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1 Million Strong Celebrates a Year of Impact: Changing the Conversation around Recovery and Wellness, Starting with the Music Industry

1 Million Strong has garnered support from artists, industry leaders, and producers of major music festivals across the country 

ARLINGTON, Va., Sept. 19, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — This month, 1 Million Strong, an impact initiative that’s working to change the way people think about and approach addiction recovery, marks a significant milestone, celebrating its first anniversary. Over the past year, 1 Million Strong has united the music industry, artists, and fans to create inclusive sober spaces, encourage open conversations about recovery, and offer support for those impacted by addiction to ensure no one is left outside the gates. By 2025, 1 Million Strong aims to support 1 million people impacted by addiction through The Phoenix, a national sober active community that provides free and meaningful programming to anyone impacted by substance use, including those in recovery, anyone who chooses to live a sober lifestyle, and supporters of the movement.

Since launching a year ago, 1 Million Strong has hosted VIP-like, sober-supportive wellness retreats at nearly a dozen music festivals and concerts across the country, including Park City Song Summit, New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, Stagecoach, Louder Than Life, Just Like Heaven, and others. Artists have also embraced the movement and joined in on the conversation, with The Chainsmokers hosting a sober-supportive concert in Berkeley and Robert Randolph and Larkin Poe hanging out with fans to show their support at 1 Million Strong tents at Bourbon & Beyond and the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, respectively.   

“1 Million Strong has ignited a shift – starting with the music industry – that elevates a markedly different mindset in how we dismantle isolation and replace shame with strength,” said Colette Weintraub, Head of Stand Together Music. “This movement brings festivals, fans, artists, and music industry leaders together, uniting to redefine norms and create a vibrant sense of community.”

With 46.3 million Americans ages 12 and older facing a substance use disorder and 56% of music industry professionals citing problematic substance use, the 1 Million Strong movement is one that’s much needed. One year in, the response has been overwhelming. Nearly half of the people who have walked into a 1 Million Strong retreat have signed up to become more engaged, including joining The Phoenix community.

Programming by The Phoenix is centered around community and includes rock climbing, CrossFit, yoga, music, and social events. Building on the power of connection and belonging, The Phoenix is fueling and igniting a movement changing how society approaches addiction and recovery. This work is proven effective: 83% of Phoenix members report remaining sober after three months of participation. Over the past year, 140,000 new members have joined The Phoenix.

“As someone who is on my own journey with recovery, I can attest to the tremendous pressure and isolation people can experience at music events, where they’re often surrounded by alcohol and substance use,” said Scott Strode, Founder and Executive Director of The Phoenix. “It can feel intimidating and lonely. The 1 Million Strong sober supportive retreats fueled by The Phoenix are a much-needed beacon of support, offering a sense of community and an inclusive atmosphere where it previously didn’t exist.”

Built around the shared goal of empowering people to show up as their best selves, 1 Million Strong is a partnership between The Phoenix, Stand Together Music, and Stand Together Foundation. 1 Million Strong demonstrates the power of all people to realize their full potential and the strength of communities coming together..

1 Million Strong launched its first sober-supportive retreat in September 2022 at the Bourbon & Beyond festival. Addressing a gap in the music industry, 1 Million Strong retreats offer a lounge for attendees to relax, enjoy mocktails, and meet other like-minded people in a supportive atmosphere. The retreats are strategically located at the heart of festivals, versus at the perimeter, offsite or away from the community, stand as a testament to the societal shift that’s happening around addiction recovery and wellness – one that’s moved from stigma and loneliness to strength and community.

“1 Million Strong has been a game-changer for festival experiences,” said Chamie McCurry, Chief Marketing Officer at Danny Wimmer Presents. “As 1 Million Strong’s first festival partner, we’ve witnessed firsthand the incredible impact of these sober-supportive retreats and the enthusiastic reception from fans. It’s inspiring to see an initiative that is catalyzing the movement to expand the music industry to include sobriety and wellness. We’re proud to be part of this change and look forward to continuing our collaboration to make Danny Wimmer Presents music festivals a place where everyone can take part and truly enjoy.”

To amplify its mission and impact, 1 Million Strong has also forged strategic partnerships and activations with industry leaders like Goldenvoice, the Soho Sessions (produced by RWE Partners), Oak View Group’s Acrisure Arena, and Live Nation. As part of Live Nation’s employee-led Sober Nation initiative, the company partnered with 1 Million Strong to roll out The Phoenix programming to Live Nation’s nearly 40,000 employees as well as offer mocktail options at all company-sponsored happy hours and events. Live Nation has also incorporated mocktails into its venues. Additionally, in January, 55 music industry leaders and artists (including Melissa Etheridge, Another Planet Entertainment, Stargate, Disruptor Records, Primary Wave, and the Recording Industry Association of America) signed an open letter in Billboard to show their support and commitment to expanding music culture to include sobriety and wellness.

“The success of 1 Million Strong over the past year is a testament to the power of community and potential of all people,” said Evan Feinberg, Executive Director, Stand Together Foundation. “We believe that recovery isn’t just about surviving; it’s about thriving. As we move into the second year of this initiative, we are committed to building a culture in America that surrounds those struggling with substance use with community and support so that they can realize their full potential.”

As National Recovery Month in September and Sober October approaches, along with the holiday season, the message of 1 Million Strong becomes even more essential. These times provide a reminder of the need for connection and support for those in recovery and their allies. As the initiative celebrates its first anniversary, the work of fostering an environment where everyone can thrive and feel supported with community at its core continues.

About 1 Million Strong
Together with the music industry, 1 Million Strong is committed to breaking down the barriers to sobriety for allies and their loved ones. We believe that the most powerful solutions are rooted in communities like The Phoenix, an organization that uses the transformative power of physical activity and social connection to help individuals impacted by substance use. To learn about 1 Million Strong visit, Join us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.  

About The Phoenix
The Phoenix is harnessing the power of connection and belonging to fuel a movement that changes how we approach addiction and recovery in this country and beyond. Founded in 2006, The Phoenix is a transformational non-profit that fosters a free sober active community for individuals impacted by substance use. Since launching programs in Colorado, over 279,000 people have joined The Phoenix community globally. By leveraging the intrinsic power of physical activity and social connection, members find hope, empowerment, and increased meaning in their lives. The Phoenix events are free to anyone with at least 48 hours of continuous sobriety from alcohol and nonprescription drugs, including allies and supporters of those in recovery. The Phoenix helps individuals rise from the ashes of substance use and pursue lives full of hope. For more information about The Phoenix movement, visit, download The Phoenix app, or follow The Phoenix on Instagram.

About Stand Together Music
Stand Together Music unites musicians and their teams with proven changemakers to co-create solutions to some of the most pressing problems in our country, including criminal justice reform, addiction recovery, education, free speech, and ending the war on drugs. To learn more about Stand Together Music visit,

About Stand Together Foundation
Stand Together Foundation is committed to breaking the cycle of poverty in America by driving change from within communities. We are building a community of social entrepreneurs who believe in people, work from the bottom up, and unite with anyone to do right. Since 2016, we have committed over $120 million and counting to fuel the innovation of nonprofits throughout the country to build stronger, safer communities where all people can learn, contribute, and realize their full potential. Our goal is to help nonprofit leaders maximize their impact to transform more lives out of poverty. Learn more at

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