Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Festival Time!

So the musicians have been covered, but what about the shows they play? Here’s a rundown of the three big fests of the summer.

Warped Tour

The festival I’m most familiar with. Having attended it about six years ago, I remember it being a mess, paper strewn everywhere and bottles all over the ground (which were later used in a fight between the crowds waiting for NOFX and the crowd watching Reel Big Fish). Knowing how big of an offender they were, I wanted to see if they would step up, especially with the long associated political and social awareness that, from time to time, is associated with punk rock.

While I doubt the grounds will be free of any trash, it looks like The Warped Tour is really taking a stance. From a very visible tab on the main page, the site will direct you to web page that not only shows how you can be green for the concert, but other practical guides for home. There’s a catch though: the sites don’t launch until June 1st, so aside from knowing that this information will soon be there, the only real content available now is information on the tour using biodiesel for their buses and reusable plates and cutlery for their meals.

And to typically motivate the young, you can also win a trip with your favorite band to St Croix. I guess that’s cool? All this information is available on their website, so check it out. Also, if you’re planning to attend, check out the Gaslight Anthem. Say you heard them when.

So we’re a little bit late on this one. The concert was April 25-27, 2008 and Prince did a pretty kick-ass rendition of “Creep” by Radiohead. The people behind Coachella had joined up with the Global Inheritance site, which I talked about yesterday, to help keep the grounds clean. They also ran a program to help collect water bottles. If you brought ten empties, you got one free fresh bottle. Sounds cheesy, but at $5 a bottle, it's a steal.

Additionally, they had a tent setup called the EnergyFACTory. Here, you could not only charge your cell phone by riding a stationary bike, but help out dehydrated and exhausted patrons by powering a mist fan. They also had an ethanol corn tree, which is corn cooked in ethanol (isn’t that redundant?). I don’t know what that is, but I want one. Check out the rest of the fun stuff they had at the EnergyFACTory page.

Bonnaroo is a four day festival that takes place from June 12 - 15, 2008 in Tenessee. To match the eclectic musical lineup, the Centeroo, as its called, featured just as much of a mix-up. For example, the mainly environmental awareness section is located right next to a hair salon, where you can get a new ‘do (I really wish I was kidding). The Planet Roo section will have yoga, eco-friendly cafes, and a solar stage, which highlights activists and activist-minded performers.

While that’s cool and all, I really wish they didn’t make the Planet Roo section feel so new age. It’d be nice if they mixed in other options, to give it less of a hoity feel and more approachable for someone who may be nervous about getting their learning on, especially at a concert of that magnitude. Still though, the festival is very conscious and wants to keep it as safe and clean as possible. The lineup’s killer too.

I want to add a final note, though. Every website mentions carpooling, but car pollution still a main offender. The concerts all try to help with offsets, but this will still be a huge problem for concerts of this size.

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