Summer music festival season is kicking into high gear with Lollapalooza making a bold green statement this past weekend. Over one-hundred sixty-five thousand people gathered in Chicago’s Grant Park to see 140 bands including Pearl Jam, Modest Mouse, Snow Patrol, Interpol, My Morning Jacket, and Spoon just to name a few.Â While green efforts including recycling,Â biodiesel and energy efficient lights are becoming standard fair in festival productions, Lollapalozza’s most ambitious green statement came in the form of “Green Street.”Â According to AFS:
This area within the festival includes a farmers market with local and organic food, green products from select vendors and a solar-powered eco-stage.Â The organizers want their green impact to last far longer than the crowds. So Lollapalooza has pledged to donate a portion of its revenue to the Parkways Foundation, a non-for-profit working with the Chicago Park District. The funds will support community gardens, new parks, and camp scholarships for low-income children.Â “It’s a great thing for the city,” says Parkways Director Brenda Palm, “not just because it’s a great music event and it’s a lot of fun, butâ€¦because they’re making a difference in Chicago.”
Past events have raised almost $400,000 to Chicago neighborhood park projects. Obviously controversy remains around the impact that these festivals have. However, it is a positive sign to see civic leaders and event organizers finding innovative ways to work together that promote concert goers an enjoyable and eco-friendly festival experience. Rock on!