Breaking News
More () »

Louisville mental health awareness music festival aims to 'help mankind' in late son's name

The biggest music festival focusing on mental health in the country happens right here in Jefferson County, working to stomp out the stigma of suicide.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — In their first year with a new name, 'The Big Stomp' is preparing the celebrate their 6th year far out in Southeast Jefferson county.  It began as 'Petefest,' the largest mental health focused music festival in the country.

Organizers know taking care of your mental health can be tough but beautiful, sad and fun, all at the same time. 

"It was very difficult," Big Stomp COO Molly Jones said.  The festival was created in honor of Molly's son, Pete.  Pete died by suicide six years ago.  

"It was in December 2016," Jones continued.  "He had been suffering for a while and I was helping him and he was receiving care. Really, him taking his life was kind of out of the blue. We felt like he was doing better, he felt like he was doing better.  So it was out of the blue."

Credit: Molly Jones

Pete Jones's story isn't rare.  Suicide is the second leading cause of death in people ages 10-34.  What is unique is his family's immediate action, and the way they chose to honor his final request. 

"He left us a note," Molly began.  "In his last line in that note, and this is always the hardest thing for me to say, was, 'I want to help mankind.' We felt we would do that for him and his name."

From Pete's death came a new addition to Louisville's music festival line up. 

For the past five years, 'Petefest' was a staple, but this year, with a new name, 'Big Stomp' is hoping to continue their mission as the country's largest mental health music festival. 

"Probably within three weeks of saying, 'Hey, we're gonna start this foundation,' the idea came up about doing a music festival," Molly said.  "It's a way to reach a lot of people.  Music and mental wellness kind of go together.  A lot of people look to music as a refuge. It's calming, it can be very calming."

With an impressive line up, affordable tickets, and beautiful setting, 'The Big Stomp' hopes to draw about 4,000 people. The hope is everyone leaves with new knowledge and better mental peace.

ICYMI, tickets are on sale now! Who are you most excited to see?

Posted by The Big Stomp on Monday, June 20, 2022

Some notable guests that will be performing at the event are Moon Taxi, Lotus, The Floozies and even The Office star Creed Bratton.

"I hope that a lot of people come away from the festival feeling that way," Jones said.  "I'm believing that especially for our children. When they're infants, we measure how much they grow, all this stuff, and then they go to the doctor every year for check ups well.  We should just give a little check up on the mental health. There should be nothing scary about that."

The Big Stomp is Friday, Oct. 14 and Saturday, Oct. 15, with an option to camp on property.

You've been asking for it, so here it is! The Big Stomp's daily schedule has arrived! 🙌 Get your Single Day and Full Weekend tickets at thebigstomp.com.

Posted by The Big Stomp on Thursday, July 7, 2022

Make it easy to keep up-to-date with more stories like this. Download the WHAS11 News app now. For Apple or Android users.

Have a news tip? Email assign@whas11.com, visit our Facebook page or Twitter feed.

Before You Leave, Check This Out