FAIRLEA, WV (WVNS) – Some of the biggest names in country, folk, and jam band music are about to take the stage in Greenbrier County.
The fourth year of the Healing Appalachia festival kicks off Thursday, September 21, 2023 at the state fairgrounds.
The festival raises funds and awareness for the fight against the opioid epidemic while celebrating the lives of those who are living in recovery.
Healing Appalachia is presented by Hope in the Hills, a Huntington-based non-profit which partners with Kentucky-born country star Tyler Childers every year for the festival.
Hope in the Hills Board President Dave Lavender said it is important to celebrate the work going into fighting the opioid epidemic, and that the Appalachian region is not just the “overdose capital” of the United States anymore.
“We’re now the recovery capital. We are the capital of solutions, and that’s what on display here. The people that are coming together are the people who are making solutions, and we think music can be a big part of the solution,” Lavender told 59News.
Along with live music, the festival will also have workshops and demonstrations, such as how to use Narcan to save a life. It will also host plenty of Appalachian health organizations with more information on healing and recovery.
Employees at Healing Appalachia are overwhelmingly volunteers, many of whom are in recovery themselves.
Lavender said the festival celebrates unity in the fight against addiction.
“We can create an atmosphere where it’s not ‘us’ and ‘them,’ but the opioid crisis is about all of us,” said Lavender.
Event organizer Charlie Hatcher is a Greenbrier County native. He says he’s proud to host such a meaningful event right here in West Virginia, where he feels it is needed most.
“We need to recognize that this problem is here and it’s not going away. It’s just like when there is a flood here. Everybody helps their neighbor. This shouldn’t be any different,” said Hatcher.
Limited tickets for Healing Appalachia are still available. To purchase, head to HealingAppalachia.org.