Treehuggers’ Ball returns for 19th benefit concert


Shadowshaker Band performs at Heritage Station.


After a five year absence, the Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition’s Treehuggers’ Ball is returning to the V-Club Friday for the 19th edition of the benefit concert.

“It began in the ‘80s and the last time we had one was 2010,” said Natalie Thompson, OVEC project coordinator. “Our board of directors decided to bring it back as a fundraiser. It’s a fun time for people to get together to enjoy music, and to give us an opportunity to discuss our work, and to join together as a community.”

The concert will feature Of The Dell, Moonshine Crossing, The Shadowshaker Band, Karen Scalf and Big Rock and the Candy Ass Mountain Boys, who have played at every Treehuggers’ Ball.

“Even though they’re fighting for environmental and social justice for all of Appalachia, they are based out of Huntington,” said Dave Lavender, BRATCAMP bassist. “It’s important to bring it back this year because they are doubling down on Huntington and all of the good energy. They’ve made a real commitment to stay here and fight for what they believe in. All of that work can be stressful so it’s good.”

The concert coincidentally comes during the week of the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference, or COP21, an international summit in Paris, France of world leaders including President Barack Obama.

While COP21 focuses on the international level, the Treehuggers’ Ball focuses on concerns concerning the Appalachian region.

“There’s lots of things happening,” Thompson said. “We have potential fracking in Wayne and Cabell County on the Rogersville Shale. We also have concerns with our water supply, and the quality of the water in the Ohio River.”

The concert also comes following the purchase of the New Creek Wind Project in Grant County, West Virginia by Enbridge, for 200 million dollars.

“This is a great time to let Marshall students and community members know that while the talks in Paris may seem far away, there is real and current ramifications at home,” Lavender said. “We have world renowned people in OVEC fighting for a more progressive, a more diverse and stronger West Virginia.”

“Throughout history music has helped fuel the revolution,” Lavender said. “Whether it be Bob Dylan, Joan Baez and Ritchie Havens in the 1960s, or more recently some of the protests against Wall Street, there’s a history of music and fighting for environmental and social justice.”

The 19th Treehuggers’ Ball occurs Friday at the V-Club.

Nathan Thomas be contacted at [email protected]