When Every Drop Counts: Musicians Gather for Clean Water Music Fest IV

Missing Event Data

CWMF15_PosterClean water changes everything. Every day, 4,100 children die because of waterborne illness in regions like Ethiopia, Rwanda, Mali, and Niger. Women and children walk hours upon hours every day to collect water that inevitably makes them sick. Families must decide how much of their precious water supply they want to use daily for bathing, cooking, cleaning, and drinking. Another issue critical to conditions in developing nations is sanitation, which is also addressed by charity: water projects. When basic health information and sanitation is provided in these communities, young women are finally able to go to school after they hit puberty, giving them the opportunity to receive a solid education.

Flagship Romance, the duo comprised of Jordyn Jackson and Shawn Fisher, organized the Clean Water Music Fest to raise awareness and funds for the worldwide water crisis. All proceeds from the event are funneled directly to the charity: water organization. Since 2012, the Clean Water Music Fest has raised over $90,000 and 100% of those funds have been used to provide safe, clean drinking water to needy communities. “In Africa alone, people spend 40 billion hours walking for water each year,” say Jackson and Fisher. “When a well is built in a community, women no longer have to spend their time walking for water, and can finally take care of their families, have time to work, and health enters their lives.”

Sponsored by over 10 local companies, including Hi-Fi, Grassroots Natural Market, and title sponsor, Venus, the Clean Water Music Fest will be held from noon to 11pm September 26th at the Ponte Vedra Concert Hall (www.pvconcerthall.com). The event will feature an impressive lineup of local, regional and national talent on two stages. Outdoor activities will include a unique local vendors market and a food truck court including What’s The Catch, Funkadelic, Super Food Truck, and The Hyppo Popsicles. Returning this year is the silent auction area featuring items from several local businesses. Among the auction items are signed guitars by James Taylor and Melissa Etheridge, tickets to Magnolia Fest, a bicycle from ZenCog and one-year passes to Jack Rabbits and Freebird Live.

2-gZJSepfI5uHjUvblg1hMFL3Pue5rlhU-MPUF1_guZrgJackson learned of the charity before meeting—and marrying!—Fisher. In lieu of birthday gifts, she asked that people make donations to charity:water to fund critical projects that change the lives of people living in the affected regions. When friend and fellow Clean Water Music Fest performer Chico Lobos suggested they host a gathering of talented local musicians on a great local stage, Flagship Romance saw an opportunity to put on an event that could actually make a difference.

“Obviously that sounded like fun, but we knew it would be a difficult thing to make happen without a really great cause. It was the perfect mixture of ideas when we realized how much more of an impact we could make with a music festival benefitting charity: water than just one person’s birthday campaign,” they say. “There is no better feeling than knowing you actually changed someone’s life for the better. We love charity: water because they are giving people our basic need as humans: water, and they are doing it with their 100% model. This means that no matter what, 100% of every public donation goes to these water projects; every penny. It’s a wonderful thing to be able to trust the way a charity uses their money.” The pair drafted a plan and approached the Ponte Vedra Concert Hall with their proposal. Ryan Murphy heard the idea and immediately jumped on board. “He said ‘We’ve been wanting to do something like this for awhile to benefit a great charity, but didn’t have the time to organize it. Let’s do it.’”

To date, the Clean Water Music Fest has raised $90,000. This year, they will meet and surpass their initial fundraising goal of $100,000, but the work is just a drop in the bucket and there is still much to do. “It’s truly amazing to us. It started as such a small idea that we knew we couldn’t fail. Just $20 gives one person clean drinking water for 20 years, so at our inaugural Fest, we knew that if we tanked and only raised $20, it would at least save a life. The fact that it is possible to exceed the $100,000 mark this year is crazy. So many people are going to have better lives now.”

All of the donation sites are linked through a GPS so benefactors can literally see their money at work. Despite their hectic schedules as touring musicians, the pair hopes to one day visit the regions improved by the addition of a well or other safe water facility funded by the Clean Water Fest. “We have an intense desire to meet some of the people that the Clean Water Music Fest has served. There are two wells in Ethiopia, a large tap stand facility in Rwanda, and multiple wells in the Sahel Region of Africa that we could visit. The two of us just don’t want to spend any of the money that could benefit other water projects to travel over there,” they say. “Our hope is that during a future European tour we can hop on a plane with our own expenses to Africa, or possibly visit one or more of the communities while we are in Africa with Martin & Purity of Growers Alliance Coffee.”

Fisher and Jackson say they are continually blown away by how the community has come together and helped make the Clean Water Music Fest such a success. They are grateful to those who have stepped up to help organize and lend a hand where it’s needed to keep the project moving forward while Flagship Romance is making music on the road. “We could not do this on our own, and are so excited to celebrate this changing of lives with all of our amazing friends and volunteers who help us make it possible. We will most likely celebrate by going out with everyone to Intuition Ale Works, one of our Well Wishers, and then the two of us will celebrate by doing nothing for a couple of days. It’s going to be awesome to relax.”

About Liza Mitchell