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Green Is the Word At Weekend Music Fests

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Rock & Recycle. Photo credit: Jason Crawford

Colin of GreenDimes recently commented, “Lolla and Virginfest both on the same weekend, and both working towards sustainable futures. Good stuff.” Couldn’t have said it better myself. (Incidentally, Green Dimes just dropped their prices. They’ll now get rid of your junk mail for a flat fee of $15 bucks.) With Lollapalooza in Chicago and Virgin Festival in Baltimore, green was spread all across the northern part of the country this weekend. Several groups – Ben Harper, Amy Winehouse, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and Paolo Nutini – performed at both events.


Perry Farrell at Lollapalooza 2007. Photo credit: Jason CrawfordEcorazzi photographer & Chicagoan Jason Crawford was live on the scene at Lollapalooza this weekend. Lolla founder Perry Farrell headed up a “solutionists panel” aka: press conference at the event. Spinner.com quotes him as saying, “I want to be able to keep the oceans clean and snow on the mountains,” regarding their huge investment to make the festival green and carbon-neutral.

In order to cut down on trash throughout the event, and encourage recycling, attendees could collect a bunch of beer cups and turn them in for a free t-shirt. And in fact, Jason says there were so many recycling bins everywhere, but not enough trash cans…so the regular trash got tossed in with the recycling. Sounds like Lolla could have used a trash team like we had a Live Earth.

Of course, if green hair counts, Lolla fans had it covered.

Virgin Festival

Virgin Festival 2007. Photo credit: Flickr’s Mike Roberts NYCAnd in Baltimore, there was Virginfest. We didn’t go because we don’t have any team members local to the area – why? – but we hear it was H-O-T and dusty. Live Daily has a great rundown of the event, including its green aspects.

A mall of philanthropy booths offered outreach and information on causes supporting the homeless, the hungry, children lacking healthcare, even offering Maryland residents a place to register to vote. Several fan-cooled geodesic domes scattered around the grounds were stocked with ferns and recharging massages, and a “Green Tent,” fashioned from bamboo and billowy hemp canvasses, was ground zero when Virgin-everything founder Sir Richard Branson joined actress Daryl Hannah in touting a level of environmental friendliness that made America’s Live Earth scene look like a garbage dump.

While it appeared by the end of each day’s activities that there was enough trash left on the ground to choke a couple of landfills, Sir Richard had the wherewithal to ensure almost every beverage cup, napkin, plate and utensil would be nothing more than compost by the time next year’s Virgin Festival rolls around. And Hannah, who helped coordinate the massive “greening,” also pointed out that 99 percent of the fuel used to power all the stages, vendors and site lighting was being generated with the cleanest biofuels possible.

Anya’s I’m Not a Plastic Bag even made an appearance.

The good news is: the more concerts that try to go green, the better we’ll get at it!

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