Recovery Road Bluegrass Festival to benefit addiction recovery

What a winning combination: a bluegrass festival packed with loads of great entertainment set in a beautiful venue for a good cause. Recovery Road Bluegrass Festival will be held on Saturday, September 25, at The Lodge on Hatley Farm in Albemarle, NC, to benefit Will’s Place Recovery Resource Center.

The outdoor event features some of the best in bluegrass. Headlining the festival is the award winning Lonesome River Band, with Sweet Potato Pie, Drive Time, the Scott Family, Wildwood Honey, and others. Gates open at 10:00 a.m. with music beginning at 11:00, running until 8:15 that evening.

Mike Hartgrove, fiddler with the Lonesome River Band for 20 years and a resident of Albemarle, stressed, “I’m honored that they called us to play this. I think it is for a really good cause. A lot of people in this town need help; I see a lot of troubled people. It is awful. Anytime we can support drug rehabilitation is awesome. I’m looking forward to it. It’s always good when you to come to your hometown to play.”

Caitlin McAlhany, Director of Faith-Based Programming at Will’s Place, shared a little about their organization and the upcoming festival. “Will’s Place is a small, but mighty nonprofit located in Stanly County (North Carolina). We try to help anyone impacted by addiction. We try to reach all populations affected by addiction.”

“This is our first year to have this. It was strategically planned since September is Recovery Awareness Month. It is a completely sober event. No coolers or pets are allowed. It is family friendly with something for everyone. There are lots of things for kids (crafts, face painting, games), vendors will be set up for shopping, and lots of food trucks (burgers, tacos, soul food, coffee, fair foods, and shaved ice). After supper break, a speaker will tell their story how they found recovery and what life’s like now. Lonesome River Band will close out the show with a 90 minute set.”

“We have rented a stage and have a good sound system secured. There are adequate permanent restrooms. Everyone is invited to bring their lawn chairs and blankets and come spend an enjoyable afternoon and evening listening to good music for a great cause.”

Performer, Sandy Whitley, stressed, “I am so excited about Recovery Road! The name in itself offers hope. This is a cause that is very dear to my heart, and Will’s Place has so much to offer to folks dealing with addictions. And believe me, the need is there. My family, the Scott Family, is so honored to be a part of this wonderful festival! And to be playing with the Pie too, well I’m doubly blessed. Hope y’all can make it out!”

Her SPP band mate, Crystal Richardson, expressed, “I may not know much about the organization, but I do know much about addiction and how impacts so many. No one sets out to be an addict. No one!  Sometimes our choices lead us down a path we never thought we would take, and I thank God for organizations like this one who still love them and remember that there is a human behind their addiction. A beautiful soul that just may be ready to make their next better choice. It won’t get better all at once! A friend of mine has said two words to me over and over, ‘Baby Steps.’ And I am here to tell you that baby steps are still steps and no one is beyond saving. No One!”

Following COVID guidelines, the location affords plenty of room for social distancing. Hand santizer and disposable masks will be available. Masks are optional.

The Lodge on Hatley Farm is located at 28338 Hatley Farm Rd, Albemarle, NC. Tickets for the festival are $20 in advance and $25 on the date of the festival. Presale orders should be placed on-line and picked up at will call upon arrival.

Will’s Place would like to thank its key sponsors: Uwharrie Bank and Hudson Pool Distributors.

McAlhany, a United Methodist minister, concluded, “The dedication of the Will’s Place staff and the support of the Hudson Family is amazing. Life in recovery is really worth living.”

“I’m so excited about the Recovery Road Festival. Our goal is that this will be a big fund raiser for us and it will become an annual event.”

Will’s Place is located at 737-A NC Hwy 24 in Albemarle, NC. For more information about the upcoming festival, managing addictions, and/or recovery, come into the office or call 980-581-8001.

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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.