For tons of adoring fans out there, Bonnaroo is the quintessential music festival. When I was in college at the University of Georgia Bonnaroo was a huge deal. As word continues to spread, more and more fans make the annual pilgrimage to beautiful Manchester, Tenn., to see their favorite bands. The festival has always been known for its waste reduction initiatives and green aspirations. This year, however, organizers are making an even bigger effort to live up to their 2008 award for "Outstanding Green Festival."Although the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival is known as one of the greenest festivals on the circuit, Bonnaroo has announced some new environmental initiatives for the 2009 event scheduled for June 11-14.
The festival has taken major steps to reduce its impact on the environment in the past. A company called Clean Vibes began handling the massive trash and recycling effort. Clean Vibes has recycled 60 percent of the waste at the past five festivals. That's an absolute ton when you think about the amount of waste that a multi-day festival like Bonnaroo can generate. In 2008, Bonnaroo even won the "Outstanding Greener Festival Award," the highest green accolade a festival can receive.
This year, Bonnaroo has announced the "green ticket program" so each event goer can add a small donation to their ticket price in order to support the festival's green charities. So far, 40 percent of patrons have participated. This year's theme of all things local will be visible in the abundance of local vendors and an emphasis on local foods. The festival will also plug directly into the local Duck River grid, reducing generator use by 70 percent and eliminating the festival's need for biodiesel fuel. Another biggy in terms of conservation includes the Less-Bottled Water Program through which water stations have been located all over the facility in order to re-fill bottles instead of using bottled water.