Unlike Carolyn I’m actually heading out of town this weekend for some good wholesome Fourth of July fun in the Midwest. I’m on assignment checking out the first-ever Rothbury Festival in Michigan, a music festival with an overtly green theme. As the daughter of a man who made his way to Woodstock (and who will never grow tired of telling me what it was like to wake up to Jimi Hendrix playing "The Star-Spangled Banner"-- which you can watch here) I'm excited to take part in another piece of concert-festival history. In addition to cobbling together an impressive lineup of acts (including John Mayer, Dave Matthews Band, Thievery Corporation, and the Traveler-related acrobatic burlesque super-duo Trixie Little and the Evil Hate Monkey), Rothbury is doing its utmost to put on a sustainable show, and they've got a slew of smart practices that will hopefully set the standard for future large-scale music events in the future. Right now they're anticipating thirty- to fifty-thousand attendees, says Carrie Lombardi, the Rothbury spokesperson. "It is our goal to be a leader in the evolving art of greening a large-scale event," she says. "Sustainability initiatives are a huge part of that."
Here's a sneak peek at some of the green planning that's in place.
- A "Green Team" is going around the site distributing 200 bins for concert goers (who are can camp or stay in lodges) to separate out recyclables, compost, and trash
- 9,000 personal ashtrays are being passing out to smokers to cut back on cigarette litter
- Keeping everyone hydrated while cutting down on water waste was a tough challenge - they're meeting it by providing free jugs for refillable water bottles, and selling Earth Water, a brand that donates 100 percent of its proceeds to the United Nations Refugee Agency to bring accessible, clean water to third world countries.
- They'll be serving organic and vegan food, and encouraging people to bring their own reusable plates and silverware to cut down on waste
- The stages will be solar-powered or run on biodiesel fuel
That and there will be a sustainability Think Tank, a world record-attempting "cansculpture", and "spiritual gansta yoga." (Which I'm anxiously waiting to try, and be assured you'll get a full report.) It may not be Jimi, but I have a feeling my dad might even be jealous.
We at IT love to meet our readers! Are you going to Rothbury? Leave a message with your cell phone number at the media tent and I'll give you a call.
Photo: Wagon Wheel Cabin at Rothbury, courtesy Madison House Publicity