News roundup / by Jason

Lest you think that all I care about is Langerado, here is a roundup of newsworthy events that have crossed my desk recently.

The Hillside Festival in Guelph, Ontario, (that's the great white north for all you geographically impaired Americans) goes where other festivals dare not tread: free drinking water, reusable beer mugs, and, no foolin', they will even wash your dishes for you to keep you from using paper plates.

Scotland's T in the Park festival makes an unsubstantiated claim to be the world's largest carbon neutral event. The festival will also be selling combined bus/festival tickets, something I'd like to see more of at US festivals.

Australia's festivals join up for a "summer of sustainability." Details, announced only through a myspace blog, are limited, but so far Falls Festival, Big Day Out, St Jeromes Laneway and Golden Plains have all joined on to the effort. Since the festival season has just wrapped up down under, I presume that this is an effort for summer 08-09 (sounds kinda strange, doesn't it?).

Also on the down-under tip, some old news that I'd meant to report on long ago, but never got around to. The Peats Ridge Festival, widely regarded as the most eco-friendly festival in the world, was unfortunately cancelled this time around due to massive floods. Enthusiastic Al Glore fans point fingers.

(update: the amazing venues and December Sunshine have now officially put Golden Plains and Peats Ridge as the two festivals I most want to attend but will never be able to afford airfare for. Check out the setup for the lucky 7500 festival-goers at GP. Woodstock, it ain't!)

Speaking of enthusiastic fans, the NY Times gets all fan-boy about Jack Johnson, waxing poetic about both his lyrics and his green creds. To his credit, Johnson has the decency to note that his music is "mellow to the point of annoying."

Speaking of eco-stoners, green-leaning festival Bonnaroo announced their lineup not long ago. Johnson will be headlining this year, with fellow green scenester Willie Nelson also on the bill. Hot tip if you're headed to Bonnaroo this year: do not miss Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings. I don't know how green she is, but her voice is pure gold and her moves are red-hot. Run don't walk, kiddies, because between her set and My Morning Jacket, the tickets have already paid for themselves.

And on that note, take it away, Sharon!