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Goodnight, Irene: GPN Announce Flood Relief Benefit 

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Amid the wave of post-Irene benefit shows popping up at venues all over the state in recent weeks, Grace Potter & the Nocturnals have been curiously quiet. A few rumors have made the rounds concerning an impending GPN benny, but until today, nothing had officially been announced.

Well, this just in: Grace and her merry band of Nocturnals will rock the Flynn MainStage in Burlington on Sunday, October 9, with a benefit they've dubbed "Goodnight Irene." There will also be a silent auction that evening at the BCA Center. Tickets go on sale Tuesday, September 20, at 10 a.m. And if recent ticket-related events are any indication, that means the queue for tix should start forming outside the Flynn box office on Main Street at roughly 9 a.m. on Monday, Septermber 19.

Anyway, here's the official release:

"On Sunday, October 9, during Columbus Day weekend, Vermont-based Grace Potter & the Nocturnals will return to Burlington, where in mid-August they drew 7000 people to their inaugural outdoor festival, Grand Point North, on the banks of Lake Champlain. But this time they’re driven by a far more serious purpose. They’ve put their heads — and hearts — together and organized a concert to raise money to go directly to Vermont businesses, farms and families devastated by flooding in the wake of Hurricane Irene. GPN will headline a benefit at the historic Flynn [Center for the Performing Arts], marking their first-ever performance at the venue, supported by special guests to be announced. 

"Their goal for this special event, which they’ve dubbed 'Goodnight Irene: Flood Relief Benefit,' is $100,000, and they’re hoping to exceed that amount, aided by the traditional lure of Vermont’s breathtaking natural beauty. The show will take place just as the state’s foliage explodes into brilliant autumnal colors, thus doubling the appeal of a glorious fall weekend in this picturesque town of 40,000… 

"In addition, that same night there will be a silent auction at Burlington City Arts from 5-8 p.m. Auction items to be announced, but some big names from Burlington’s art community and beyond will donate.

"All profits from both events will be donated to several Vermont charities including the Mad River Valley Community Fund.

"Grace was born and raised in the rustic village of Waitsfield, one of the areas hit hard by flooding in the wake of Hurricane Irene in late August. 'This is one of the biggest disasters to hit Vermont in a century,' she says. 'Vermonters are good at being prepared, but they weren’t prepared for this, and the devastation was massive. I live in the Mad River Valley, which is seven towns, and every one of them felt the effects in a big way, from losing bridges to roads being washed out to entire businesses being swept away. We were lucky enough not to lose our covered bridge in Waitsfield, which is a local landmark, but the historic Bridge Street was completely flooded, and some of my favorite businesses and restaurants were underwater. But the response to help those in need has been really gratifying.

"While Grace was reaching out to her fellow musicians, they were also reaching out to her by phone and email, further strengthening her resolve. So she immediately decided to head back home with her band and do her part to help her friends and neighbors. 'We immediately started brainstorming to figure out how we could most effectively raise money and awareness,' Grace says. 'I want to make sure the money raised goes directly to the restoration of the most devastated businesses, farms and families in Vermont.'

“'Vermont has defined who we are as musicians, as business people, and as human beings,' she explains. 'It’s a place where people go when they need to get back in touch with some piece of themselves that perhaps they lost touch with in a big city. It’s place of peace and humility; it represents our humble beginnings and our humble ends. This is the place we call home. So, to get a message on my phone telling me that I can’t get to the place where I live — that really tore me apart. I can’t imagine anything worse than not being able to get home. That’s where my heart is.'"

Grace Potter & the Nocturnals play at the Flynn MainStage in Burlington on October 9 at 7 p.m.; doors 6:15 p.m. All ages. Gold Circle (includes meet-and-greet and cocktail reception), $250. $50 reserved floor; $30 balcony. or 86-FLYNN

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Dan Bolles

Dan Bolles

Dan Bolles is the Seven Days music editor. His column "Soundbites" appears weekly.

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