For Goodness Sake: A music festival for the nonviolent future

Join us on Aug. 21 for an online music festival that will unite musicians from around the world and in all genres of music to share their songs about peace and nonviolence.
(Pace e Bene/Rosie Davila)

For goodness sake, the world has to change!
For goodness sake, the world can change!
For goodness sake, let’s be the change!

Music is a balm to the soul. Music offers sanctuary from the battering of injustices. Music restores our humanity and renews our sense of sacredness. After a year of virtual trainings and online meetings, our analytic brains need a break. Our spirits, on the other hand, are yearning for nourishment. Our hearts need the balm of music. 

That’s why, this year, Pace e Bene is holding an online music festival instead of a conference. 

For 30 years, we’ve been building a culture of peace and active nonviolence. Our annual Campaign Nonviolence Action Week is in its eighth year, with tens of thousands of participants in all 50 states and dozens of countries. Amidst the pandemic, we’ve trained thousands online. When the lockdowns happened, Pace e Bene was one of the first peace and justice organizations to shift our planned, in-person 2021 conference to a virtual gathering. It was a success by all measures. But this year, we sensed our movement needed something different.

Our dreams do not make us crazy, they make us visionary. 

As a small but mighty team, the Pace e Bene staff considered the question: what does our movement seek when it convenes at conferences? Knowledge, yes, but we also seek connection, renewal, hope, inspiration. We long for something to ease the aching weariness of being in the struggle. We want to know that the yearnings in our heart are held by others. We come together to remember that our dreams do not make us crazy, they make us visionary. 

We don’t just need information. We need inspiration.

That’s why, to fire up our hearts and fuel our solidarity for the long haul of making change, Pace e Bene is holding a nonviolent music festival on Aug. 21. In a spin-off of the Latin translation of Pace e Bene, which means “Peace and All Good,” the festival is called For Goodness Sake: Music For The Nonviolent Future. Musicians from around the world and in all genres of music will share their songs about peace and nonviolence. People from cities, towns, tiny villages and more will tune in, together. 

All day long, we’ll immerse ourselves in music that reminds us that nonviolence is possible, radical, transformative and powerful. In our vision, a culture of nonviolence is inventive and creative, practical and effective. The potential for it lies anywhere. The campaigns striving for it are everywhere. We stand up for nonviolence toward the Earth as we stop fossil fuels and extraction. We demand nonviolence from the state when we resist police brutality. We call for nonviolence in foreign policy when we oppose war and militarism. We advance nonviolence as we implement alternatives like restorative justice, living wages, peace teams and more. 

A culture of nonviolence is more than conceptual. It’s a living movement, full of art, music, poetry, vision, dance, story and laughter. With the For Goodness Sake music festival, we’re building culture with culture, using an approach that has amplified movements across time.

In our vision, a culture of nonviolence is inventive and creative, practical and effective.

Movements around the world have used the power of music to uplift their efforts for change. The Civil Rights Movement is legendary for its use of African-American spirituals before every meeting and during nonviolent actions. The Singing Revolution in Estonia (1987-91) lifted the populace out of isolation and into the independence movement through folk songs and singing concerts. In 2011, protesters in Libya blared loud music in front of government buildings, then scattered before the security forces could arrest them. Amplified by millions, even something as simple as banging pots and pans has lent the strength of sound to protests in Mexico, Chile, Argentina, Canada and beyond. We’ll be sharing some of these stories in our creative training the day before the music festival, Turn It Up: Music In the Movement.

In our hearts, we imagine you smiling as you hum along to the refrains during For Goodness Sake: Music For the Nonviolent Future on Aug. 21. We envision you kicking back in your home, or jamming on the subway with your earbuds, or sitting beneath your favorite tree in a local park listening, or gathering with your loved ones. We hope this music reminds you that there are millions of us striving for a culture of nonviolence, that our struggles are connected, that our efforts are seen and felt by those whom we may never even meet. 

For Goodness Sake, join us!
For Goodness Sake, connect, renew, and replenish!
For Goodness Sake, come listen to music for the nonviolent future!

This story was produced by Campaign Nonviolence

Campaign Nonviolence, a project of Pace e Bene Nonviolence Service, is working for a new culture of nonviolence by connecting the issues to end war, poverty, racism and environmental destruction. We organize The Nonviolent Cities Project and the annual Campaign Nonviolence Week of Actions.

Waging Nonviolence partners with other organizations and publishes their work.