second helping will be delicious
Well I’m sure you’ve heard the terms “Parrotheads” and
“Deadheads.” Guess what, now there’s “EcoHeads.”
with the official Sedona festival season fast approaching,
there is one festival that is quickly making a name for itself.
The second installment of the Sedona EcoFest explodes on the
Sedona Cultural Park stage, September 15.
This year’s eco-party is sure to please, with its unique
blend of performing artists, booths, speakers, clowns on parade,
and even live animals. In case you don’t remember, the inaugural
Sedona EcoFest included B.B. King, Los Lobos, Merl Saunders,
Michelle Branch, Walt Richardson and A LOT of rain!
Although the weather at last year’s EcoFest was a bit
disappointing, it didn’t dampen the spirits of those who attended
and actually helped to put the first time event on the map.
This year, the BeneFest Foundation (Philip Walker, Peter Carlson
and Jeff Teele) moved the event to mid September to avoid
another cold and wet day.
“Last year was definitely a learning experience, but
we have worked really hard to improve on last year’s show.”
said Executive Director Philip Walker. “Since the first EcoFest
we have been fortunate enough to create many new positive
relationships with sponsors and community organizations, which
has made a tremendous difference.”
The Sedona EcoFest is a performing arts event that promotes
ecological education and responsible outdoor ethics. Quite
simply, the Sedona EcoFest was started as a celebration in
honor of what Northern Arizona is know for, ITS NATURAL BEAUTY.
“Since most people come to Sedona and the surrounding
area to enjoy the scenery and the outdoor activities, we felt
that it would be nice to have a festival that promotes the
area and brings about community pride,” Walker said.
“In addition to the music, we wanted to include outdoor
education so that people could have an opportunity to learn
how to take a proactive role in taking care of our outdoor
world for future generations to enjoy. We feel strongly that
since so many people make a living in Sedona off the tourists
that come to see the incredible natural beauty that it would
only make sense to have an event that celebrates what makes
our community famous.”
The promotors believe that Sedona is the best place
in the world to have an event that promotes ecological education.
Furthermore, they wanted to create an event that worked in
conjunction with the theme of the Sedona Cultural Park: performing
arts, education and the environment.
far it looks like a winning formula. Last year, the Sedona
EcoFest won the endorsement of the City of Sedona, Sedona-Oak
Creek Canyon Chamber of Commerce, the Sedona Cultural Park,
and other fine organizations such as Patagonia, Earth Share,
The Wilderness Society and National Geographic.
In addition to the wide variety of music and vendors
there will be other new additions to the 2001 festival. These
include an environmental award, a theme (Endangered Species
and Open Spaces), an “Eco-Exhibition Area,” and a benefit
dinner. The dinner will include an auction, raffle, a guest
speaker (Julia “Butterfly” Hill) as well as music, provided
by Limbs Akimbo. One of the auction items will be a brand
new Ibanez acoustic guitar, signed by B.B. King and Willie
Nelson. Event sponsors, as well as local celebrities will
attend, and the community is invited.
musical line-up is again looking to be a strongpoint at the
festival this year. It includes reggae, bluegrass and blues.
At press time, the lineup includes Third World, Yonder Mountain
String Band, and Merl Saunders and The Rainforest Band. The
amusing “Living Folklore Medicine Show” will be returning
as well as environmental celebrity Julia “Butterfly” Hill.
And there are still acts to be announced.
“We work really hard to have a high quality and diverse
musical lineup so as to offer something for everyone,” said
associate director Peter Carlson. “Good music makes for a
great party and the people attending deserve to have a great
time. Combining entertainment and education is really what
it’s all about.”
Third World is
a world-renowned reggae band that has been together for more
than 20 years. The Yonder Mountain String Band is one of the
most popular up-and-coming bluegrass acts in the country and
just recently headlined the Telluride Bluegrass Festival where
The String Cheese Incident got its start.
Jam band favorite Merl Saunders was a big crowd pleaser
at the inaugural Sedona EcoFest and will returning to perform
his unique style of funky blues in 2001. Julia “Butterfly”
Hill received international notoriety and fame from a two
year long “tree sit” atop a giant redwood tree, called Luna,
in an attempt to help make the world more aware of the plight
of ancient forests. It was a successful campaign as she was
instrumental in negotiating to permanently protect the 1,000-year-old
tree and several surrounding acres of ancient forests.
Since coming down from Luna, Julia has been busy speaking
at various public events and colleges to standing-room-only
crowds. She has also been featured on the “Today” show with
Katie Couric, CNN, NBC Nightly News, ABC Evening News, NBC
Dateline as well as USA Today, Newsweek, People and Time Magazine.
If last year was any indication, Sedona EcoFest 2001
is sure to be a unique, fun and interesting event for a great
cause. So keep your eyes out for the Magic EcoBus and get
your dancing shoes (or mountain boots!) ready for a grand
party in celebration of the great outdoors.