Face-melting concert photo

Wetlands Preserved: The Story of an Activist Rock Club

On September 15th, 2001, the Wetlands Preserve rock club closed it's doors after 13 years as New York's venue of record for the burgeoning jamband scene.

Now you can learn all about the club's legend and history with Wetlands Preserved: The Story of an Activist Rock Club, a new concert DVD by first-time director and Phishing Manual author Dean Budnick.

I'll remember Wetlands Preserve as a beautiful flower growing in a crack of concrete.
— John Dwork, Dupree's Diamond News

Wetlands Preserved traces the influential and progressive club's rich history through vintage footage, original recordings and new digital animation featuring the accounts of musicians, staffers and clubgoers.

The film includes performances by Dave Matthews Band, Blues Traveler, Phish, and Pearl Jam, as well as the music of Disco Biscuits, Warren Haynes, The Roots, Ani DiFranco, Sublime, Ben Harper, moe., 311, Spin Doctors, Bob Weir, Robert Randolph & the Family Band, KRS-1, Joan Osborne, Fishbone, Agnostic Front and Michael Franti & Spearhead.

Your heart will dance, your eyes will pop, your ears will buzz.
— Dean Budnick, Director

The Wetlands wasn't just a great music venue — it was a unique medium for social change. As part of founder Larry Bloch's business plan, each month a percentage of the club's proceeded were to be donated to a non-profit Center For Social and Environmental Justice. And so it was. A fund-raising success story by any measure, the “eco-saloon” often donated more than $100,000 to the cause each year.

A unique workplace and environment for compelling music and social change.
— Dean Budnick, Director

Although the venue is closed, the spirit of The Wetlands lives on thanks to the Wetlands Activism Collective. The Collective fights for human, earth, and animal liberation through protest, direct action, street theater, political advocacy, and public education. Visit the Wetlands Activism Collective website to read about their campaigns, learn how you can donate or volunteer, and to see some great Wetlands flyers and concert posters.

The Wetlands Preserved DVD (official site) is now on sale.

Have a great memory of The Wetlands? Tell your story.

Trailer for Wetlands Preserved

Awards & Recognition for Wetlands Preserved

  • Best Documentary 2006 Asheville Film Festival (website)
  • Best Unreleased Film 2006 High Times Stony Awards (website)

Buy Wetlands Preserved on DVD

1 Comment so far   

UPDATE: I just receive a message from Dean that Wetlands Preserved is actually in theaters this month!

The film opens March 14th at Cinema Village in New York and on March 28th at Laemmle’s Grand in Los Angeles.

On the 14th, the club’s founder Larry Bloch and second owner Peter Shapiro will be on hand for a Q & A after the screening.

Definitely try to catch it if you’re in N.Y.C. or L.A. According to Dean, “the theater really is the optimal setting in which to see the film.”

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