Rothbury: A Festival Celebrating Music, Art and Action, to be held July 3-6 in Rothbury, MI, is working with local and national partners to reduce the environmental impact of the festival, and its goal is demonstrate the vast possibilities in sustainability and highlight areas that need serious attention.
Working with Green Chief Sarah Haynes of the Spitfire Agency, Rothbury is the first major U.S. camping festival to aim for a near zero waste event by composting throughout the entire festival site. All disposable food service items have been replaced with plant-based compostables. Compost will be pulped on-site by Morbark, then processed by Spurt Industries in Grand Rapids, MI.
In an effort to reduce plastic water bottle waste, the festival is working with Klean Kanteen to encourage crew and festival-goers to bring or buy reusable bottles and to take advantage of free refill stations in the campgrounds, within the festival site and in the backstage areas. For those who choose to buy disposable water bottles, the only front-of-house provider on-site will be Earth Water, which donates its profits to building wells in refugee camps throughout the world.
Rothbury is also offering 200 waste reclamation stations throughout the site for glass and other waste; most of stations will be manned by a 500-person green team of volunteers committed to helping avoid contamination. The Green Team will also work around-the-clock backstage to re-sort all recycling bags that come in. An additional 55 people will work for three straight days after the festival to sift every single ‘bad’ item out on tables, much like a conveyer belt system.
Among the artists scheduled to perform at Rothbury include: Dave Matthews Band, Widespread Panic, John Mayer, 311, Trey Anastacio, Phil Lesh and Friends, Primus, Thievery Corporation, Snoop Dogg, Modest Mouse, Michael Franti and Spearhead, Gov’t Mule, Slightly Stoopid, Rodrigo y Gabriela, STS9 and Colbie Caillat.