A music festival featuring artists who have been personally affected by Lyme disease is set to take place on August 28th, 2014, in Annapolis, Maryland. The Ticked Off Music Fest is raising funds for the benefit of the National Capital Lyme and Tick-Borne Disease Association, a non-profit group offering educations and support for tick-borne disease sufferers.
The Ticked Off Music Fest was started in 2012 by Gregg Kirk, the lead singer/songwriter for the band The Zen Engines. Kirk also used to publish Big Shout Magazine but his decade-long battle with Lyme disease has led him to carry out advocacy work on behalf of others who are facing similar struggles in getting an accurate diagnosis and treatment.
The event is being organised this time around by Karen Owen, a fitness instructor from Broadneck who endured 18 months of antibiotic treatment for Lyme disease after testing positive for this and several other infections resulting from tick bites, including Bartonella and Babesiosis. Last year there were 1,194 confirmed and probable cases of Lyme disease in Maryland, with Baltimore County, Harford County, and Anne Arundel topping the list for numbers of cases at 144, 103, and 97 respectively.
Other performers include Les Stroud, the Canadian who found fame on the Survivorman show, and Alisa Turner, a native of Houston who sings about her battle with Lyme disease. Also on the line-up is Dirk Schwenk, a Maryland songwriter who also works as an environmental lawyer and outdoor educator, making him rather perfect for the Ticked Off Music Fest.
The festival organisers started an Indiegogo campaign to try to raise funds to hold the festival but only raised $125 of their $4,000 goal. It appears that tickets are selling fast, however, with a $50 ticket including hors d’Oeuvres and two drink tickets. The festival is sponsored by the Mosquito Squad, amongst others, and future events are planned for Washington D.C., New York, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and California. The first Ticked Off Music Fest was held in Wilmington, Delaware, and the second in Jacksonville, Florida. Plans are afoot for concerts in LA and on Long Island to further raise awareness of Lyme disease as well as funds for Lyme disease researchers.
More information and tickets for the festival can be found via tickedoffmusicfest.com.