About the Founder
Hi! My name is Ashley Franke and I have Muscular Dystrophy. I was born in 1996 and I have used a motorized wheelchair as long as I can remember. Through the years, I've added a back brace (Scoliosis), a nasal feeding tube (malnutrition), and a ventilator mask (lack of oxygen). Despite all of that, I have graduated high school, college, and love to live life to the fullest. All of my life, I have loved music, and in 2014, I discovered the beautiful and amazing world of concerts. Ever since then, I have loved every aspect of them and wanted to dive deeper into the realm of music, especially if it benefits the disabled community as well.
My History with Music and Concerts
For as long as I can remember, I have always loved music and singing. Though I may not be the best singer, I am not afraid to belt my favorite songs as loud as I can.
When I was younger, my main genres were pop and Disney music. I was very much a Disney princess when I was little, and I still carry Disney in a fond place in my heart. Movies like The Lion King, Beauty and the Beast, and Mulan were really my first introduction to big, orchestrated songs. Even to this day, I have major respect and love for classical and orchestra music. I awe in amazement when individual band members can come together to form one beautiful piece of music, and this goes for rock and metal, of which I mainly listen to these days.
Throughout middle school and high school, I listened to pop and hip hop, though my older sister almost always had rock music playing. Though I liked current popular music at the time, the lyrics and musicality never really struck me in a way that orchestrated music did. Sure, it was fun, but it lacked depth and passion. Unaware of it at the time, I was searching for something more meaningful to listen to, and in sophomore year in high school, I found it.
I've also been an avid gamer throughout my life because it's an easy way to socialize. In sophomore year of high school, I was hanging out with some online friends where you had avatars and you could text, and the text would look like chat bubbles aove your avatar's head. So, one day, my friend Mike kept saying "FFDP" over and over and finally I asked him what that meant, and he said, "It's a band named Five Finger Death Punch." He recommended a few songs, his favorite being "Under and Over It," so on the bus coming home the next day, I looked them up on iTunes. For those who weren't around for iTunes or don't remember, each song had about a 15 or 30 second clip you could listen to, then you had to buy individual songs for about a dollar, and later $2, each.
So, I looked up Five Finger Death Punch on the school bus and started listening to those short clips. I remember listening to the "Under and Over It" clip and it scared me a bit, but then after a few more clips, I found a song named "Remember Everything" and it was love at first listen. I played that clip probably ten times before buying it because I loved it so much but had to budget my iTunes money. This was what I had been searching for: Raw, emotional, passionate music.
From there, my addiction started. I found as many rock ballads as possible, each a little bit heavier than the last. My first rock playlist had FFDP, Papa Roach, Skillet, Apocalyptica, and Volbeat. It was about 20 songs long and I listened to it every chance I had.
In 2014, it was announced that FFDP along with Volbeat, HellYeah, and Nothing More were coming to Little Rock, Arkansas and I begged my mom for tickets. I got them and took my sister and my best friend, and it was an eye-opening experience. We sat up high in the arena's ring and I observed the bands, the lights and effects, and the moshing audience in such awe. I had finally found my people.
From there, my concert addiction started to grow and bloom into a beautiful flower. This is a nice way of saying I became an addict for shows, always looking for that next fix.
Since 2014, I have gone to about 40 shows and counting and have had the privilege of meeting 46 bands and I don't plan to stop anytime soon.