In a bittersweet coincidence, the fifth annual Statts Fest is coming at the end of a particularly violent summer in Savannah.
What's become an annual benefit show began as a one-time festival to help out local musician Jason Statts, who was the unfortunate victim of a shooting crime six years ago that has left him without the use of most of his body.
It's a prime example of the capacity for human empathy at work, and a shining light in a world increasingly filled with despondency.
"The first one at The Jinx was like two months after they were shot," Friends of Statts director John Collenberger said. "It wasn't the Friends of Statts. We all came together and made it a thing. We wanted to do something every year. Because he needs it. It's definitely a collaborative effort. Everyone works together. Everyone comes in their time off."
Statts is still in pain, but it would be hard to tell. He laughs, jokes and talks openly about his current disposition. A champion of the meek, it almost breaks your heart to see such a genuinely nice person in his position.
Such is the foundation for the Friends of Statts organization. A foundation designed by Statts' friends, mostly Savannah musicians, that have done all they can to ensure his medical needs are taken care of each year.
He is no longer able to work, and the mounting cost of his health care would be overwhelming to anyone. All the proceeds from the benefit show go directly to Statts' living and medical costs.
"They make it very hard for someone in my position to live, basically," Statts said. "You can't really even have a job. You can't do much. Because they put a cap on it. If you go over your cap, you lose your benefits. It really makes no sense at all."
He still does what he can. Formerly a full-time art director for BFG ad agency in Bluffton, Statts utilizes the advancements in touch technology to be productive, helping in this case to design the graphics for Statts and Friends.
Last year, the show was focused on a wider audience, but this year, they are getting back to the music that Statts loves. The fifth annual edition will begin with some lighter fare, but will crescendo with some of Savannah's heaviest acts.
Joining this year's festivities for the first time will be Savannah's premiere burlesque revue, the Savannah Sweet Tease, who will be making appearances on stage with several of the night's acts, and are set to close out the party.
Savannah's blues band Bottles & Cans are set to open the show, along with local bluegrass pickers City Hotel, the outlaw country act Devil At My Side and the rock of Hot Pink Interior.
On the heavier side of things, Crazy Bag Lady, CUSSES and Forced Entry will play sets before a rare performance by local metal group Conquer/Devour. The night will be rounded off by one of Savannah's loudest bands, Black Tusk.
Several local businesses have also donated a plethora of items for a silent auction.
Collenberger is not only helping to organize the festival, but will be playing drums for Conquer/Devour, which also feature's Black Tusk's Jonathan Athon on guitar, Wes Davis on guitar and David Williams on bass.
Williams was with Statts the night of the shooting. He still carries the bullet that passed through Statts in his shoulder.
With a record number of shootings in Savannah already this year, Statts Fest exemplifies the better portion of human nature.
By his own admission, Statts wouldn't have been able to survive without the help and support of the Savannah community.
"It keeps me afloat. If I didn't have this, I would have been screwed five years ago," he said.