Thousands enjoy Grace Potter Irene-relief benefit, contribute via Vermont Public Television

first_imgThousands of Vermonters tuned in to Vermont Public Television on air and online Oct. 9 to see the Goodnight Irene Flood Relief Benefit concert by Grace Potter & The Nocturnals live from the Flynn Center in Burlington.  The concert brought the band back to Potter’s home state to support the Vermont Disaster Relief Fund, the Vermont Farm Disaster Relief Fund and the Mad River Valley Community Fund that are helping people recover from the effects of the late August floods after Tropical Storm Irene.  Potter delighted fans with familiar numbers and the premiere of her song ‘The Mad, Mad River.’ Interest in the webcast of the event was so high that VPT’s server crashed briefly but was restored by the time the band came on stage. When the concert sold out within hours after it was announced in mid-September, VPT saw an opportunity to open it up beyond the 1,482 people lucky enough to get tickets.  Televising and webcasting the concert made it available statewide and beyond, to people who have had losses from Irene and to the many who continue to dig deep to help them. VPT had just two weeks to put the telecast together, a major effort made possible by partnerships with other broadcasters, equipment manufacturers and generous sponsors.  For the first time on a remote production, VPT used a fiber optic Ethernet circuit from Teljet Longhaul to bring high-definition video from the theater back to its Colchester control center.  This allowed for greater flexibility and higher quality than with traditional satellite or microwave transmission.   VPT officials were pleased to add to the band’s efforts by raising nearly $28,000 by phone and online during the two hours of the live coverage.  The band is still tallying the results of their performances and related auctions. Ben & Jerry’s, The Carris Corporate Foundation Inc., Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, People’s United Bank and the Vermont Community Foundation sponsored Vermont Public Television’s production. The concert program is the latest effort by Vermont’s public television network to help Vermonters recover from Irene.  It follows a joint fundraising effort with People’s United Bank, a call-in special with Gov. Peter Shumlin and a continuing web gateway for the disaster relief funds.  VPT. 10.11.2011last_img

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