Following Linkin Park singer Chester Bennington’s 2017 suicide, his widow, Talinda Bennington, set out to help those impacted by mental health issues by founding the organization 320 Changes Direction. Now, Talinda is teaming up with Warped Tour founder Kevin Lyman to launch the inaugural 320 Festival.
320 Festival is scheduled for May 9th at L.A. Live in Los Angeles, with the goal to raise awareness of mental health issues. There will be a benefit concert dubbed “Songs That Saved My Life”, as well as film screenings, a free community event, and a mental health summit. The number 320 refers to Chester’s birthday, March 20th.
“The idea for 320 was born out of my personal experience and the recognition that we can do better to address the needs of those who are suffering with mental health concerns and addiction,” Talinda said in a statement.
“For 13 years I watched my husband Chester struggle with depression and substance use. I often felt scared and alone,” she added. “I was uneducated about the challenges he faced and I wanted information – but finding answers to my questions and available help for our family was very difficult. We need to change the culture of mental health so that those in need – and their family members – are able to speak openly about their struggles so that they can seek the care they deserve.”
All of the funds raised from the festival will go to participating 320 Festival nonprofit organizations.
Representatives from more than 30 nonprofit partners will be available for attendees in the Xbox plaza in L.A. The free community festival portion of the event will feature artists such as Bruce Wiegner, Dylan Dunlap, Rouxx, Evaride, HolyWars, Vaines, X.ARI, Atarah Valentine, Blue Midnight, and more to be announced.
The ticketed benefit concert will bring performances from Everclear’s Art Alexakis, Blue October’s Justin Furstenfeld, Kiiara, Social House, Gnash, Sum 41’s Frank Zummo and Aunty Social.
“It is a true honor to be involved with the 320 Festival, honoring the legacy of Chester Bennington and bringing together so many wonderful organizations in the mental health and resource space together,” Lyman said. “It has always been a belief of mine that it if you empower today’s youth and create experiences where a community can have fun and come together it will create a melting pot for true societal change. The 320 Festival embodies that thinking.”
Get information on the full slate of programs scheduled via the 320 Festival website.