Rock the Change brought its message about the importance of suicide awareness back to Bower Ponds on Sunday.
And organizer Stacie Moore was thrilled with the response.
“I am so happy. It’s beautiful outside and I can’t be more excited,” said Moore as the three-hour show kicked off under sunny skies.
She organized last year’s inaugural fundraising concert as a way to bring people together in the wake of six suicides among local youth in two years. The $8,000 raised went to programs at Suicide Information and Education Services.
After the success of last year’s event, Moore stepped up the advertising for this year through social media, newspaper and radio. It seems to have paid off.
“Lots of people apparently heard about it because there’s lots of people here. I’m so excited.
“I didn’t think it was going to be like this right at 3 o’clock. I can’t believe it. It’s really awesome.”
Close to 200 people were on the hillside at the concert’s start with more drifting in. Clouds and rain moved in later in the afternoon.
Moore said she got a lot of positive feedback from last year’s concert.
“I got a few comments from some people that it really helped me just being part of the event.”
Five local acts and one from Edmonton kept the crowd entertained.
Brittany Risling, 16, came with a couple of others to support their school friend Safire King, a talent 15-year-old from Lindsay Thurber Comprehensive High School, who opened the show.
“I came to listen to my friend Safire perform. I’m pretty stoked about it actually.”
Other acts included: Randi Boulton, One Day Late, Amy Metcalfe, Ruined Escape Plan and Thomas Hutlet.
Jade Petrie, 20, has lost family members to suicide and feels creating more awareness is an important cause.
“I think if there is more awareness it can be preventable.”
She believes events like Rock the Change have an impact. “Definitely. It just gets the word around.”
Riley Murdoch, 16, heard about the event on Facebook and was at Bower Ponds so decided to check it out.
“I think it’s a nice environment.”
Moore said she hopes to bring the event back next year.