AUGUSTA, Maine — Mill Park in Augusta was the site of the 'Recover Out Loud in Maine's Capital' event Thursday. The benefit concert's goal was to raise money for the launch of the Augusta Recovery Reentry Center.
“These are people that need recovery centers so they can build their life," Johnathan Reynolds, an Augusta chapter member of the Young People in Recovery program, said.
"We’re either in recovery or we all just want to get together and talk about anything that we have bothering us, you know, everybody deals with certain things and it’s good to have a group of people," he added.
Local bands and food trucks were the main draw of the event as the five-hour benefit concert was held at the same time as similar events around the country. Thursday marked International Recovery Day at the end of National Recovery Month, recognized every September.
“What we know about recovery is the opposite of addiction is connection and so this space, this Augusta recovery reentry space, will be a space of connection and community and have a home for the recovery community," organizer Courtney Allen said.
Allen is the policy director for the Maine Recovery Advocacy Project and a city councilor in Augusta. She and other local elected officials spoke to the crowd to address the opioid epidemic.
“We all know someone who has been affected by the opioid crisis. This is going to require truly a grassroots community response, and this is a space like that," Allen said. "We’re truly supported by the community and we’re for the community and we want to support our community."
The free event ends at 10 p.m. Thursday with a virtual concert hosted by popular music artist Macklemore. The concert will be streamed live from Las Vegas and broadcasted to similar events all over the country.