Recovery Road Bluegrass Festival – fundraiser for substance abuse recovery

Deeper Shade of Blue at the 2022 Recovery Road Bluegrass Festival – photo by Gary Hatley

The Recovery Road Bluegrass Festival in Albemarle, NC, returned for its second year this past weekend. The music-based fundraiser held at the Lodge on Hatley Farm Road was a benefit for Will’s Place Recovery Resource Center. Its mission is to reduce barriers for those seeking treatment for substance use disorder, offer programming that sustains sobriety, and combat stigma with education around addiction and recovery. This year’s festival generated about $10,000 for the nonprofit organization.

Caitlin McAlhany, Director of Faith-Based Programming at Will’s Place, stated, “Will’s Place is a small, but mighty, nonprofit. We try to help anyone impacted by addiction and try to reach all populations affected by addiction.

The festival featured music by The Malpass Brothers, Deeper Shade of Blue, DriveTime, The Scott Family, and a couple of youth performers: 11-year-olds Carley Hatley and Chelsea Claire. The completely sober event was strategically planned based on September’s designation as Recovery Awareness Month.

Between musical sets, Allison Hudson, founder of Will’s Place, shared some background information.

“Will was my brother and he died of a fentanyl overdose in 2012 here on our family farm. His death gave me an excuse to drink. My fate was to be an alcoholic. I went into treatment and have been sober ever since. 

I decided to open a recovery resource center, a brick and mortar place to help people to get into a detox program. This is our fifth year. Today is a fundraiser for operating costs. All monies raised will go right back into Will’s Place.

Today is emotional. You are all here because of my brother. I am so grateful for the support.”

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About the Author

Sandy Hatley

Sandy Chrisco Hatley is a free lance writer for several NC newspapers and Bluegrass Unlimited magazine. As a teenager, she picked banjo with an all girl band called the Happy Hollow String Band. Today, she plays dobro with her husband's band, the Hatley Family.