Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Liberate Music Festival Sheldon, VT by Kimberly Silberberg

Flying into Burlington Friday afternoon I had visions of tofu scrambles, rainy nights in tents and a plethora of live music. I was picked up at the airport and we journeyed a bit around Burlington before packing the car up and heading to Liberate. We arrived super quickly-couldn't believe it was so close-and marvelled at the excellent grounds. It was a giant open space with rolling hills and the promise of a great weekend. We set up our tents on one of the aforementioned rolling hills (not the best decision ever) and met up with everyone. There wasn't a ton of food choices, although they were great ones-crepes from Skinny Pancake (yum for the veggie monster), pizza from American flatbread (oh so delicious) and a local stand selling burgers, veggie burgers, amazing lemonade, quinoa cranberry salad and a few other things I can't remember. This provided plenty of healthy nourishment over the weekend (and all tased great being washed down with some Magic Hat at the nearby beer garden).

The music was awesome-from Friday night's dancing until 4am to Saturday night's repeat performance of dancing (although I SO didn't make it until 4am!), I was happy. I think what amazed me the most was each and every time I had to go pee...there were no lines for the porta potties and they consistently had hand sanitizer and toilet paper-amazing! I also heard rumor that some of them even had scented candles!

Throughout the weekend, there were also many yoga classes and other options to keep yourself busy, although I was never sure when these events were occurring. I took part in the Healthie Hippie's nourishment for the mind, body and soul class (HH is my sissy so I had to!) which was great for creating a 'nourishment menu' to help you find things in life that nourish your soul aside from food (although, let me tell you, cheese and chocolate can be quite nourishing!). I wanted to take part in other classes and activities, however I really never knew when they were happening-that would be the only way this weekend could have improved-better schedules so people can take advantage of all the events being offered.

We decided to get an early start Sunday morning because it was raining and we figured it was better to get out before we got stuck in the mud! We packed everything up and piled in the car. Going up the muddy hills was a bit sketchy, however we made it to the top and were met by applause from a group of up all night and still looking to party hippies. Perfect.

I'd highly recommend Liberate to anyone who likes good music, scrumptous crepes, happy people and an overall great weekend!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Eco-Awareness at Gathering of the Vibes

Eco-Awesomeness at the Vibes by Jessica Reis

The 14th Annual Gathering of the Vibes Festival took place on July 23-26, 2009, featuring Bob Weir & Ratdog, Crosby Stills and Nash, moe. and The Levon Helm Band as its headliners. In true tradition of "The Vibes," the music was top notch and full of energy, but the focus remains on the people -- the "Vibe Tribe," who come from near and far, representing themselves proudly (in the mud), providing for a friendly, family-centered atmosphere, sharing good times, goodwill and creating lasting memories with old and new friends. There aren't many events out there that provide such a feeling of community, and a key theme of this community is taking care of your fellow man as well as your planet.

Gathering of the Vibes featured the Green Vibes Sustainability Village again this year. Various ecologically and socially responsible non-profit organizations and green businesses gather to educate attendees and lend their efforts to keeping the scene green and beautiful. In this village, you could learn about alternative fuels -- how hydrogen can be used in place of natural resources as a clean, emission-less fuel; the power and practicality of solar energy (as well as charge your electronic device) from the solarbus; how biodiesel can be used in lieu of gasoline for your auto and much more. Local Connecticut organizations were in attendance to educate the people about keeping our bodies of water (i.e. the bordering Long Island Sound) clean; providing various ideas to reduce waste, and bringing awareness of key issues through music. The focal point of the sustainability village is the Green Vibes Stage. The stage, partially run on solar energy, featured excellent musical performances, panel discussions and lectures. At the end of the weekend, an attendee was literally provided over a dozen new ideas for cutting their carbon footprint just by taking a walk along the booths.

