Michigan’s Sustainable Music Festival

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

Book your next trip with Peace of Mind
Search Trips

Subscribe to this blog’s feed

Go Further

Subscriber Exclusive Content

Why are people so dang obsessed with Mars?

How viruses shape our world

The era of greyhound racing in the U.S. is coming to an end

See how people have imagined life on Mars through history

See how NASA’s new Mars rover will explore the red planet

Why are people so dang obsessed with Mars?

How viruses shape our world

The era of greyhound racing in the U.S. is coming to an end

See how people have imagined life on Mars through history

See how NASA’s new Mars rover will explore the red planet

Why are people so dang obsessed with Mars?

How viruses shape our world

The era of greyhound racing in the U.S. is coming to an end

See how people have imagined life on Mars through history

See how NASA’s new Mars rover will explore the red planet