In 1972, the late Bill Graham asked the Haight Ashbury Free Clinic to staff a "medical emergency care tent" at outdoor Grateful Dead and Led Zeppelin concerts. Many of the clinicians who participated had previously provided their medical expertise at rock concerts, but the level of planning for these events was unprecedented.
Since then, Rock Medicine has evolved into a full program of HealthRIGHT 360, and has provided service at an ever-growing number of concerts, community marches, celebrations and fairs, circuses, and assorted other events. In recent years, its 800+ active volunteers have provided care at over 1200 events in a single year.
Rock Medicine is a mobile facility. Its work areas range from dusty fields with nylon parachutes slung overhead, to three rooms with three sinks, a bathroom, and built in storage space. A comprehensive inventory of supplies, medications and equipment travels with Rock Medicine wherever it's sent, in "road boxes" modeled on those the bands use to transport their equipment. Some liken Rock Medicine to an urgent care center, a front line station where patients come for minor illnesses, injury, referral and/or transport when necessary.
To learn more and to become a Rock Med volunteer, click here.