II: benefit boasts dynamite line-up
by Stephanie Mahoney
end of summer marks the beginning of Sedona’s festival season.
And it all begins September 15 with the exciting, ecologically
themed Sedona EcoFest.
EcoFest put itself on the
festival map last year with the “King of the Blues,” B.B.
King, Los Lobos, Merl Saunders, Walt Richardson and Sedona’s
Michelle Branch (whose career is exploding!).
This year, Sedona EcoFest
II is sure to please again with an even more diverse lineup.
A truly great concert band, Blues Traveler, will headline
this year’s show, which includes bluegrass (Yonder Moutain
String Band) and reggae (Third World), Merl Saunders and The
Rainforest Band, a crowd favorite from last year, and “The
Tree Lady,” environmental speaker Julia “Butterfly” Hill.
Hill, who gained international
notoriety by sitting atop a 1,000-year-old redwood, has become
one of the country’s most impassioned speakers on the environment.
Other additions to the festival
include the Eco-Exhibition Tent, Animal Observation Area,
a Friday night (Sept. 14) benefit party with Limbs Akimbo,
and the presentation of the first Sedona EcoFest Environmental
Steward Award to Julia “Butterfly” Hill.
Festival headliner Blues Traveler
are popular worldwide. The four founding members (John Popper,
lead vocals, harmonica and guitar; Chad Kinchla, guitar; Brendon
Hill, drums and percussion; and Bobby Sheehan, bass) met while
they were students in high school and have been playing together
Third World, often referred
to as “The Ambassadors of Reggae,” formed in 1973 and has
been at the forefront of the reggae movement with smash hit
songs, sold out tours, and inspirational messages. Their initial
notoriety came from opening for Bob Marley and The Wailers.
Later came “Try Jah Love,” which was produced by Stevie Wonder
and became the band’s anthem and solidified them in the archives
of musical history.
Yonder Mountain String Band,
whose unique sound has been taking the country by storm, will
surely set the show afire. Their bluegrass sound (referred
to as “Jamgrass” or “psychedelic boogiegrass”) is rapidly
becoming a hit amoung young people in the U.S. The band recently
received a headlining spot at the world renowned Telluride
Bluegrass Festival. “Drive without drums” defines the YMSB
“Yonder Mountain String Band
put on one heck of a live show and they’re fun. That’s what
we want Sedona EcoFest to be known for. These guys will definitely
help us achieve that goal,” said Philip Walker, EcoFest executive
Merl Saunders and the Rainforest
Band once again bring their unique brand of funky blues to
“We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves
at last year’s EcoFest despite the rainy weather,” said Saunders.
“It’s a great cause and the fans were incredible. We’re excited
and proud to participate in the 2001 Sedona EcoFest.”
The most notable addition
to Sedona EcoFest 2001 is the addition of a keynote speaker,
along with the creation of the Sedona EcoFest “Hope for Tomorrow”
The idea for a environmental
speaker was brought about by the interest to increase the
festival’s emphasis on ecological education. “Although there
were many qualified candidates to fill this new slot in the
festival, the first recipient of this coveted award will be
none other than the remarkable young woman Julia “Butterfly”
Hill, who inspired the world by living for over two years
in the giant redwood tree she named Luna in protest of the
logging of ancient redwood trees,” said Walker.
Hill, with the help of steelworkers
and environmentalists, successfully negotiated to protect
the 1,000-year-old tree and a nearly three-acre buffer zone.
Her two-year vigil informed the public that only three percent
of the ancient redwood forests remained.
Hill climbed the 200-foot-tall
redwood tree on December 10, 1997 to protest the clear cutting
of the old growth redwood forest in Humboldt County, California
by the Pacific Lumber Company. When Hill couldn’t insure the
future of the breathtaking tree, she simply stayed in her
leafy perch, an action of hope and defiance that touched hearts
around the world. Hill’s lone vigil, surviving wild weather
and harassment from her opponents, drew international attention
to the plight of the redwoods.
Television, radio, print and
Internet journalists, as well as entertainer-activists Bonnie
Raitt, Joan Baez, Mickey Hart and Woody Harrelson, made the
pilgrimage to Luna.
“By standing together in unity,
solidarity and love we will heal the wounds in the earth and
in each other,” Hill said. “We can make a positive difference
through our actions.” On December 18, 1999, Hill came down
to a world that recognized her as a heroine and powerful voice
for the environment. Not long after her vigil, Hill and other
forest activists founded the Circle of Life Foundation to
inspire, support and network individuals, organizations, and
communities to create environmental and social solutions that
are rooted deeply in love and respect for the interconnectedness
of all life.
2001 Sedona EcoFest takes
place at the Georgia Frontiere Pavilion at Sedona Cultural
Park. Advance tickets are $40 and gates open at 11 am. parking
is $10 per car. Tickets may be purchased by calling 800-780-2787
or through TICKETS.COM.
Attendees are urged to car
pool and to bring a blanket. Sealed plastic bottles and small
(12 x 18) coolers are okay. No glass, aluminum, cameras, alcohol
or chairs are allowed. Low back beach chairs may be rented
at the festival for $3. For more information visit the festival
Web site (www.sedonaecofest.com).