Hope Givers Mental Wellness & Music Festival

May 11, 2019




Announcing the 1st Annual HOPE GIVERS Mental Wellness & Music Festival at Sweetland Amphitheatre on Saturday, May 11, 2019. Join us for a celebration of music, inspiration, hope, and education – featuring national headlining artists! Lineup announcement coming Monday, February 25 at 10 a.m.

Mental Wellness Workshops available throughout the day on the Great Lawn including: Youth Mental Health First Aid training, Yoga & Mindfulness, local/regional resources Meet & Greet, and testimonies of Hope through Resilience from TEDx and world-renowned speakers Giovan Bazan, Kat Dolan, Kris Brooks, and many more! Gates open at noon for food trucks, artist vendors, interactive art installations, local & regional live music, fun, and all the hugs, hope and inspiration to last you 364 days until next year’s Hope Givers Fest!

The Hope Givers Mental Wellness & Music Festival is an annual fundraiser for the Georgia-based 501(c)3 IAMHOLDENON. 100% of proceeds from the festival support creating content, curriculum, and camps that promote positive mental wellness and suicide prevention.

Judah and the Lion

For Judah & the Lion, the last two years should’ve been the best of their lives as the Nashville band toured behind a powerful single and a genre-upending album, sharing stages with heroes and playing to oceans of fans. But as everything was coming together for them, singer-guitarist Judah Akers’ family was falling apart in a hail of alcoholism and affairs, death and divorce. From that tension comes Pep Talks, the trio’s third LP and a hard left turn into deeply personal terrain. Knowing they had something new on their hands, Judah, Brian Macdonald (mandolin), and Nate Zuercher (banjo) took their time crafting a set of songs that not only shores up their one-of-akind sound—a heart-pounding whirl of folk, bluegrass, rock, hip-hop and electronic production— but takes the listener on a bracingly candid, surprisingly anthemic journey from the kind of pain that tears your whole world apart to the sort of hard-won hope that can bridge the deepest of rifts.

“Up to this point, the band’s message has mostly been: ‘Live your best life! Pursue your dreams! Follow your heart!'” says Judah, “We had to start this record with broken-ness, with this cry that says, ‘I don’t want to hide this from anyone anymore. I’m going through something. I need help.'”

Drew Holcomb and the Neighbors

Souvenirs. Drew Holcomb has collected many of them. A road warrior for more than a decade, he’s spent his adulthood onstage and on the road, traveling from place to place with a catalog of vibrant, honest songs that explore the full range of American roots music. He turns a new corner with 2017’s Souvenir, a highly-collaborative album that finds Drew Holcomb and the Neighbors focusing on the things that truly stick with you — including family and friends, music and memories, people and places — in a fast-moving world.

Equal parts folksinger, roots-rocker, country crooner, and pop-hook provider, Holcomb blurs the lines between genres on his newest release. Souvenir is his band’s most expansive album to date, dishing up everything from the West Coast country-rock of “California” to the front-porch folk of “Mama Sunshine, Daddy’s Rain.” The rootsy songs are more rustic than ever before, laced with harmonica, upright bass, and banjo, while the rockers are downright electrifying, from the searing guitar solo that carves a lightning-shaped streak through “Sometimes” to the emotionally-charged duet with Holcomb’s wife, Ellie Holcomb, on “Black and Blue.” Holcomb is still the captain of this band’s ship, but Souvenir relies on contributions from the whole crew. It’s a proper “band album,” in other words, stacked with songwriting contributions from longtime members Rich Brinsfield and Nathan Dugger.

The War and Treaty

As the War and Treaty, spouses Michael Trotter, Jr. and Tanya Blount make impassioned soul music that draws on traditional folk, country, and spirituals, often combining them all. Both powerful singers capable of the leading thechurch choir, they instead pair their voices with various combinations of acoustic folk instruments, organ, and pedal steel guitar. They made their recording debut in 2017 with the EP Down to the River.

Then based in Albion, Michigan, Trotter and Blount briefly performed together as simply Trotter & Blount before changing their moniker to the War and Treaty in 2015. Word of their rousing, animated performances spread, and they were soon getting booked on the folk festival circuit and touring the country. In 2017, they signed with Strong World Entertainment, which released their debut EP, Down to the River, that July. Two months later, they were named one of the 20 best acts at AmericanaFest by Rolling Stone. The duo also spent part of that year writing and rehearsing in Nashville with a backing band.

The War and Treaty continued to tour heavily while preparing their full-length debut. In January 2018, they shared the stage with John Prine at the Ann Arbor Folk Festival, and in June, they made their Bonnaroo festival debut. Their first album, Healing Tide, arrived via Strong World in August 2018. It reached the Top 30 of the Billboard Heatseekers and independent albums charts. By then, they had already made fans like Emmylou Harris, Sam Bush, and Buddy Miller, among others, each of whom appeared on the album. Miller also produced.