Better late than never, as they say. While the major news outlets devoted the bulk of their coverage to the Kanye West debacle and epic performances by Pearl Jam and My Morning Jacket, I spent some time scouring the internets for news of a greener sort. And while the focus of the media attention is still very much on the music, where it ought to be, it seems that the festival's longstanding green commitment is starting to garner some attention. Since I didn't get to go this year, I can't comment on whether or not they improved over an already impressive green performance last year. I do know that they are rumored to have finally hired a full-time green coordinator, which will definitely help them as they go forward with building the site into a more permanent, multi-use festival grounds.
Since I don't have any actual reporting of my own to do, here's what I was able to dredge up via Google.
The Tennessean snagged an interview with Superfly head honcho Rick Farman, but didn't go into much detail about the two topics I wanted to see improvement in over last year, composting and fan transportation. Speaking of fan transit, the NY Times ArtBeat blog took issue with the green rhetoric given the huge distances fans and artists came from, saying that "The footprint here may be wrapped in a Birkenstock, but it’s a pretty big one."
Chattanooga's Channel 9 TV took a look at Bonnaroo's waste-reduction program and were duly impressed. Then they did what good journalists should do, and asked the organizers of the local Riverbend festival (held the same weekend) why they weren't recycling. Chattanooga's mayor replied, doing what good politicians do: blaming the bottling industry and promising vague improvements in the future.
The Daily Green took a dig at Kanye, then used a comparison to Bonnaroo to launch into what they felt was a greener festival, the Clearwater festival on the Hudson. While Clearwater may or may not be greener, Bonnaroo definitely wins out on the lineup front. Let's see...My Morning Jacket, Pearl Jam, and Sharon Jones, or Pete Seeger, Gandalf Murphy & The Slambovian Circus of Dreams, and Native American flutist R. Carlos Nakai?
Wrapping up, Plenty rehashed the Bonnaroo green press release, offering no new info. And that was about all I could find of substance on Bonnaroo's greening this year.
So what about it, GreenBase readers? Did you go to 'roo this year? Was it green? Greener than last year? Did the message finally seem to be getting through to the fans? Or was everyone too busy abusing Mr. West? Let us know what you thought in the comments.
One last thing: Be sure to read JamBase's excellent coverage of Bonnaroo here.
And the more I hear about it, the more it sounds like that MMJ set was the musical event of the year. I'm busy downloading it now. Fire up your bittorrent trackers and head on over to etree.