Sunday, July 6, 2008

 
posted by Jason @ 8:55 PM
Sadly, we're on the last band of the weekend. I'll have plenty of in-depth material about the greening of Rothbury, the mood of the festival, interviews with artists, photos of big stinky compost piles, and much more in the days and weeks to come.

But before I get to all that, let me say one thing: Congratulations! Congrats to Madison House, AEG, and the Double JJ ranch, congrats to the volunteers and artists, and especially congratulations to Sarah Haynes of Spitfire. This festival was an unqualified success on every level. Rothbury delivered on the music, the greening, the location, the weather, the art, and the vibe. I don't think I heard a negative comment all weekend, and I for one can't wait to come back next year.

So what do you need to know about this festival? You need to know that despite a couple of minor first-year jitters, it sets a new bar for green festivals in the U.S. You need to know that the artists and fans I talked to, without exception, were excited about the greening and social justice aspects of the festival and anxious to learn more--which means that the competition now has to aim higher. Everyone who went to this festival, with its spotless grounds, clean restrooms, completely integrated greening, and overt but not annoying social messages, is going to notice when the next festival they attend doesn't match up.

You also need to know that Rothbury set the bar high, but not so high that there isn't room for improvement. I fully expect future versions of this festival to fine tune the great work that started with this year, with changes both big and small coming along. And you need to learn the name Sarah Haynes, who with this festival has cemented her place at the top of her game, perhaps matched only by the folks behind Live Earth and the Reverb crew. Sarah's already working on greening certain aspects of Burning Man and the Virgin Music Festivals, and you should expect even more bigger things from her in years to come.

If you're a Phish fan, you need to know that as expected, Mike Gordon came out to join Trey at the end of Trey's set, where they introduced two new songs and did a slow, instrumental version of "Chalk Dust Torture," then stole the entire audience from Gov't Mule for a more electric set with Mike Gordon hosting Trey on another stage.

Finally, you need to know that until you have seen Thievery Corporation from the front row, you haven't lived. Sorry, Dave fans--this weekend's top show was stolen by the boys from DC.

Stay tuned in the coming days and weeks for pictures, analysis, and interviews.

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