In 1985, 44 artists came together to help fight disease and famine in Africa with the single, “We Are the World.” On Friday, music will once again be used as a way to raise money for efforts in Africa, except this time the performers are area teenagers.
• What: Nervosity
• When: Friday, June 20, from 6-10 p.m.
• Where: Tawasentha Park in Guilderland
• How much: Free
• Info: www.nervosity.org
Ten high school bands will perform everything from rock, punk, acoustic and heavy metal at Nervosity, a battle of the bands in Guilderland. The groups will play 15-minute sets and vie for valuable prizes, all while raising money for a good cause.
Christ’s Church of the Capital District created Nervosity in 2003 as a way to give teens a safe and fun place to celebrate the end of the school year. Eleven years later, the event has evolved into a popular event for teenage activism. In 2008, Nervosity partnered with Forgotten Voices International, and since then has raised more than $30,000 for orphans in Africa.
Forgotten Voices is an organization based in Pennsylvania that helps equip churches in Africa to meet the needs of children who have lost parents due to AIDS.
“Teens are really enthusiastic, and they have shown us that this is important to them and they want to make a difference in the world,” said Joe Vinette, Christ’s Church student ministry pastor. “We want to give them that opportunity.”
The event, which began in the church parking lot, has become one of the main events for teenagers in the Guilderland area every June.
“It’s grown into an event with hundreds of kids,” Vinette said, adding that they can usually expect close to 1,000 kids to attend.
More recently, the event has been held at the Guilderland Performing Arts Center in Tawasentha Park in Guilderland. In May, 12 bands auditioned before judges for a place on Nervosity’s stage. At least half of the kids in the band are required to be in high school. The rest of the band members can be middle school or college students. No professional bands are allowed in the competition.
In addition to musicianship, stage presence and originality, the bands are judged on how well they interact with the crowd. The applause at the end of the final song will be recorded by a meter — the higher the volume of the applause, the higher the score.
Set to take the stage this year are Kings of Nothing, Coffee in Bed, Castaways, Good Question, Max & Adam in the Morning, Louder Now, The Flam Flams, Myron James, Routine and Korematsu vs. The United States.”
In addition to the music, there will be T-shirts, raffles and food for sale with all proceeds benefiting the Forgotten Voices organization.
Vinette said that although the event has a “teen base friendliness” to it, everybody is welcome.
“If somebody’s grandmother wants to come, they can come,” he said.
Vinette said he believes that every teen desires a good purpose, they just need a place to begin. Nervosity is a way for teens to listen to music and enjoy time with friends while helping to change the world.
“We believe in the culture of tomorrow, and teens are the culture of today. We want a culture that gives and teaches giving and being generous,” he said.
Nervosity will take place on Friday, June 20, from 6 to 10 p.m. at Tawasentha Park in Guilderland. Admission is free. For more information, visit www.nervosity.org.