Clean Vibes Event Waste & Recycling Services were present once again working into the wee hours of the morning to provide their amazing assistance in keeping the scene clean. Three separate cans were available at waste reclamation centers throughout the festival grounds, encouraging people to dispose their waste in either the trash, recycling or compost receptacle. "Trash talkers" were on hand to advise people how to properly dispose of their waste and encourage everyone to continue recycling and composting throughout the year in their own homes.

Clean Vibes also provided attendees an incredible opportunity to trade recyclable items for merchandise! The Clean Vibes Trading Post took cans and bottles in exchange for rewards. Items for trade redemption included Vibes merchandise, organic products, fun goodies and the ultimate prize -- an autographed Summer Tour 2009 poster signed by Crosby Stills and Nash.

In collaboration with Clean Vibes, the food vendors at Gathering of the Vibes used corn-based compostable plates, cups and utensils. Using these products provided an enormous opportunity to reduce the amount of waste being sent to landfills and greatly reduced the negative affects on the environment which large events such as this inevitably create. And if you had leftover food or non-perishable items at the end of the festival that you didn't want to bring home, the Gathering of the Vibes Food Drive was happy to take it off your hands (resulting in the collection of over 7,000 pounds of items for local shelters). Overall, the collaborative efforts of Clean Vibes, the festival staff and attendees resulted in the collection of thousands of pounds of recyclable and compostable materials which will NOT be taking up space at a landfill!

It is well-known that this planet is facing enormous environmental problems. Our limited resources are rapidly depleted by population growth, water, air and soil pollution. These issues threaten to render our planet unable to support life unless we can meet the growing need for food and energy within a sustainable environment. Therefore, it is vital to make some changes in the way we live our lives. When we use less energy and fewer resources, we create less waste to be dumped in a landfill and we prolong the planet's ability to keep us around, which we can all appreciate. Once again, the Gathering of the Vibes has provided a unique opportunity for patrons to learn, observe and collaborate for a cause on a local level which affects us on a global scale. Perhaps the best lesson learned (besides seeing so clearly how every little bit helps when you pass a mountain of bags filled with cans and bottles) is the fact that it is so easy to take steps toward greener living and really requires little-to-no additional effort. It is just as easy to conserve as it is not to conserve. So why not do your part to help out mother nature all year long.


"I always scrape off any remaining food on my plate into the garbage when I'm done eating. But I just learned how to compost, so I'm going to start scraping off my plate into a container for composting now instead." - Shelley, 21, Springfield, MA

"It's so cool you can trade cans for merchandise. I'm just going to bring all the cans from my campsite there before I leave." - Joe, 19, Califon, NJ

"What lies between a good recycler and a bad recycler? Oregon! I know, that was dumb." - Mike, 26, Trumbull, CT

"Those hydrogen stove brownies were dope! I thought they were going to be a "special" brownie but these are eco-brownies, which is cool too" - David, 19, Ft. Lee, NJ

...and now the photos taken by Jessica Reis

Sunday, August 2, 2009

The Motet Does the Talking Heads Denver, CO

I walked through the crowded entry way at Cervantes Masterpiece in Denver, Colorado after a magical night seeing Phish at Red Rocks. It is hard to imagine seeing anything that would impress me after what I had just experienced at Red Rocks, but it happened... and it happened with avengance! The room was wild and I felt like I was smack dab in the middle of a Talking Heads video. The band was committed to being the Talking Heads and if you closed your eyes you would swear that you were rockin out to Mr. David Byrne himself.

The Talking Heads were channeled by members of The Motet featuring Kyle Hollingsworth on keys from String Cheese Incident, Fuzz from Caravan of Thieves, Deep Banana Blackout, and the Tom Tom Club, Carrie from Caravan of Thieves, Jans Ingber, Liza Oxnard, Joey Porter and more.

If this show comes to a town near you, make sure to check it out!

The Motet
Deep Banana Blackout
Caravan of Thieves
String Cheese Incident
Tom Tom Club