Tyler Childers, Margo Price, Lucero, Arlo McKinley, and Lost Dog Street Band to perform at opioid epidemic benefit concert

Healing Appalachia brings together musical artists, fans and the recovery community to raise funds and awareness of the on-going battle with opioid addiction

Two-day tickets are now on sale for the 2022 Healing Appalachia concert set for Friday and Saturday, Sept. 23-24 at The State Fairgrounds of West Virginia, outside of Lewisburg. 

Appearing at Healing Appalachia will be one of its founders, RCA Recording Artist Tyler Childers and his band. Other headline acts include New Orleans jam masters, Galactic and country rocker Margo Price and her band.

Other national touring acts on the two-day festival bill include: Lucero, Arlo McKinley, The Vince Herman Band, Lost Dog Street Band, T.K. & The Holy Know Nothings, Jeremy Pinnell, Buffalo Wabs and The Price Hill Hustle, Tommy Prine and Laid Back Country Picker.

Performers play at Healing Appalachia 2019. Photo courtesy of Emma Delevante.

 “In 2021, a record number of 107,622 Americans died of overdoses. Appalachia continues to see more than its weight of the burden with an increasing number of deaths, impact and sorrow. And West Virginia still has the highest rate of fatal overdoses in the nation,” said Dave Lavender, president of the Hope in the Hills board.

According to Lavender, as daunting as the crisis has become, hope is across the region.

“Robust and resilient communities of healing are forming and we want Healing Appalachia to be a place to celebrate and foster that hope,” he said.

Children 12 and under can attend the festival for free. There will be more than a dozen food and drink vendors as well as a couple dozen arts and crafts vendors on site.

Ticket buyers can purchase $10 nightly primitive camping through the State Fair site. RV camping  is $200 for full hook-ups for up to four people in your party. Additional people are charged $10 nightly. Please call the State Fair of WV (304-645-1090) to secure your RV hook-up. Both camping areas have permanent bathhouse/shower facilities. There will be a designated family camp area, as well as Camp Grindstone, a separate camp for folks in recovery. 

Tyler Childers performs at Healing Appalachia 2019. Photo courtesy of Emma Delevante.

Founded in 2017, the West Virginia-based Hope In the Hills, LLC, organizes the annual Healing Appalachia concert, which is back in-person after two years of Covid cancellations. The last in-person event in 2019 drew more than 8,000 people from 23 states to the State Fairgrounds of West Virginia.

Modeled after Farm Aid, which raises awareness and funds for America’s family farms, Healing Appalachia brings together musical artists, fans and the recovery community to raise funds and awareness of the on-going battle with opioid addiction, which took the lives of more than 100,000 Americans this past year. Healing Appalachia honors those who have lost the battle, and celebrates addiction recovery through its main event as well as year-round work fostering communities of recovery. 

This past year, Hope in the Hills distributed more than $50,000 to central Appalachian groups combating opioid addiction through a wide array of programs from prevention, wellness, and healthy lifestyles to recovery houses and recovery-to-work initiatives. Healing Appalachia also fuels a music therapy program, piloted in three states in 2021/2022 and being rolled out in 2023 in central Appalachia.

Arlo McKinney performs at Healing Appalachia 2019. Photo courtesy of Emma Delevante.

Healing Appalachia 2022 will feature the national bus tour of Mobilize Recovery Across America on Friday. Several dozen recovery groups from around the region will be offering information, services, volunteering and hosting meetings and other interactive activities. The West Virginia Drug Prevention Institute, Murphy Media and ONEbox is presenting a VIP experience tent, offering free Naloxone training to save lives and reduce the stigma of addiction, as well as hosting an art exhibit, space for music therapy sessions, refreshments, and merch giveaways.

“We can’t wait to gather in person again to share the magic of live music, to celebrate recovery and give folks space to make connections and create new, healthy, joy-filled memories,” Lavender said. “Let’s all band together to #FosterHope in 2022 and be an active part of #HealingAppalachia.”

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