ROTHBURY: A Music Festival With a Purpose

rothbury, thinktankAs has been reported on the Green Options network in the past, enviros and music festivals go together like peanut butter and jelly. The synergy between the two may be no more evident than on July 4th weekend 2008, when the town of Rothbury, Michigan will play host to a “party with a purpose.” The four-day ROTHBURY music and camping festival is being promoted as a “cultural assembly; one where music fans, artists and progressive thinkers gather to celebrate much more than music.” It is Rothbury’s goal to harness the unique energy of the live music community into a durable social movement toward an important cause: Climate Change and Clean Energy Alternatives.

Promoters say that ROTHBURY is committed to producing a near zero-waste concert. The first to tackle a green program of this magnitude at an around-the-clock (camping) concert in the USA.

Of course, the centerpiece of the festival is music. And festival promoters, Madison House and AEG Live have made those intentions quite clear by building an all-star lineup of performers of all stripes. The festival will feature over 70 acts spread out over the sprawling venue’s 8 stages. Confirmed musical acts include an eclectic sprinkling of names like Dave Matthews Band, Widespread Panic, 311, The Black Keys, Yonder Mountain String Band featuring Jon Fishman, Snoop Dogg, Medeski, Martin, & Wood, Steel Pulse, Tea Leaf Green, Taj Mahal, John Mayer, and many others.

The Think Tank

For those needing to rest their legs and stretch out their minds a little, the ROTHBURY Think Tank offers an event within the event, with various buzz sessions and roundtables between leading scientists, scholars, writers, progressive political and corporate leaders, youth leaders, and entertainers. The Think Tank will address the topic of Climate Change and Clean Energy Solutions, geared towards empowering individuals and the larger music community with the tools necessary to engage in constructive dialogue with policymakers, corporations, and other individuals. Featured participants at the Think Tank will include the DR. STEPHEN H. SCHNEIDER(Curator), DR. EBAN GOODSTEIN , HUNTER LOVINS , and WINONA LADUKE.

Please stay tuned to the Green Options network over the coming months, as I will post further updates on ROTHBURY’s Clean Energy Think Tank, and details about their sustainability efforts. You can also visit the ROTHBURY website for much more about artists, camping, lodging, tickets, and other general information. I look forward to bringing you more information about this exciting event, as well as live-blogging from it come July.

  1. Kelli Best-Oliver

    I really wanted to go to Rothbury, but tickets were super pricey and it was over the 4th, for which we already have plans.

    We are going to Wakarusa again, however, but it looks like they’re not putting as much emphasis on sustainability this year as they did last year, at least beyond the typical recycling bit. No word on a high-caliber panel like they produced last year.

  2. David Zetland

    “Zero-waste” usually means reuse and recycling, but it does not include zero-inputs or zero-energy. I am all for such “feel good” consciousness, but will people be interested in walking to an acoustic affair and eating the bounteous food of Michigan? No — they want to feel good at a big party (and are willing to pay for those “pricey” tickets. Better solution — have millions of events nationwide, where people bond, listen to music and eat their homemade food.

    Oh, wait. That’s the 4th of July, isn’t it?

    /cheap shot

  3. Ken

    Its motivating to see these large scale events starting to clean up their act. But their is one thing that stands out like a sore thumb. They wont allow bicycles on site! Keep in mind this thing spans 2,000 acres yet VIP ticket holders can hop on around the clock gas guzzling shuttle transportation, equipped with air conditioning to and from various festival points. While the common camper must walk 20 min. from camp to stage! And thats probably if your at the front end of the camping area. What sort of message does that send?

  4. love

    I was very excited when I first heard about the festival and the ways that the promoters were trying to help sustain a green environment. Its very rare that people will try and give up their corporate ways and maybe even some profits, for a self sustainable, peaceful, loving festival. But it seems that someone is still representing the “we have to make a lot of money” thought that Americans love to have. Air Conditioned gas busses, to and from various festival points! For VIPs ONLY! It makes me very sad to hear this. I thought we were done with the Aristocratic caste system where some people are better than others and therefore deserve more comfort. I don’t think comfort is the issue in Michigan in the peak of summer. As someone who grew up in Indiana I learned that the heat can kill you. And frankly, as someone with a baby on the way (yea, unborn baby coming to the concert) : ) it makes me really concerned that my wife will be walking through a freaking humidity fest whilst the rich folk get an air conditioned gas pumped carriage ride to OUR festival. So just a message to the promoters and anyone who can help: can we please think about the ACTUAL SUSTAINABILITY for everyone.

  5. Amy

    It is a great idea to boost the local economy with something like this. There was a lot of planning put into this event and for the most part it shows around the community. Living within only a mile from the event I have seen and heard the effects of the event. I am a little disappointed in the fact that the concerts go until 4am and I can hear them in my house. Something that wasn’t considered was the rest of the community.

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