Memorial Day Weekend simply will not be the same this year in Monterey. For the past decade, one festival has grown to be synonymous with the three-day weekend at the Monterey Fairgrounds, the same setting of the historic Monterey Pop Festival — you know, where Jimi Hendrix set his guitar on fire in between Janis, Otis Redding and beyond. It’s an iconic site for a massive music gathering and the vibrations from that 1967 festival still remain alive and well, embedded as undercurrents as you walk around the sacred grounds. An overabundance of calm and appreciation — not just towards music, but towards all — overtakes you as you enter the annual California Roots Music & Arts Festival.
Cali Roots, now in its 11th year, has sadly had to postpone due to the COVID-19 crisis. Never fear, the new fall dates has the original 2020 lineup 100% intact going down this October 9th-11th. (Yes, Cali Roots now coincides with Coachella Weekend One, but you know where your priorities lie.) Whether or not you can make the news dates (we hope you can!!), this particular festival stands as much more than just the leading reggae rock/hip hop festival in the nation.
Did you know that Cali Roots is also the breadwinner in greening initiatives for large-scale music festivals?
The list of Cali Roots environmental partners is lengthy; from sustainability to planting trees, this festival does everything it can to protect the planet. Being Earth Day, we feel it’s dire time that Cali Roots gets the recognition that it deserves for its greening efforts, hoping that more music festivals follow its incredible example. First off, Cali Roots is proud to boast an offset of over 12 million pounds of carbon with its TripZero partnership! Furthermore, its relationship with Save Our Shores does a sponsored educational cleanup after every festival conclusion, collecting discarded cigarette butts and garbage before anything reaches the ocean just a few miles away! Speaking of garbage, Cali Roots has virtually eliminated almost all landfill waste generated after incorporating initiatives alongside Blue Strike Environmental. From compostable dining ware to outing single cup usage, Cali Roots’ food waste diversion programs are in full swing every year.
Blue Strike’s Alex Baxter comments, “Blue Strike makes it fun and user-friendly for Cali Roots fans to dispose correctly by placing Green Team Ambassadors at high volume disposal areas to engage with fans on what waste is compost or recycling. These ambassadors are often very similar to the very folks who attend the festival. Music festival fans are amongst the most receptive audience to sustainability programs. The environment is a shared entity that festival-goers do not take for granted due to the inherent closeness that can be found from literally camping onsite for three or four days. The music festival-goer demographic is the generation of change. They catalyze the change they want to see in a community and go out of their way to take part in waste reduction programs, riding a bike or skateboard over driving, procuring local art, food or music, etc. These aspects are all important to California Roots and drive a successful event for positive change.”
“The music festival-goer demographic is the generation of change.”
Speaking of skateboards, Cali Roots places over 3,500 skateboards at free onsite Bike & Skate Valets, compliments of their partners at Green Pedal Courier. And, you’ve had to have noticed the wonderful multi-use, custom-designed steel beer pints and refillable water bottles available at the free onsite water stations by now. Everyone is drinking out of them, you can’t miss it. From the fest’s partnership with REVERB and #RockNRefill (who in turn partnered with top water bottle manufacturer Nalgene), over 40,000 steel cups and water bottles have been sold to offset 500,000 single cups. 100% of the #RockNRefill bottle sales go to supporting local nonprofits, rendering over $20,000 to local charities to date.
REVERB Communication Manager Chris Spinato says, “REVERB is excited to continue our partnership with California Roots in 2020 and build on four years of creating positive impact for people and the planet. We’ve found a kindred partner in Cali Roots and love working with a festival that’s truly dedicated to doing the right thing for the planet.”
Last, it wouldn’t be Northern California without majestic redwood trees looming overhead. California Roots Fest introduced the prestigious ‘Redwood Pass’ as an upgraded VIP experience in 2017. A birth child of Cali Roots’ partnership with the Redwood Forest Foundation Inc (RFFI), for every Redwood Pass sold, two redwood trees are planted — hence the name. 800 trees were planted in its first year; as of 2020, that number has escalated to 7,400.
RFFI Community Develop Director Lin Morgan elaborates:
“The Redwood Forest Foundation treasures our partnership with California Roots.”
Clearly, California Roots wins Earth Day. More greening anecdotes include:
- Enhanced local vineyards with 50,000 lbs of composted food waste
- Collected 86 tons of recyclables via our partnership with Blue Strike Environmental
- Donated 1,300 pounds of leftover food from catering, hospitality & vendors to the Monterey County Food Bank
For more information on how you can join Cali Roots causes, check out the links below. And, don’t forget to have a very happy Earth Day, full of forward-thinking! Just during this quarantine period, pollution around the world has drastically decreased. Blue skies are shocking heavily-populated areas in India grown accustomed to grey smog and South American mountaintops can be seen for the first time looming over cities. The Ozone Layer is rapidly repairing itself! We need to remember these improvements from everyone being stuck inside this past month and try to incorporate lessening global pollution moving forward. The sustainability of this planet depends on it. Plant a tree, make a yourself a garden, do a neighborhood clean-up and celebrate your accomplishments by pre-registering for this Friday’s Cali Roots Isolated Sessions Vol. 1 livestream! Happy Earth Day.