Mad Love Music Festival This Weekend

Kathleen Jodka and the Jodka children

October 5, 2021 by Ally Donnelly

*Courtesy photos

"Mad Love:" It's how Kathleen and Dave Jodka would sign their notes to each other. The young couple had built a wonderful life–living in Scituate, raising their four children by the ocean. And then it came. Like a freight train, it came. Cancer. "It rocked our world, totally rocked our world,'" said Kathleen. Dave's initial prognosis was good, but his health took a turn in 2014 and he did not survive the year. "Our babies were babies," Kathleen said.

Dave Jodka

But this isn't a story of sadness–or only sadness. It's also one of celebration. In Dave's last days, he and Kathleen talked endlessly and planned. She says they planned for their children, what they could do to keep them happy and connected to their Dad, to their memories and the ones they'd make in the years ahead. "He and I decided early on–it was incredibly important to the two of us that cancer not define our family," Kathleen said. Their family would instead be defined by joy and music and community. And so came the seeds of The Mad Love Music Festival.

Darcy Milligan

Listen in to this week's episode. Ahead of Sunday's Mad Love Music Festival at the South Shore Conservatory, I sit down with Kathleen. She shares stories of Dave and the teenage dream of being a rock 'n roll star he could never quite shake.

We talk about the Dave Jodka Scholarship for Future Rockers at the Conservatory and meet one of the first recipients, Darcy Milligan. Darcy auditioned in 8th grade to help launch the teen rock band Toast and shares a deeply personal and vulnerable story about how the band and Mad Love changed his life. We also talk with Erik Calderone, the band's coach at the time. He tells us what it was to choose the first South Shore teens to represent Mad Love and its mission of music and healing. The conversation is beautiful and, in many ways, unexpected. Join us!

To purchase tickets to the Mad Love Music Festival this Sunday, October 10th from 11-5 at the South Shore Conservatory's outdoor amphitheater in Hingham, please visit


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