Imagine a music festival where all of your favorite pop punk/alt-rock bands are headlining and the well-earned money you spent on tickets gets put to good use by being donated to and raising awareness for local charities. Now, what if we told you that this amazing festival that you are dreaming up is already a reality? Because it is—and it’s as fantastic as you thought. State Champs, Mayday Parade, and The Maine are leading a stellar lineup of bands on July 16 at Pier 17 in NYC and on July 17 at The Stone Pony Summer Stage in Asbury Park for the Sad Summer Festival, a 17-date U.S. tour which, at each stop, has a local non-profit partner where ticket proceeds are directed and donations are accepted. The NYC date is working with WPA: the Women’s Prison Association, a charity that promotes alternatives to incarceration, as well as supports and inspires those with current justice histories to build a better life for themselves and their families. Asbury Park’s local partner is a non-profit organization known as L.E.A.D. DIY, which stands for Lighting & Epilepsy Awareness Development. This group’s mission is to educate people in and around the music world about the negative effects of strobe lights and different visual stimuli at live shows that can be harmful for some concert goers. As you can see, this particular touring festival is much more than the bands on stage and the Instagram photos taken. It’s about giving back to the community, education, and—yes—good music. For more information on the event, it’s goal, and the non-profits associated, visit sadsummerfest.com.

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