Interview with Anna Borofsky from Clean Vibes

clean vibes
Clean Vibes

Interview by Scott Preston

Clean Vibes is a company formed and dedicated to the responsible waste management of outdoor festivals and events. Our mission is to actively encourage and promote recycling and proper waste disposal at outdoor events. We hope to inspire and educate a new generation of responsible stewards. Our goal is to decrease the amount of trash entering landfills and incinerators by increasing the amount of recyclables collected and delivered to recycling centers. (from

Cincy Groove: So what is up next for Clean Vibes?

Anna Borofsky: We are potentially entering a whole new realm of society. Clean Vibes is looking into working a few NASCAR events. Which is strange and exciting all at the same time. There is so much potential for recycling education. We will also be at DelFest on Memorial Day Weekend. Then the summer season just keeps on going.

Cincy Groove: How/When did Clean Vibes start?

Anna Borofsky: I founded Clean Vibes in 2000 with a partner of mine. Then after the 2005 season she moved on to the next big thing. Its been my duty to run the groups ever since.

Cincy Groove: How big of a staff do you have right now?

Anna Borofsky: We have one full time administrative employee, one full time equipment manager and beyond that we hire per event. But I would say for the summer festival season we have about 12 people full time.

Cincy Groove: What is the typical size of your full staff say at a festival?

Anna Borofsky: If you have something like DelFest where we will have about 4 paid staff and a bunch of volunteers. For Bonnaroo this year we could have as many as 130 paid staff and 300 volunteers.

Cincy Groove: How many people did you have working some of your very first events in 2000?

Anna Borofsky: In the very first year, 2000, we probably had 3 of us as paid staff and the rest was done with volunteers. We would pay some people for clean up days past their volunteer commitment. I think the biggest event we worked that year was Gathering of the Vibes in Bridgeport, CT. We really relied on volunteers and we quickly realized that was the way to go to keep our sanity. The 2001 year we had about 10 people working the season full time with us. Its grown each year and now I would say we have about 2000 people in out volunteer database.

Cincy Groove: How many festivals do you typically do in a year?

Anna Borofsky: This year will probably be one of our biggest. It varies from year to year but we are looking at 12 – 14 events.

Cincy Groove: Does the recycling goto local facilities?

Anna Borofsky: Yes it does. We obviously want to haul it as little distance as possible. For each event we find a local waste hauler and they help us find the best place to take the recycling. Some places will sort the recycling for us and in California we actually sorted it ourselves which saves on the cost of doing what we do. Bonnaroo for example will be a combination of both situations.

Cincy Groove: Typically how early will you arrive at an event to setup?

Anna Borofsky: Well for something like Bonnaroo, staff will start showing up about 2 weeks ahead of time. For smaller events, its sometimes just 1 day before the event starts. But typically we show up about 3-4 days before the event starts.

Cincy Groove: So is running Clean Vibes your full time job?

Anna Borofsky: It is, its not quite at the point of stability I would like it to be at after 9 years. But I keep doing because its what I love. It becomes a little more fruitful each year.

Cincy Groove: What was the first festival you worked at before you started Clean Vibes?

Anna Borofsky: The first festival I worked at in any capacity would have been Strangefolk’s very first Garden of Eden festival in 1995. There were about 500 people there and I somehow became the volunteer coordinator. I also helped to park cars. After that I worked for the band Percy Hill handling their merchandise at shows.

Clean Vibes has also stopped accepting applications for paid positions, but we are still accepting volunteer applications on an on going basis. To submit an application to volunteer, click here.


Events that Clean Vibes will be at:
check out for more events
Delfest –
May 23 – May 25, 2008 Cumberland, MD

Mountain Jam
May 30th – June 1st, 2008 Hunter Mountain Hunter, NY

The Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival
June 12th – 15th, 2008 Manchester, TN

High Sierra Music Festival
July 3rd – 6th, 2008 Plumas County Fairgrounds Quincy, CA