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.