With spring in full swing, there are signs everywhere you look that the landscape is once again turning green. Along with the change in season is what’s become an annual celebration of all things “green” the Earth Day Music Festival.
Now in it’s 5th year on the beach the festival is hosted by the Wellness Council of SC and Compassion Music at The Market Common’s Grand Park.
The event, which is expected to draw more than 6,000 attendees features a day’s worth of live music and more than 50 vendors, artisans and non-profits all devoted to promoting better knowledge and support of local environmental initiatives.
“The earth is kind of like your body, we only have one. We have to protect it rather than harm it and we want to get people excited about doing that,” said said Kristi Falk, the director of the Wellness Council and one of the festival’s organizers. “What better place to learn and have fun doing it than a music festival like this.”
With a focus on learning and having fun, Falk says she plans to have a lot more educational and interactive vendors and exhibitors this year.
“We’ve got some great participants and we’re even working on getting a bicycle-powered station, which should be really cool,” she says.
Falk says her husband is in the midst of building a human-powered energy station where attendees will ride a bicycle to power a lamp or other electric device.
“It should be really cool. Just something to get the kids interested and something they can do. It’s a great display to get people interested,” she said.
Beyond the vendors and displays, the event’s main draw continues to be the music. After last year bringing in Emerson Hart of well-known rock band Tonic to headline, this year’s lineup will once again shift back to a greater focus on local and regional talent.
The lineup will feature local rock acts Sideways Derby and Bullfrog, Reggae groups Treehouse!, Downtribe and the ska/surf-tinged Strike-O-Matics. A pair of out-of-towners will join the mix with Atlanta-based Soulful~I bringing a meld of acoustic, dub and hip-hop to the stage and Wilmington’s Sai Collins rounding out the entertainment.
“Sai Collins is a real crowd favorite for us,” said Falk. “ He’s been at every one of these so far, so we’re excited to have him back.”
But as good as the music has been Falk says she’ll also be glad to have the vendors and exhibitors back, after the threat of tornadoes forced last year’s downtown-based celebration to become a much smaller, indoor affair.
“Well the music was great, we had a great lineup and Emerson Hart was great, but since we had to move it inside we couldn’t really have the festival,” she said.
When posed with the possibility of inclement weather for 2012, she simply jokes “We’re not going to talk about weather... it’s not going to happen.”
However, Falk goes on to explain that they’re equipped for rain with a covered stage and individual vendor tents this year, and that it was hard to plan for the relatively rare occurrence of tornado warnings last year.
But whatever the outcome, organizers are just happy for the festival to be back at The Market Common area, where the inaugural event was held in 2008.
“Market Common is just inviting. It’s very green, very family-friendly,” says Falk. “ It’s its own neighborhood, people walk their dogs there, there’s a kids playground and there’s just so much out there, it’s really a beautiful. It’s a perfect setting for us.”
Check out more details on the Earth Day Music Festival at edmf.wordpress.com.
The Earth Day Music Fest will take place from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, April 21 at Grand Park at the Market Common Here's a look at the musical lineup:
• 11-11:30 a.m.: Soulful-I (Acoustic/Hip Hop)
• 11:45 a.m.-12:15 p.m.: Sai Collins (Acoustic)
• 12:30-1:30 p.m.: Bullfrog (Americana)
• 1:45-2:30 p.m.: Strike-O-Matics (Ska-Rock)
• 2:45-3:35 p.m.: Downtribe (Reggae)
• 4-4:55 p.m.: Treehouse! (Reggae Rock)
• 5:10 p.m.: Sideways Derby (Rock/Jam)
• 7-11 p.m.: After Party at Gordon Biersch w/ John Owens Journal, Treehouse! & Sai Collins