Bummed that you couldn't make it to Bonnaroo to groove to Pearl Jam, Metallica, Jack Johnson, Levon Helm, M.I.A. and the rest of the fantastic lineup? At least you didn't have to wait two hours in the middle of the night to see Kanye West, dodging glow sticks and garbage.
Still, never fear. Another big music, arts and activism festival is just around the corner, and it should prove to be decidedly more laid back. Although Tennessee's "Roo" is well known for implementing a variety of green initiatives in the past few years, many consider "the original" green event to be the Clearwater Festival in New York's lower Hudson Valley.
Taking place on June 21 and 22 this year, Clearwater (aka The Great Hudson River Revival) is always a great time for the whole family. The sweeping vistas of the mighty Hudson River are fantastic from the festival site, Croton Point Park (near Poughkeepsie), and the vibe is friendly and positive.
Founded by folk legend and environmentalist Pete Seeger, the festival supports the pioneering advocacy group Clearwater, which operates a historic, educational sloop on the Hudson, and which has fought tirelessly for decades to protect that storied waterway, as well as the rest of the nation's environment.
Seeger is scheduled to play at this year's festival, along with Reggae and ska superstars the Skatalites, Gandalf Murphy & The Slambovian Circus of Dreams, the Felice Brothers, Native American flutist R. Carlos Nakai, Cheryl Wheeler, Kevin So and others. There are also lively sing-alongs, dancing and events for the kids.
This year will be host to the festival's first-ever environmental short film competition. Clearwater is also a great place to learn about emerging green and progressive causes, sign petitions, get involved, and do some fun shopping for arts, crafts, hippie gear and various green services. There are acres of activist and vendor tents, including some of the best, healthiest food at any festival.
Tickets at the gate are $40/day and $55/weekend. Children under 12 are free. Membership discounts are also available. Call 1-800-67-SLOOP or visit online.
Naturally, Clearwater works hard to make sure the event itself is also sustainable.
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