For those trying to deal with tragedy, music really does have a therapeutic effect. It can be a source of unity, and it can help people come together to support a good cause for those in need. Less than a month after the tragedy in Newtown, a slew of concerts to honor the Sandy Hook victims and benefit their families have come together.
The first is a free concert for Hope and Healing at the Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport on Tuesday, January 15.
Tickets ‘sold’ out within an hour after becoming available on Thursday. The concert features a slew of contemporary Christian rock groups including Casting Crowns, Toby Mac, and fifth season American Idol contestant Mandisa. Local clergy will also be in attendance to speak between acts, and a block of tickets were set aside for members of the Newtown community and victims’ families.
“The Newtown community and Sandy Hook Elementary School are close to our hearts,” said Howard Saffan, president of Harbor Yard Sports and Entertainment in a press release. “This is another way we are supporting those affected by this tragedy.”
Back to back benefit concerts are being held at the Ridgefield Playhouse on January 19 and 20, with 100 percent of the proceeds going toward a memorial park and psychological trauma help for survivors and first responders.
Saturday’s show features Edie Brickell, Bernie Williams, Kicking Daisies, Carly and Eliza, and Bobby Paltauf. January 20’s lineup includes Johnny Winter and his band, Ed Kowalczyk from Live, Chris Berardo and the Desperados, and others. Connecticut’s Poet Laureate, Dick Allen II, will read “A Cautionary,” which he wrote in response to the shooting.
Tickets to the Ridgefield Playhouse shows are $45, $75, $150, or $250. A $400 two day package is also available. Tickets are available now at ridgefieldplayhouse.org or calling the box office at 203-438-5795.
In Hartford, a “Downtown Rocks For Newtown” music fest is planned for January 27 to benefit the Sandy Hook School Support Fund through the United Way. 40 bands will be performing across multiple venues, including Up Or On The Rocks and the Great Hall at Union Station. Details on the festival are still being worked out, but make sure to keep the day open.
John Voket, a music journalist and now an editor at the Newtown Bee, has also put the word out that he is working with Premier Concerts to organize a benefit. For artists or anyone looking to support the effort, click here for more information about the effort from Sound Spike, email Keith Mahler at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call the promoters at 203-571-1600.