Local Leaders Discuss Importance of Hope Health Music Festival

HYANNIS – Substance abuse and the opioid epidemic took center stage Tuesday at the Melody Tent in Hyannis, the venue for next month’s Hope Music Festival.

Healthcare and law enforcement officials, concert organizers and musicians, along with family members of those who have lost lives or are struggling with substance abuse discussed the importance of prevention, treatment and recovery programs.

The festival, organized by Brian Serpone Productions and presented by Cape Cod Broadcasting Media, features rock artists from the 60s, 70s, 80s and today on August 23.

The concert includes award winning artists who have performed for Aerosmith, the Rolling Stones, Boston, The Cars, B52s, the J. Geils Band and more.

Proceeds from the event will benefit Cape Cod Healthcare and will be used to fund substance abuse treatment and prevention programs.

“The opportunity is the winding road ahead can get pretty straight,” said Cape Cod Healthcare CEO Michael Lauf during Monday’s press event for the festival. “We can invest in the necessary treatments and processes and education to prevent the next generation and to help those who are suffering now.”

Gosnold on Cape Cod CEO Ray Tamasi said solutions will come from a collaborative effort by healthcare organizations, law enforcement, schools, businesses and families.

“It needs to be sustained. It needs to be promoted. It needs to be talked about,” Tamasi said. “It’s stigma that really keeps so many people quite.”

Jamie and Debbie Regan, of Mashpee, discussed the loss of their son Jake, who died from the disease of addiction earlier this year.

Jamie said his son did have some successful time in recovery and stressed the importance of programs and recovery efforts.

Cape and Islands District Attorney Michael O’Keefe said law enforcement efforts when it comes to those with substance abuse are much different than when he started as a prosecutor in 1982.

“We in law enforcement know that we can’t just arrest our way out of this problem,” O’Keefe said.

O’Keefe said the principal job of law enforcement agencies in the effort is to stop the flow of drugs into the community.

“We are interested in punishing those people who profit from that, but we are not interested in punishing the people who have become addicted,” he said.

Speakers encouraged the community to attend the concert to support efforts to end the substance abuse issues in the community.

Artists performing include:

  • Mark Farmer, founder of the band Grand Funk Railroad, with epic smash hits such as “I’m Your Captain (Closer to Home)”and “Some Kind of Wonderful.”
  • Guitarist Barry Goudreau, formerly of the band Boston whose self-titled debut album sold more than 17 million copies, breaking that record in 1976 as the best-selling debut album of all time. Goudreau will introduce his new collaboration, Barry Goudreau’s Engine Room
  • Elliott Easton of the Grammy Award winning band The Cars, bringing his signature Gibson guitar and a boatload of talent to the Melody Tent.
  • Ayla Brown, from American Idolto a national recording sensation. The Nashville sound of Ayla Brown will grace the Melody Tent with country flair.
  • Grammy Award winning producer and guitarist Rick Derringer, fresh from the Ringo Starr tour; his earlier hit songs include Hang On Sloopyand Rock and Roll Hoochi Koo
  • Two-time Grammy Award-winning producer and guitarist Paul Nelson for the late Johnny Winter and the Johnny Winter Band
  • Grammy Award winners, The Uptown Horns – horn section of the Rolling Stones, B52s, and the brass behind James Brown
  • Rock icon and Grammy-nominated James Montgomery, who has played with Janis Joplin, The Allman Brothers, Kid Rock, Bruce Springsteen and Muddy Waters
  • Many other celebrated artists also to perform

Tickets for the festival can be purchased at www.hopecapecod.com.

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