Phish Frontman to Open Vermont Addiction Treatment Center


Trey Anastasio’s Divided Sky Foundation is setting up a nonprofit residential facility in his band’s adopted home state

By Jason Langendorf

March 9, 2021

The Divided Sky Foundation, founded by musician Trey Anastasio, last week purchased a building in central Vermont that is slated to open as a nonprofit residential addiction treatment facility before year’s end.

Substance use disorders affect people from all walks of life, and the problem is intimately linked with isolation—whether that’s isolation due to the pandemic or for any other reason.”—Trey Anastasio, guitarist and singer for Phish

Anastasio, best known as the lead singer and guitarist for the jam band Phish, fueled fundraising for the purchase of the facility in Ludlow using proceeds from his October virtual residency at New York City’s Beacon Theatre, dubbed The Beacon Jams.

“Substance use disorders affect people from all walks of life,” Anastasio said in a statement about the facility, “and the problem is intimately linked with isolation—whether that’s isolation due to the pandemic or for any other reason. The Beacon Jams helped us find a way to connect people and get this project off the ground. To be able to do that together during this difficult year touches my heart.”

Anastasio, himself in recovery for 14 years, is a native Texan with a giant soft spot for the Green Mountain State. He attended the University of Vermont, formed Phish in Burlington and established a popular recording studio, The Barn, in the countryside of Westford.

Vermont has the 11th-highest drug overdose rate in the U.S., yet it currently has only four state-certified residential treatment centers for substance use disorder (SUD).

The Beacon Jams

Anastasio’s Beacon Jams generated a reported $1.2 million in fan donations to fund the purchase of the Ludlow home, as well as renovations and program development. The musician says his Divided Sky Foundation tentatively intends to open the facility by the end of 2021, at which point it will be managed by Ascension Recovery Services.

The Divided Sky Foundation has a stated mission to “focus on delivering quality care and compassionate treatment for those suffering from alcoholism and addiction.” Through Phish’s WaterWheel Foundation, the organization continues to accept contributions to support addiction and treatment causes.

“Like so many people in America and so many in Vermont, I became addicted to opiates,” Anastasio said. “I was extremely lucky to have access to care, and I know how important it is to be part of a recovery community. I’m grateful that we can help provide that opportunity for others.”

Photo: AP Photos