Singing Loud to Raise Awareness

Madeleine Lussier, Editor

The music industry has a history of being associated with drugs and alcohol, but the 1st ever Recovery Fest seeks to end that negative connotation.


Tomorrow, September 29th, Macklemore along with Fitz and the Tantrums, Pvris, and James Montgomery will perform in Pawtucket to spread awareness about drug and alcohol addiction. The concert will not only be music, but there will be speakers in between performances as well.


Proceeds from the concert will go to the Above the Noise foundation, an organization run by Kristen Williams, who started the cause after recovering from her own addiction.


At 2 o’clock the doors will open, and people will have access to drug and alcohol recovery tents and programs, while James Montgomery brings together musicians from bands like Boston and Santana and food trucks parked outside the stadium for participants to grab a bite to eat.


According to Williams, the goal of the concert is to bring hope to those who are either addicted or recovering and to come together and celebrate life. She claims that “Addiction is the issue, recovery is the answer.”


By working alongside executive director Maureen Cavanaugh, and headliner James Montgomery they were able to put together a drug and alcohol-free concert. Cavanaugh is foundation focused, and works on the behind the scenes, whereas Montgomery is in charge of the musicians.


James Montgomery has had bandmates with addiction-related deaths, so for him, the concert is personal. To him, music is a way to connect with other people; he says,” Knowing people that have passed and knowing people that have problems with addiction, there’s that sense of wanting to connect with the community.”


Fellow headliner Macklemore struggled with addiction when he was younger, but is now sober. The rapper said in his announcement video, “Recovery is something that I am very proud of. That I’m a part of the community and I believe it should be celebrated.”


But beyond the music and celebration, there is an issue that is still plaguing our society. More than 174 people suffer opioid-related deaths. Recovery Fest is about celebrating recovery, but it is also about spreading awareness of the dangers of drugs and alcohol. If foundations like Above the Noise can push of first use, then they may have prevented a potential addiction. We must remember that kids are the future, and the opioid epidemic can end with us.