Thursday, March 20, 2008

AFTERMATH: The Station Fire Five Years Later

It doesn't happen often enough, but sometimes government red tape simply evaporates just in time to accomplish some real good.

That's exactly what happened late last week when the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) granted a waiver to Rhode Island PBS to simulcast a charity concert with VH1 to benefit The Station nightclub fire survivors and their families. The one-hour television program, VH1 Classic Presents: AFTERMATH: The Station Fire Five Years Later, airs Sunday night, March 23, from 10-11 P.M. It's fitting that the show should air on Easter Sunday - the February 25 concert at the Dunkin Donuts Center was called "Phoenix Rising."

Rhode Island PBS is simulcasting the show so viewers without pay television service can watch it over the air on channel 36. The show will be simulcast on VH1 Classic, on VH1, and on MHD: Music High Definition.

By FCC rules, public television stations are restricted from using their airtime to directly raise funds for organizations other than themselves. Because the concert benefits The Station Family Fund, Rhode Island PBS had to seek special approval by the FCC to air the show.

The "Phoenix Rising" charity concert featured an eclectic mix of classic rock and country music, New England artists and nationally-known acts. Twisted Sister, Winger, and Tesla performed, as did Aaron Lewis of Staind and Eric Martin of Mr. Big. Country artists taking part included John Rich, Gretchen Wilson, and Dierks Bentley.

A one-hour special created from the four-hour concert, VH1 Classic Presents: AFTERMATH: The Station Fire Five Years Later will feature concert highlights from the Phoenix Rising! Musicians United to Benefit the Victims of the Station Nightclub Fire and include interviews with the music fans who survived the horrific fire five years ago.

All proceeds benefit The Station Family Fund, a non-profit 501 (c)(3) charitable organization founded by survivors of The Station Nightclub fire. The Station Family Fund is committed to providing survivor relief, including costs of ongoing treatment and rehabilitation.

It's an honor for Rhode Island PBS to help bring this program to the public.

Bret Michaels introduces the show.

Please feel free to share your thoughts about the live concert if you attended, about the televised version of the show, or about The Station nightclub fire.