Powder Ridge music festival raises awareness of opioid abuse

Powder Ridge music festival raises awareness of opioid abuse



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MIDDLEFIELD — Powder Ridge will host Bring It To The Light, a music festival looking to entertain people while also educating them on the dangers of opioid abuse.

The festival, which will be held on Saturday, Aug. 31, is organized by Bill Reaney, who founded Bring It To The Light in 2018. The event is Reaney’s way of bringing people together for a day filled with music, while also providing a platform for him to talk about opioid abuse, an issue that is personal for him.

“About seven years back, eight years back, I started dealing with a problem with addiction with my son,” said Reaney. “When it first started happening I didn’t know how to deal with it. There was anger at first, I tried to control him, none of this works. It ended up where it made me a trainwreck. It totally drained me.” 

Reaney had to do something rather than sit around “waiting for a phone call” saying that his son was dead. So he turned to music.

“I had done lead vocals with bands in my earlier ages. Music all took me away, took me to a different spot,” he said. 

Reaney ended up taking guitar lessons, a move that helped himself start to heal so that he “could help his son.” He ended up writing a song for his son titled “Addiction.” He was then approached by Clockhead Productions who were looking to make a video out of Reaney’s song. 

“I ended up starting a band again once everybody heard I was learning to play guitar,” he said. 

Reaney went out with his band, BRB B Reaney Blues, to different venues and played different covers as well as his original song. After seeing people connect with the song, Reaney created Bring It To The Light Events LLC. 

“We hold events and try to bring people together with music because music is such a strong tool,” he said. “The main goal of this whole thing is to get people to come out of the dark age about the opioid crisis, about being an addict. My son was a phenomenal athlete, he was nationally ranked BMX racing when he was five years old. He was offered scholarships for lacrosse, he was offered scholarships for hockey...he made a mistake.”

Though Reaney’s son continues the lifelong battle of addiction, he has been in recovery for two years and is “a major contributor in Arizona helping others battle addiction.”

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, “47,000 Americans died as a result of an opioid overdose” and “an estimated 1.7 million people in the United States suffered from substance use disorders related to prescription opioid pain relievers” in 2017. 

Musical acts at the festival include American Amnesia and Eight to the Bar with BRB headlining. Bring It To The Light will also have speakers and vendors at the festival to educate festival goers about addiction and the opioid crisis. Food will be provided by Powder Ridge as well as access to different mountain sports like ziplining, tubing and disc golf. 

“Powder Ridge is very about community,” said Laura Loffredo, director of sales and marketing for Powder Ridge. “A lot of times when we work with charities, we work with corporations. We’ve been fortunate enough to work with some people who have been deeply touched by the charity or event that they were working for and Bill, that’s his biggest strength. When you talk to him, you feel it. You feel his passion.”

Loffredo was most looking forward to hearing Bill’s band, but also seeing all of the people who the event is able to reach. 

“The main thing is to get out to people. That’s where the healing starts, that’s where we can make a difference,” said Reaney. 

The festival begins at 11 a.m. on Aug. 31. Tickets are $20 per person, with children 12 and under free. For more information visit https://powderridgepark.com/event/music-on-the-mountain-opioid-crisis-benefit/

ebishop@record-journal.com
203-317-2444
Twitter: @everett_bishop


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