chicago was unfortunate, but I don’t believe that it was intentional, given the bands rich environmental friendly history. I was struck about how at one point the band decided to try and reverse their carbon imprint in relation to the years they had spent not thinking about that issue. I applaud Mr. Matthews for his work in trying to make a difference. Again, I don’t believe the incident in Chicago was deliberate, but I can never know, and certainly won’t condemn him for a mistake that was blown out of proportion by the media. What speaks louder than accusations are the good works of a person, even if those works come in apology for a person waking up, and changing their ways. The smearer suggested that the DMB owes some community service, so I felt compelled to post a partial list so the readers here can make up their own minds.
– Coal Country Blog Administrator
Dave Matthews Band environmental, and charitable cause history:
From the first show of the 2005 summer tour in St. Louis to the four-show tour-ender at Red Rocks, the summer tour was epic and made all the more special by longtime lighting director, Fenton Williams’ new stage set and lighting design. The fourth night at Red Rocks was added immediately after Hurricane Katrina struck. The concert, which featured the Neville Brothers on the bill, was a benefit for the victims of Hurricane Katrina. Everyone from the concessionaires to the City of Denver pitched in and every cent related to the show — over a million dollars total — went to relief charities in the Gulf Coast.
DMB, through their Bama Works Village Recovery Fund, partnered with CARE in 2005 to help tsunami-struck communities in eastern Sri Lanka put their lives back together. Monies donated to the Bama Works Village Recovery Fund are going to CARE to help empower local organizations in tsunami-affected areas to lead the economic and social recovery of their communities. All donations made through the DMB and Warehouse websites were matched 100% by Dave Matthews Band.
DMB performed in Philadelphia, PA on July 2nd, a performance that was part of a series of free global concerts called “Live 8”. “Live 8” concerts were held simultaneously in Philadelphia, PA; London, England; Rome, Italy; Paris, France and Berlin, Germany and were part of the ONE countdown to the G8 Summit. The concerts were part of a movement urging President Bush and other leaders of the world’s 8 wealthiest nations to save millions of lives at the G8 Summit in Scotland July 5-8, 2005.
Dave Matthews Band made a trip to New Orleans in late April 2006 for the annual New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. Shortly before making the trip to Louisiana, DMB issued a $1.5 million challenge grant to help build the New Orleans Habitat Musicians’ Village. The Village is a Habitat for Humanity project that seeks to build more than 300 homes in the city’s Upper Ninth Ward with musicians and other New Orleans residents who were displaced by Hurricane Katrina.
Dave Matthews Band announced their plan in June to arrange for NativeEnergy and Clean Air-Cool Planet to offset 100% of the carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from their touring activities since 1991. By offsetting the CO2 pollution that touring activities such as transporting gear, powering stages and air travel generate, Dave Matthews Band has taken a proactive role in fighting global warming and helping Native America to restore sustainable homeland economies in balance with the Earth.
With NativeEnergy, the band ensures that its CO2 offsetting actually contributes directly to the construction of new, Native American and Native Alaskan renewable energy generators whose clean electricity will displace energy that would otherwise have to come from polluting coal-fired plants, reducing CO2 and other pollution on behalf of the band. In addition, DMB’s purchase supports financially additional offsets from wind farms in the Great Plains, that displace electricity on one of the most intensely coal-fired grids in the country.
Dave Matthews Band sends thanks to those that have supported their tsunami relief efforts. In 2005, DMB, through their Bama Works Village Recovery Fund, partnered with CARE to help tsunami-struck communities in eastern Sri Lanka put their lives back together. The Bama Works Village Recovery Fund monies raised helped CARE to provide the following relief in
– CARE helped construct transitional housing for over 1,000 people who lost their homes to the tsunami.
– Going forward, CARE plans to construct 591 permanent homes for families in the area.
– CARE has constructed latrines, wells and water storage tanks for communities living in transitional shelters.
– Over 580 people from 12 villages were employed by CARE to clear garbage and debris from roads and farmland.
– CARE helped some 3,500 people regain their livelihoods by providing tools, supplies and cash grants.
– Other CARE programs supported schools and provided psychosocial support for those affected by the tsunami, especially people living in transitional shelters.
In September, Dave Matthews Band joined John Mayer, Phil Vassar and Nas to perform a Concert For Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, VA. The concert was conceived as a way to help students, faculty and other members of the Virginia Tech community move forward in the aftermath of the tragic April events that occurred on the VT campus.
Below is an update on DMB’s Bama Works Village Recovery Fund and CARE’s work in tsunami affected areas of Sri Lanka:
DMB created the Bama Works Village Recovery Fund and partnered with CARE in early 2005 in response to the December 2004 tsunami which wreaked widespread devastation in Sri Lanka. The villages in the Trincomalee district which were targeted for the Village Recovery Fund were subsequently affected by full scale conflict between warring factions.
Governmental control was regained in the summer of 2007 and progress has resumed with increased momentum. With much of the population in the Tricomalee district displaced due to the conflict that ensued post-tsunami, construction of temporary shelters has remained a priority. In addition to the construction of shelters, the building of latrines and wells has also continued. Agricultural grant assistance and training has been provided; families have been provided with agricultural tool kits, water pumps grants for paddy cultivation and assistance with animal husbandry.
Beneficiaries from 10 project villages received hands-on training on cultivation methods of different crops, mushroom cultivation, pond culture, drip irrigation pest, fertilizer and water management, crop rotation and the replenishment of soil nutrients. DMB funds have been allocated to households in 3 villages for the starting and/or improving of income generation activities such as mobile business, petty trading, sewing, skilled labor (brick making and carpentry tools). CARE also coordinated two sport meets to foster harmony and unity among youth from all of the ethnic communities within the district. Awards, sports items and other materials were provided to participants.
A community information center is presently under construction at a village in Muthur DSD. The center will be used to increase awareness of communities affected by the conflict and will serve as a center for community activities.