A record number of people attended Scotland’s first alcohol-free music festival in Glasgow at the weekend, with thousands descending on Queens Park Arena.

Around 2,800 people partied at Recovery Connects, a unique event bringing together people recovering from addictions to drugs and alcohol, on Sunday afternoon.

This is around 500 more than came to the festival last year, with organisers already looking forward to the 2025 event which promises to be even bigger.
This year’s festival was headlined by John Power, the former frontman of Britpop band Cast, and also featured a DJ set from Alan McGee, the founder of Creation Records.

Up-and-coming Glasgow-based indie-rock band Shambolics also played, supported by unsigned acts Hazy Sundays, Local Authority, Amy Rodgers and Paul Byrne.

The event aims to challenge the stigma around addiction and celebrate the fact that people who struggle with substance misuse can and do recover.

It also connects people in recovery with their communities and is open and welcoming to all, including music fans who would like to experience a festival without alcohol.

The event was sponsored by Abbeycare Group, who runs a drug and alcohol rehabilitation clinic in Erskine, and the charity We Are With You, with funding from the National Lottery Community Fund.

Photo: Abbeycare staff
Photo Credit: Recovery Connects / Abbeycare

Photo: Hazy Sundays
Photo Credit: Recovery Connects / Abbeycare

Photo: John Power
Photo Credit: Recovery Connects / Abbeycare

Photo: John Power
Photo Credit: Recovery Connects / Abbeycare

Eddie Clarke, outreach manager at Abbeycare and one of the festival organisers, said: “The crowds at Recovery Connects this year were nothing short of incredible. We smashed last year’s attendance record and the atmosphere was amazing throughout.

“There were brilliant sets from all the artists, with John Power and Alan McGee giving people a day that will live long in the memory. Our thanks go to everyone who performed.

“The success of the festival just goes to show that it’s perfectly possible to enjoy music without being surrounded by alcohol, and that recovery from addiction can be a beautiful thing that deserves to be shared with others rather than hidden away.

“We’re already looking forward to next year’s event, which is set to be the biggest yet.”

By Ricky Kelly

Main writer for Renfrewshire News

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