I have seen what a festival in Miami looks like. And by festival in Miami, I mean ULTRA Music Festival because not too many festivals beyond the EDM giant have lasted in South Florida. Festers want bass, they want neon spandex, and they want to be completely annihilated. But could there a music festival revolution on the horizon?
Since the Woodstock era, a staple of music fest culture has been communing with nature in the beautiful, outdoor settings where most multi-day festivals take place. But for many, “being one with nature” is more about eating a bunch of shrooms than it is environmental activism. And big events like Coachella, Lollapalooza, and Ultra often wreak environmental havoc – creating literally tons of trash, massive amounts of energy consumption, and a huge travel carbon footprint.
Miami’s new Friends of Nature Festival is aiming to change. Unlike many music festivals, all of its power will come from natural sources such as solar, bio-fuel and natural gas generators, and all of the products sold will remain true to the Festival’s eco-friendly mandate.
The aim of FON Fest is to harness the creative and passionate minds of music and art lovers and use their energy (no pun intended) to elevate issues directly addressing our environment.
“FON Fest is entirely about raising environmental awareness with non-profit organizations and government agencies serving at the core of the festival,” said Maggie Fernandez, FON FEST Foundations Director. “We take our mission very seriously, and want festival participants to learn about the challenges facing the earth and become inspired to act.”
And though FON Fest definitely has an advocacy element, with workshops and panels featuring scientists, filmmakers, inventors and more, it’s not all work and no play. After all, it is a music festival and you will be in the beautiful, historic Virginia Key Beach Park and there will be music- lots of music for people of all flavors. Among the headliners are Matisyahu, Mexican legendary rock band Café Tacvba, We Are Scientists, and Nortec Collective. The festival also gives a shout out to many of the local Miami bands that have been keeping the scene alive and thriving, including Suenalo, Afrobeta, Krisp, Panic Bomber, Locos Por Juana, Bachaco, Elastic Bond, Lanzallamas, and the list goes on and on!
Although in its inaugural year, I have a feeling that FON Fest has just the perfect balance of music, art, awareness and location to escape the fate of failed jamband-hippie-fest Langerado. Now, it’s up to the people to decide whether it’s worth it to leave the glowsticks behind for a weekend and use that mind for something positive that will affect us all for years to come. And on that note, I’m sure a few trees wouldn’t mind helping you out with that one.
FON Fest will take place from November 9-10 at the Historic Virginia Key Beach Park. You can view full lineup and purchase festival passes here!