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Rapper Macklemore to Headline Anti-Drug and Alcohol Music Festival

Above the Noise Foundation is promoting Recovery Fest 2018 at McCoy Stadium in Pawtucket, RI on Sept. 29. It's part of the foundation's planned series of "Sober Music Festivals." This will be the first one.

Rapper Macklemore, Fitz and the Tantrums and Pvris are scheduled to perform. Other bands and artists presumably will be added closer to the concert's date. The event will also feature guest speakers, recovery meetings, a voter registration drive and a job fair.

"Recovery is something that I'm very proud of," Macklemore says in the above video promoting the festival. "I'm a part of the community and I believe it should be celebrated. It's also about connecting with other addicts in the community. And that's why I'm very proud to say that I'm headlining the first-ever Above the Noise Recovery Fest. This drug and alcohol-free music festival is going to be a great, safe space for the community to come together and celebrate recovery. See you guys in September."

As Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, the duo had two No. 1 hits (2012's "Thrift Shop," 2011's "Can't Hold Us,") and two Top 10 albums (2012's The Heist, No. 2; 2016's This Unruly Mess I've Made, No. 4). Macklemore's 2017 solo album Gemini did not fare as well on the charts. In 2016, he released the single, "Drug Dealer."

Before he became a pop star, Macklemore (nee Ben Haggerty) dealt with substance abuse. In 2008, he entered a treatment program for drug addiction and alcoholism. Three years later, he suffered a relapse.

"I hadn't been going to meetings," he told the Seattle Times in 2012. "I felt weird in my head. And I had a cough. I went to the doctor and got a prescription. First night finished half the bottle. Next night finished the rest of it. Didn't admit to myself that I was relapsing. I had a refill, so I waited a couple weeks and got the refill and drank the whole bottle. I woke up and called some dude I had met in AA. And as I was telling him, a random stranger, it was very apparent to me that I had relapsed."

Fitz and the Tantrums had hits with "Handclap" (No. 53) in 2016 and "The Walker" (No. 67) in 2013. It's unclear why they're on the Recovery Fest bill. Pvris (pronounced Paris) is a Massachusetts-based rock band.

Kristin Williams-Haseotes

Above the Noise Foundation is headed by Kristen Williams-Haseotes. On their website, she explains: "I've been active in the addiction and recovery field for over 30 years, beginning while I attended the University of Notre Dame, where I helped found the Office of Alcohol and Drug Education. I was a founding member of a residence that housed ex-offenders and people struggling with addiction. I worked alongside students, inmates, adolescents, corporate executives and homeless struggling with substance use disorders. My intention was, and remains to be, to reduce the stigma and be an advocate for treatment. That being said, I've never before felt the urgency to do something as strongly as I do now. We recognize the power music has to bring communities and generations together. We’re banding together to replace the words shame, stigma and judgment with care, support and compassion. Together we will stand side-by-side to raise each other Above the Noise."

The foundation's board of directors consists of Williams-Haseote (founder/president), Barbara Straus Lodge (vice president) and Maureen Cavanagh (secretary). Their advisory board includes Christine Voss Ayerle, Rozlyn Igwe Carvin, Tom Coderre, Shane Drake and Ryan Hampton.

Tickets for Recovery Fest range from $60-$250. McCoy Stadium is home to the Pawtucket Red Sox minor league team.

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Steve Bloom

Steve Bloom

Publisher of, former editor of High Times and Freedom Leaf and co-author of Pot Culture and Reefer Movie Madness.