On May 11, Brookfield music venue The Room will be hosting a special benefit concert "Hate the Hate" in support of anti-bullying and suicide awareness groups.
Proceeds from ticket sales ($10 in advance, $13 at the door) will go to The Trevor Project, The It Gets Better Project and the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, as well as a to-be-named local support group for youth facing discrimination.
“You watch the news lately and everybody’s talking about gun violence issues,” owner of The Room Vern Nickerson said. “A lot of that comes from bullying in the schools,” something he and his wife feel strongly about as their 9-year-old daughter makes her way through the school system.
Nickerson said he was moved to bring Hate the Hate to Brookfield after the loss of a friend last summer to suicide. He hopes the show will help bring the issue to the forefront and maybe prevent a similar loss in the future.
“Not that I think I could have prevented it, not that I could have reached out to anyone who could have prevented it, but you never know,” he said.
Nickerson also referenced another recent suicide in Danbury, where a youth took his life after struggling with being bullied.
“Our place is a place for kids,” he said of The Room, and more so, “The thing we pride ourselves on is we let everyone in — no banning based on what people believe, what color they are or their orientation… This is the age when they’re developing who they are.”
Hate the Hate founder Tim “No. 37” Martinez knows how difficult it can be first-hand.
“Being someone who’s openly gay and working in heavy metal and rock, it can be hard,” said Martinez, who came out openly as a homosexual two years ago at the first Hate the Hate concert. Since that time, he has put on three more shows in New York and one in New Jersey, with the sixth set for Brookfield.
“I want kids to realize, no, you’re normal, you’re fine,” Martinez said. “Please, put the knife down, put the gun down, put the drugs down — find another path.”
“This is more of a movement than a charity,” Nickerson said.
Hate the Hate has donated over $4,000 since February 2011 and was recently recognized with the USA Network Characters Unite Award.
Bands confirmed for the May 11 show:
Doors open at 5 p.m.