Fans at California Roots Music & Arts Festival take advantage of the event’s free water refill stations, courtesy of nonprofit REVERB. The festival has banned the sale of single-use water bottles since 2014.

Fans can view sustainability efforts at festivals and concerts in a myriad of ways: as yet more inconvenient rules to follow; a reminder of the politically-polarizing climate issue they just want to escape from; or, if implemented with proper context, these initiatives can inspire fans, artists and the industry together for the common good.
“I think it all goes back to educating and how you educate people,” says Dan Sheehan, co-producer of California Roots Music & Arts Festival, which is holding its 10th edition May 24-26 at the Monterey County Fairgrounds in Monterey, Calif. “People don’t want to be told they can’t do something. It’s a matter of figuring out how to do it.”
Since launching Cali Roots in 2010, the festival’s greening programs and initiatives have greatly expanded, from implementing a recycling program in year two to 2019’s initiatives which include a carbon offset program, use of compostable greenware in front and back of house, banning single-use water bottles or plastic straws, offering free water refill stations, and hosting a bike and skate valet.

“Cali Roots’ co producer, Dan Sheehan, is especially proud of the festival’s “Redwood Pass,” its take on the VIP experience. The fest has partnered with the Redwood Forest Foundation and for each pass sold, two redwoods are planted. After planting 1,800 redwoods in 2018, another 2,400 redwoods will be planted in 2019. ”

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