Sustaining the Environment at the High Sierra Music Festival

Music-FestivalQuincy, California will host the upcoming High Sierra Music Festival, a four day celebration of music and positive community approach to keeping the world clean. The High Sierra Music Festival will take place on June 30, 2011, and run until July 3, 2011. Music lovers from all parts of California and the country will gather in Quincy to take in melodic tunes from some favorite bands and experience the energy of the outdoor festivity. 

This year marks the 20th anniversary since the start of the Sierra Music Festival. Originally started with one main stage and just 20 bands jamming out, the festival has grown to accommodate over 10,000 spectators. With an outstanding lineup of 50 musicians ready to perform, the outdoor concert is a perfect summer opportunity for people to get out and enjoy some quality music. Bands and musicians performing include My Morning Jacket, ALO, Gillian Welch, Warren Haynes Band, and Maceo Parker. With the responsibility of providing a safe environment for all who attend, the people behind the festival make sure that the environment they use remains safe as well.

The High Sierra Music Festival has partnered up with Clean Vibes, an organization that directly works to sustainably clean outdoor festivals. Not only does Clean Vibes create eco friendly ways to deal with the large amount of garbage and waste at these festivals, it also promotes their ideas to concert goers. Education comes into play as a key component in the mission of Clean Vibes, believing that one of the best ways to motivate others is to show them first hand how simple it can be to clean the environment. Clean Vibes takes measures to make sure waste can be recycled or reused in creative ways. This decreases the amount of garbage sent to landfills, creating a more positive, purer atmosphere. 

Anybody who attends the festival is encouraged to volunteer with Clean Vibes. The organization is continuously promoting their overall mission and hoping to find energetic individuals who will help keep the festival clean. Volunteers will spend time both during and after the festival to ensure the grounds are kept litter free. During the concert, volunteers will be involved in the recycling process and keeping the area clean. After the concert series if over, volunteers will stay an extra one or two days to continue the clean up process and make sure the grounds are in healthy condition.

A large appeal of the High Sierra Music Festival is the fun opportunity for attendees to camp directly at the site. Thousands of people will be attending and pitching their own tents right in front of the musical stages, with on going access to the festivities and atmosphere of the concert. The High Sierra Music Festival strongly believes that campers should take positive initiatives to make sure the campgrounds remain unharmed during the four day event. The festival’s “Leave No Trace” competition brings a green campaign to the forefront of camping and encourages people to create the ultimate green campsite. 

The promotion of “Leave No Trace” ushers in ideas of how to make a campsite eco friendly. Ideas range from biking to the festival, disposing of trash in the correct fashion, and making sure natural vegetation are not damaged by camping gear. The more creative the campsite the better, as the competition requires people to take a photo of their original green campsite. The finalists will be selected and awarded a variety of High Sierra Music Festival gear, a membership to “Leave No Trace”, and late night tickets for the concert. The grand prize winner of the green competition will win useful camping gear from Coleman, which includes tents and sleeping bags.

Recycling is a huge component of sustainability at outdoor festivals. The High Sierra Music Festival takes recycling very seriously. Working alongside of Clean Vibes, concert goers will be urged to recycle throughout the duration of the festival. Clean Vibes will be handing out bags designated for recyclable products, making it easy for anyone to recycle. With the combination efforts of Clean Vibes and individuals at the festival, it is projected that thousands of pounds of garbage will avoid ending up in landfills and instead be recycled. The effects of this single measure towards productive cleaning will significantly help make the area a much cleaner place. 

The High Sierra Music Festival also encourages people to use sustainable means of transportation to get to the concert. The festival supports a ride share program, where participants can find local carpools or share rides with others traveling to the site. This reduces the amount of cars on the road and the declines the pollution in the air. Other means of transportation, including riding bicycles, are widely used and well liked. While eating and staying at the concert, it is suggested that people use reusable plates, cups, and utensils. Eating locally sourced food from farmer’s markets are a great way to eat fresh food during the musical performances. Giving back to the community is high priority at the High Sierra Music Festival, and there is no such thing as too small of an effort. Most importantly, being kind to the community, to neighbors, and to the environment is something the music festival takes pride in. Because without the beautiful outdoor space to enjoy, the High Sierra Music Festival just wouldn’t be the same.

Photo credit: news.ncdcr.gov/news/wp-content/uploads/nc-museum-of-art-amphitheatre-raleigh.jpg

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