You Matter Music Festival aims to address suicide prevention

STILWELL, Kan. -- The inaugural “You Matter Music Festival” took place at Blue Valley High School on Saturday with a focus on good music and an important message.

Local student bands took to the stage on the high school football field to express themselves through song. Many of the performances share some message of acceptance, hope or some type of personal struggle.

The event was organized by Sophomore Will Gurley. The 15-year-old Leawood native put this event together after seeing an inspirational performance by Logic at this year’s Grammy Awards. In just six weeks he worked with community partners to produce this event.

“I watched Logic perform his song 1-800-273-8255 which is the national suicide prevention hotline, that really struck a nerve with me and I knew I had to do something to impact our community. Music is such a great equalizer for everybody,” Gurley said.

At the entrance to the event there was a resource fair. About a dozen different agencies set up information booths.

“I hope first off that they have a great time with all of our amazing musicians and I hope that they really take that message to heart that you matter and that they can get help if they need to,” Gurley said.

FOX4’s John Holt served as the emcee.