Under brilliant sunny skies, the first “LOVE IS LOUDER” a family-friendly music festival, took place Saturday Aug. 31 on the Branford Green during National Overdose Awareness Day.

During the day, some 2,000 people attended. Folks strolled by, sat on the lawn, a few danced and some visited vendors and food trucks while nine bands played from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. at the fundraising event. The fest was organized by Smile Anyway, a Branford-based organization that provides resources for individuals affected by drug addiction.

Smile Anyway organizer Amy Johansson was pleased with the fest: “It was everything that I had imagined. I felt like we all came together and the outpouring of love was incredible and no judgement; it was such a loving environment (for) people to just be themselves. It was incredible.”

Johansson said one of the goals of Smile Anyway is to build a Resource Recovery Community Center for the Shoreline and is dedicated to breaking the stigma of people in recovery while offering advocacy and supportive services to those in recovery and their families.

Connecticut Media Group