For the third year in a row, Frantic Frets in Milton hosted its annual outdoor concert fundraiser HavrillaPalooza, and this year was the biggest version of the event yet.
The daylong event, held Aug. 27 at Frantic Frets on Route 16, was by invitation only and helped raise money for cancer patients and musicians in the Cape Region.
Frantic Frets co-owner Mary Knight said she had the idea for the event in 2020, shortly after the state went into lockdown at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Knight said she saw a post with a GoFundMe link for Christine Havrilla, a friend, artist and customer of Frantic Frets. Havrilla’s friends were raising money after she was diagnosed with stage 4 metastatic breast cancer and live concerts were put on hold. Knight said even if there was no COVID, Havrilla still would not have been able to perform at the time due to her cancer treatments.
Knight reached out to her friend and musician Nancy Maliwesky of the Sunroom Songwriter’s Series House Concerts and planned the first HavrillaPalooza, which was three days of virtual shows by 20 musicians with an online auction of artwork from local artists.
The next year, Frantic Frets hosted a small house concert with Havrilla performing in the store’s parking lot, in order to comply with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines at the time.
This year, Knight and friends founded a 501(c)3 nonprofit called Music Happens Project, which is intended to provide subsidized services and financial aid to local working musicians. It was Music Happens Project that’s now the new official sponsor organization of what was billed as HavrillaPalooza3.
Knight said it was Havrilla’s wish to have a portion of the funds raised by the event to benefit the Tunnell Cancer Center and organizations helping provide transportation and wigs for cancer patients, in addition to Music Happens Project.
Knight said this year’s event has raised $15,000, with food donated by Bethany Blues and My Sister’s Fault, and beer and canned cocktails from Dogfish Head. The event also had raffles and a silent auction. Those who purchased ticket packages also were able to leave the grounds via Jolly Trolley for either Brimming Horn Meadery, Dewey Beer Company in Harbeson or Dogfish Head in Milton, or enter a cornhole tournament at Frantic Frets.
Havrilla herself said, "I am grateful to all who helped with HP3, assisting not only me, but other cancer patients as well as other musicians. I believe music heals and brings people together, and our great fans/families/friends showed us just how much ‘goodness’ is out there yet again!"
Donations are still being accepted through Sunday, Sept. 11, through the Music Happens Project website, musichappens.org/hp3.