10 Ways You Can Help Make Your Local Music Scene More Accessible to the Sober Community

Do you live in an area where the live music scene is heavily dominated by shows in bars? We put together this list of 10 ways you can help make music more accessible to the sober community:

1. Network with sober musicians in your area. Start a Facebook group and use it to promote local events that are held in dry spaces, organize meet-ups and jams, and to provide support for one another if attending a concert in a non-dry space so you don’t have to go into those environments alone.

2. Contact a local recovery center, outpatient rehab, meeting place, or otherwise dry space (coffee shop, etc) and ask if you can host a weekly sober open mic / jam. Try for a recovery-oriented environment so participants feel comfortable about sharing their struggles and experience openly.

3. Start a monthly concert in your area showcasing local musicians in a dry-space.

4. Try to host free or donation-based events in dry-spaces whenever possible. People in early recovery are often starting over from scratch and have limited funds.

5. Contact local rehab facilities, recovery houses, and recovery centers and ask them if they have instruments available for their residents to play. If not, try to collect instrument donations and place them in these spaces. Acoustic guitars work best because they are widely available, low maintenance, and many people know how to play them.

6. Contact local rehab facilities, recovery houses, and recovery centers and ask them if they have a music program. Some rehabs have music therapists on staff or ones that regularly visit as part of their program. If they do not, offer to have local recovering musicians come play for the residents and share their experience through music.

7. Promote your sober open mic and other dry events to rehabs, recovery houses, and other recovery centers in town. Some of these facilities will grant special permission for residents to leave the facilities to attend these kinds of events. Help show these people who are in early recovery that sober life can be fun and social !

8. If you live in a city with a music scene dominated by bar shows with no other options for public space, try hosting sober meetups and shows in a local park or even in your home.

9. Use your network of local musicians to organize live music as part of recovery events happening in your city. Many rehabs and other recovery centers have events for their alumni and current residents. Contact them and offer your services to help with finding local musicians who are willing to perform.

10. Talk to local BYOB or bar venues and ask them if they would be willing to host a dry show to benefit the sober community.

second chance

Read below to find out who we are, what we do, and how you can help.
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Who are we?
We are a diverse community of musicians, people recovering from addiction, and their allies working together to provide supportive, inspiring, and empowering opportunities for continued recovery, personal growth, and expression through music.

What are we doing?
Our mission is to share the healing power of music and community with people recovering from addiction. We are working towards a vision of a healthy world where recovering people are transformed through hope, creative expression, and realized self worth.

How are we doing this?
We are working to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to heal through music and community by:

  • Collecting and repairing instrument donations and getting them into the hands of people recovering from addiction, rehab centers, and other related facilities.
  • Establishing and maintaining safe spaces for recovering musicians by hosting open mics and concerts in alcohol and drug-free environments.
  • Connecting recovering musicians to foster the growth of a support community.
  • Sharing people’s stories to promote empathy, forgiveness, and hope.

Where are we doing this?
As a startup non-profit we are focusing our efforts locally in Lancaster, PA. We have plans to expand to other areas in order to bring this work to any place where it is needed.

Why are we doing this?
Expressing oneself is difficulty, especially when the thoughts and feelings experience by someone are negative. The substances of addiction offered a harmful escape from those thoughts and feelings, but music offers a way to move through them. Through listening and playing, we are present in the moment.

Music is a universal language that has the ability to transcend barriers and unify people from all different walks of life, all races, all backgrounds, and all struggles. When we come together, we are led by the example of somebody who has come before us, somebody who is now living a productive life free from addiction. The group is stronger than the individual. Through being involved in a community of people listening and playing, we are encouraged and uplifted and can in turn uplift and empower each other.

Through being active in a community of people who are recovering from addiction, we are empowered in our recovery. We belong.

 If you are interested in our mission and would like to be involved, contact us at: