Rothbury Quickie / by Jason

I'm halfway through Rothbury and have nothing but good things to say about this event--the music is spectacular, the weather is flawless, the vibe is completely relaxed, and everyone here is really into the festival's green theme. All I can say so far!

There have been a couple of first-year festival jitters, but nothing unduly stressful. The biggest snafu so far has been spotty internet service in the press tent, which has kept me from getting online and updating you all about the happenings here.

I don't have much time, since I'm waiting to interview Susan Tedeschi. But the highlight so far has been the festival grounds, which are absolutely gorgeous, full of pleasant surprises at every turn and capped off by the magical Sherwood Forest, a magical spot full of hammocks, amazing light installations, and art installations galore. Words can't do it justice, but it's proven to be quite a difficult place to photograph at night, when it really shines. After the festival, I'll see if I can get some photos of it from some of the pros here.

Beyond the art and the forest, the grounds also shine for another reason--they're literally spotless at all times. The festival's strong and early focus on waste diversion and generous allocation of some 200 waste stations, each manned by a volunteer to help you sort compostables, recyclables, and landfill items, have combined to keep patrons here alert. Everyone is quite literaly pitching in, and the difference from other festivals is staggering.

There's far too much green goodness here for me to even scratch the surface on such a short post, but rest assured that this festival has delivered on its big green promises.

Musical performance highlights for me have included scorching sets from Railroad Earth, Panjea, State Radio, Widespread, and BassNectar. But for me, it's going to be hard to top the emotionally charged spectacle that Thievery Corporation laid down for us late last night. It's hard to follow fireworks and a band like Widespread, but thievery--like this festival in general--delivered big.

In the coming days, look for a full report on the greening activities, and transcriptions of my interviews with Charles Walker and the Dynamites, State Radio, Susan Tedeschi, Panjea, journalist and Think Tank panelist Bud Wood. And now...back to the festival!