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Lilith Fair Boasts Big Stars, Powerful Messages

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RALEIGH — One of the biggest concerts of the year took over Raleigh's Walnut Creek area Wednesday. Some of the biggest female music stars in the industry are in town for Lilith Fair. Besides good music, the concert boasts some very powerful messages.

Every time someone uses the word feminism in conjunction with the fair, it worries Sarah McLachlan, the founder of Lilith Fair. To some, she says, that word has negative connotations. In this case though, she says the messages are all positive at the concert put on by women to raise money and awareness for women's causes.

The festival is about music, cool stuff to buy, and issues that affect women.

"We did not set out to take a huge political or social stance," said McLachlan. "We simply wanted to put on a great music festival and the music would happen to be made by women. However, there is a lot of amazing positive ramifications that have come out of this."

In each location, there's an area called The Village, where organizations can reach out to young women.

"It's the younger crowd that aren't as aware of breast cancer as they need to be," said Tara Triefenbach of the Breast Cancer Fund. "So this was a great way for us to reach a market that's totally untapped in terms of awareness for breast cancer.

Elaine Pleasants of Planned Parenthood said, "So far it's been very, very positive. Everyone's been very supportive of what we're doing. They're taking information and asking very good questions."

At Walnut Creek, there was an air-conditioned tent to help concert goers beat the heat, and a cool rain tent was a popular site, but even with the heat, attendees say they wouldn't miss this celebration.

"You look around and you see children with their parents, girls with their mothers, and I think it's great," said Susan Marks.

The concert raises money for several charities. In each city the tour visits, $1 from each ticket sold is donated to a local women's shelter. Some of the vendors are selling items to raise money for their own causes, such as the "power necklaces" being sold to raise money for breast cancer.

By early evening, temperatures began to drop, making the amphitheater area much more comfortable. Editor's Note:

The money donated from every ticket sale really adds up. Last year more than $700,000 was donated across the US and Canada. This year's 57-city tour is expected to raise a lot more money. So far, more than $177,000 has been donated.

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Amanda Lamb, Reporter
Gil Hollingsworth, Photographer
MJ Ainsley, Web Editor

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