For the tenth year in a row, Rock the Earth played a major role in providing programming at Bonnaroo. This year’s festival hosted performances by Billy Joel, Mumford & Sons, Ben Harper, Kendrick Lamar, My Morning Jacket, Florence + the Machine, and many more.
Rock the Earth facilitated music performances and interviews, environmentally focused film screenings, as well as hosted our annual mobile device recycling drive. Moderated by Rock the Earth’s founder and executive director, Marc Ross, the theme of this year’s performances and discussions on the Planet Roo Solar Stage were once again “Social Change Through Music.” Attendees learned about what inspires musicians to be activists, and how music impacts the most pressing environmental, political and social challenges facing today’s world. This year’s “Social Change Through Music” interviews and performance participants included: Adam Gardner & Luke Reynolds (Guster), Taylor & Griffin Goldsmith (Dawes), Gregory Alan Isakov, and Hurray for the Riff Raff’s Alynda Segarra and Yosi Pearlstein.
In addition, Rock the Earth hosted its annual “Green Screens Presented by Rock the Earth” series, highlighting award-winning environmental films in the Cinema Tent. Green Screens, once again a highlight of our work at Bonnaroo, kicked things off with a world premiere of “After the Spill.” After the Spill is a new film by environmental documentary filmmaker and noted writer Jon Bowermaster, and was introduced by artist-activist Kalmia Traver from the Brooklyn-based band Rubblebucket. A lively discussion with Bowermaster followed the film screening. Friday’s Green Screens film was the award-winning documentary, “Merchants of Doubt.” With an introduction by Participant Media’s EB Krawczyk and a post-film discussion with Producer Melissa Robledo, former Congressman Bob Inglis, and Olympic snowboarder and environmental activist Gretchen Bleiler, Merchants of Doubt worked with Rock the Earth to offer additional, creative on-site activation. In the Rock the Earth booth in Planet Roo, we played host to a Merchants of Doubt photo booth in which Bonnaroo 2050 was re-imagined, projecting the results of what would happen in the absence of aggressive measures taken to address climate change.
Speaking of climate change, Rock the Earth collaborated with Sierra Club Tennessee to lead the official Bonnaroo Post-card Campaign in which we collected thousands of postcards addressed to President Obama and demanding that the U.S. take the lead for affirmative and aggressive action on climate change during this year’s UN Climate Summit in Paris.
Thousands of people visited the Rock the Earth booth over the course of the festival to learn more about the issues, explore how to contribute to the effort, and to say “hello.” We want to thank our volunteer team who helped make Bonnaroo 2015 such a success: Axel Tomac, Joe Fitzgerald, Shannon Keib, Zac Lewis, Amy Wippman, Alexandra Gremer, Ryan Hoegger, Lauren Howerton, Andrea Metivier and Brandon Hirata.
We also sincerely thank Laura Sohn, Anthony Cassella, James Keane, Chris Crowell, Michelle Baraga, Cameron Rivers, Rich Goodstone, David Owen, Mike Marzen, Sami Nowlin, Zoe Holland, Erinn Anne Scheibel, JC Barber, Gabrielle Cortes, Ken Weinstein, and everyone else at Superfly Presents and AC Entertainment. These fine folks generously contributed resources and infrastructure in support of Rock the Earth’s effort to “sow the seeds of thought,” hopefully educating and engaging Bonnaroo festival-goers in Rock the Earth’s mission and inspiring them to Defend the Planet One Beat at a Time.