Inner Visions members Phillip “Grasshopper” Pickering, left, and Alvin “Jupiter” Pickering, right, show off the funds raised for Haiti earth quake relief from the concert.
After joining a Haiti relief fund raising concert on St. Thomas last month, members of the popular reggae band Inner Visions decided to host a concert of their own right here on Love City.
Quickly putting the show together on Saturday, February 27, the Grassroots Haiti Relief Concert raked in almost $6,000 for Doctors Without Borders.
“In the wake of the devastating earthquake that hit Haiti, we were invited to play at a concert fundraiser in St. Thomas,” said Philip “Grasshopper” Pickering. “The concert was from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. and we were supposed to be the last band to play. We thought it was silly to have a concert that started at 9 a.m. and we were a little upset by it.”
The band mates talked things over and decided to take matters into their own hands.
“We thought if you have a concert that starts later in the day and lasts until later in the night, you would have a lot more support,” said Pickering. “We were talking about it and said, ‘let’s just do our own.’ We thought the only problem would be the sound system.”
One quick call to Cool Sessions solved that problem, Pickering added.
“I said if we talk to Cool Sessions and they say we can use their sound system, then it’s a go,” Pickering said. “Cool Session said of course, so we jumped ahead planning the concert.”
After word got out that Inner Visions was putting a Haiti relief concert together, most St. John musicians signed up to join.
“Everyone jumped on board,” said Pickering. “They got us a stage and lent us some lights and we had so many musicians volunteer to join the concert. It was a true community effort.”
There was no entrance fee for the concert, but audience members were asked to donate to the cause. Local artisans were asked to make a donation to set up booths with their wares and a concession stand also raised money for the effort. In total $5,720 was raised at the concert, with most of the funds headed to Doctors Without Borders.
“There was no entry fee — this was all straight up donations,” said Pickering. “We decided to donate to Doctors Without Borders after looking at a lot of different organizations. When I read what the doctors were doing and how most of it is all volunteer, I was really impressed.”
“They go out and deal with the physical problems,” said Pickering. “Without your health you have nothing. That is why we decided to go with Doctors Without Borders.”
A portion of the concert’s proceeds — about $250 — was donated to the American Red Cross for its Haiti relief efforts, Pickering added.
The hardest working reggae band on St. John has also had its own plate full getting a new CD together and filming a video for Tempo. The new CD, “Staying Alive” should be out in the next few months and keep an eye out for Inner Visions’ new music video on Tempo within the next few weeks, according to Pickering.
The group plays each Thursday night at Sputnik’s in Coral Bay and plans to schedule gigs in Cruz Bay soon.