This winter, the world watched as things went from bad to worse for the communities of Ventura and Santa Barbara. In December, the Thomas Fire ravaged the coastal hillsides scorching an area larger than the cities of New York, Washington, D.C., and San Francisco combined. Adding injury to injury, heavy rains caused deadly mudslides in the Santa Barbara County city of Montecito, temporarily shutting down Highway 101 – the region’s primary thoroughfare – for a spell. And while the flames have subsided, the debris has mostly been cleared, and news cameras have moved on to the next crisis, there is still work to be done. And at a recent concert, Jack Johnson and other musicians raised more than half-a-million dollars for the recovery effort through a benefit show called Jack Johnson & Friends – a Benefit for the Community.

First responders join Jack Johnson on stage. Photo: Ronald Baker
“The March 18 concert donated 100% of profits, combined with contributions from the Santa Barbara Bowl Foundation, Goldenvoice/AEG, AXS, local businesses, fan donations, and Johnson’s own personal contribution,” explained Johnson’s PR Firm in a press release. “The incredible evening brought the community together to heal, alongside first responders who watched from side stage, memorable performances and collaborations from Johnson, Ben Harper, ALO, David Crosby, Kenny & Hana Loggins, Stewart Cole & Orpheo McCord (from Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros), and more.”

According to the release, more than $200,000 of the funds raised will go directly to the United Way Thomas Fire and Flood Fund which supports impacted individuals and communities. The rest will be allocated to local relief efforts including organizations like Direct Relief, Santa Barbara Foundation, Foodbank of Santa Barbara County, FOOD Share, Search Dog Foundation, Greater Goods, Habitat for Humanity, Santa Barbara Response Network, Santa Barbara Bucket Brigade, Explore Ecology, the SB Support Network, and more.

Johnson worked with the Santa Barbara Bucket Brigade to help dig out victims whose homes were buried by the mudslides in the area earlier this year. Photo: Bucket Brigade

“I hope everyone enjoyed the event as much as my band, crew, and I did,” said Johnson who worked with the Santa Barbara Bucket Brigade to dig out local homes following the mudslides. “The process of working together with so many friends to support our community ended up being healing in itself. We are so grateful to everyone who helped make the evening possible.”