ROTHBURY Sets the Bar High with a Hugely Successful Inaugural Event Fusing Music, Art and Action.
Rothbury, MI – On July 4th, 2008 at the highly touted inaugural ROTHBURY festival, Conscious Alliance and Whole Foods Market® set the Guinness World Record for “largest canned food sculpture.” The canned food sculpture was one of many ground-breaking ways that ROTHBURY integrated music, art and action for this revolutionary, and highly sustainable, festival experience.
The canned food sculpture – designed by Architect John Brittingham and students of his Graduate Architecture Program at Montana State University, in the form of a hand reaching out to receive a can of food – used 45,725 cans of food donated by Whole Foods Market. The previous largest canned food structure was comprised of 25,656 cans and was built in Johannesburg, South Africa in 2004 in the shape of a rocket.
After being awarded the Guinness Record for “largest canned food sculpture,” Conscious Alliance donated the cans to ROTHBURY’s Food Drive, which collected an additional 16,344 lbs of food via festival attendee donations (Conscious Alliance’s highest single event collection in their 6-year history). All of the food, a combined total of approximately 66,000 lbs., went to benefit local Michigan food pantries.
ROTHBURY is proud to host a community of conscious and involved fans who, by contributing to the event’s core ideals of sustainability and social responsibility, helped make the food drive and other civic endeavors a huge success. The nonpartisan voter registration group HeadCount.org registered 775 voters at ROTHBURY, marking the second-highest single-event total in the organization’s history. Strong attendance at Think Tank events sent fans home empowered and excited about their individual roles in facing Climate Change and helping push America toward Energy Independence.
As part of this focus on sustainability and energy independence, ROTHBURY dedicated countless hours to “greening” the event. More than 500 Green Team volunteers manned compost/recycling/landfill stations throughout the site and sorted through collected materials to keep ROTHBURY as near zero-waste as possible.
While the art of producing a sustainable large-scale event is only in the beginning stages of its evolution, ROTHBURY has set the bar high as leaders in the movement. Committed to full disclosure of its greening operations, look for detailed greening reports – outlining what worked and which areas need improvement – to be released in the coming months.
ROTHBURY’s successes reached far beyond its sustainability initiatives and civic activities; after all, this is a music festival. Fans from all 50 states and over 15 countries descended upon Western Michigan for the inaugural ROTHBURY to find perfect weather, lush green forests and fields, a lakeside beach, and the wondrous excitement of a first year festival. It was immediately clear that ROTHBURY organizers had made the patron experience their number one priority. The atmosphere alone might have been enough for fans – exploring the secrets of the Sherwood Forest, taking a swim in Big Wildcat Lake, or discovering the recycled art installations around each corner – but the magic didn’t stop there. The musicians, too, felt the organizers’ attention to detail, and it emanated into their live performances. Highlights from the stages include the reunion of 3 of 4 members of Phish at Mike Gordon’s set, a show-stopping performance from Detroit’s own Betty LaVette on the Sherwood Court, an epic late night STS9 set at the beautiful Ranch Arena, the energizing Michael Franti and Spearhead show that rocked ROTHBURY, and so much more! For fans and artists alike, it was a first year to remember and the beginning of many great things.