Last weekend in Canton, MA, more than 20,000 optimists gathered for a two-day music and fundraising festival hosted by Life is Good. Drawing families and adults of all ages, the festival achieved its ambitious fundraising goal of $1 million for the Life is good Playmakers, the action arm of the Life is Good Kids Foundation.
The multi-faceted fundraiser, produced in partnership with Superfly Presents, combined world-class headliners and nationally-known musical talent on three stages, including several of today's most popular children's performers. Ray LaMontagne, The Avett Brothers, Michael Franti and Spearhead, The Levon Helm Band, Robert Randolph and the Family Band, Martin Sexton, Raphael Saadiq, Ingrid Michaelson and The Hold Steady were among the many acts that delivered crowd-pleasing performances.
Brandi Carlile and The Levon Helm Band were joined by The Boston Pops for portions of their individual sets, a once-in-a-lifetime experience for those in the audience.
On the Good Kids Stage, kindie rock superstars Imagination Movers and The Laurie Berkner Band as well as Keller Williams and local favorite Ben Rudnick and Friends had the young and the young-at-heart dancing along throughout the day.
“Helping vulnerable children doesn’t need to be painful or heavy,” said Bert Jacobs, chief executive optimist of Life is Good. “The Life is good Festival is a celebration, and we're grateful to everyone who came together to make it happen. Good vibes really can save lives.”
To reach the $1 million mark, Life is Good donated 100 percent of its profits from ticket sales, sponsors, and onsite apparel and merchandise sales to the Life is Good Kids Foundation. In addition, Life is Good achieved its goal of creating a community of fundraisers. Known as VGPs Very Good People these festival-goers signed on to raise funds for the Life is good Playmakers, and in turn were rewarded with exclusive backstage hospitality, preferred concert viewing, artist meet and greets and more. Over $435,000 was raised by the VGPs.
The Life is Good Kids Foundation is a registered 501(c)3 nonprofit committed to helping children overcome life-threatening challenges such as violence, illness and extreme poverty. Its Playmakers initiative provides innovative training and support to the frontline child care professionals dedicated to helping these children so that all involved lead healthier, more joyful lives. To date, the Life is good Playmakers have trained more than 2,500 Playmakers across the country who have provided joyful, healing play to over 130,000 children.
In addition to the music, the 2011 Life is good Festival featured a host of activities that included backyard games, interactive art projects, great food from local restaurants and vendors and much more. Mascots from all of the professional sports teams were onsite for photos, and StubHub, a sponsor of the Festival , set up a unique viewing lounge for fans to catch their favorite sporting event. To produce the event, Life is good once again partnered with Superfly Presents, acclaimed producers of the iconic Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival and Outside Lands.
“The 2011 Life is Good Festival is a truly unique event that resonates strongly with both adults and children. That isn’t an easy accomplishment, but Life is good has certainly succeeded,” said Rick Farman, co-founder of Superfly Presents. “We are proud to be associated with the event and look forward to a long partnership.”
The 2011 Life is good Festival took place at Prowse Farm in Canton, MA, a historic 44-acre property managed by the Friends of Prowse Farm, a nonprofit volunteer organization. The property is located at the gateway of the Blue Hills Reservation, public parkland that has been set aside for recreational use.