CHARLOTTE -- Catawba Riverkeeper Foundation members could labor through detailed water quality samples and hydrological data to raise awareness of their efforts, or just jam out.
The group decided on the latter by planning its inaugural benefit concert Thursday called Rock Out for the River at Neighborhood Theatre in Charlotte.
"By joining us for this event, you are giving the gift of clean water," said Becca Klein, director of development for the foundation. "Everyone is affected by the quality of our water and has a vested interest."
The event plays 8 p.m.-1 a.m., with doors opening at 7 p.m. A partnership with the Riverkeeper Foundation, Carolina Live Music Society and Proximity Project, Rock Out for the River features Charlotte band Evelynn Rose and Greensboro, N.C., natives The Mantras. The headlining band, from Atlanta, is Blueground Undergrass.
"The goal is to raise awareness of the destruction going on in the Catawba River basin, and ultimately, raise money to correct the issues the river faces," said Micah Davidson, founder and director of Carolina Live Music Society. "Most of the time none of us, including myself, really think about our everyday environment as being part of a bigger picture."
Raffle tickets will be sold for music memorabilia items, including signed albums and T-shirts. The Charlotte Roller Girls will sell additional raffle tickets, along with a silent auction featuring a bass guitar signed by the members of Widespread Panic and a guitar signed by musicians coming through the Double Door Inn.
"There have been talks of actually having a festival somewhere along the river basin in September," Davidson said. "Personally, I would like to make this an annual concert, if not biannual. This first concert is going to help the cause, but not solve the problem."
Davidson hopes the concert will give people perspective about how important the river is.
"We want people to realize that whether they are a lakefront resident or reside in the city, every time they turn on their faucet, they are standing on the banks of the Catawba," he said.
Tickets, which include one raffle ticket, are $15 and can be purchased at the Neighborhood Theatre box office or by visiting neighborhoodtheatre.com.