A Festivus for the Rest of Us


Several days ago, on a small area of farmland in Tennessee, 80,000 gathered for the Bonnaroo Music Festival. The four-day celebration featured live music, shops, massage parlors, food marts, restaurants, crafts booths, and a “living quarter” all within a mini city created just for “the Roo.” “Mini city?” Sounds like the perfect chance for an eco-experiment! Starting last year, event sponsors, organizers, and musicians put their heads and wallets together to make Bonnaroo, “the greenest–and greatest–festival on earth.”

This year, the initiative continued with the popular “Planet Roo”—a virtual eco-village. Here non-profit organizations, green-product vendors, and environmentally-minded artists gathered to share information, eat organic food, and support responsible businesses of all shapes and sizes. Local farmers sold organic produce from small carts while Timberland Inc. sponsored a large booth to promote their line of PVC-free shoes. A tree was planted for every patron who visited the booth.

Artist Hospitality

Regina Spector tries on Timberland Inc.’s PVC-free, water based adhesive Luminari Ainsley Thong. Photo courtesy of Frank Mullen/WireImage

Other Bonnaroo 2007 greening initiatives included over 30,000 gallons of biodiesel fuel, a solar powered sound system, and a fancy recycling/composting program—preventing more than 60 percent of the event’s waste from entering landfills. All food vendors were required to provide recycled and biodegradable cups, plates, and cutlery; while security traversed the grounds—looking for violations—on electric-powered golf carts.