Bonnaroo Day 3: The Real Green Deal?


They’re definitely thinking, “Recycling is sexy!”
photo by Mark C. Austin

In the lead-up to Bonnaroo, a lot was said about how green the 2008 festival was going to be. After spending a few days here, I almost believe the hype. Fancy recycling centers staffed by earnest kids holding clipboards dot the festival grounds. The “Solar Stage” is apparently powered entirely by solar panels on its roof. A few times a day the stage hosts a recycled fashion show, where brave and/or drunk festival-goers dress up in long purple skirts or plaid vests (which are recycled, of course) and strut back and forth on a makeshift runway. This is just as awful as it sounds, but strangely mesmerizing. There are signs posted all over the place with a graphic of a topless woman happily recycling a piece of paper and the caption, “Recycling is sexy!” Despite all this, I can’t help but wonder if efforts to reduce Bonnaroo’s carbon footprint have been a bit misplaced. Some 80,000 people had to get here, after all, and I doubt that many of them came in electric cars or ethanol-powered planes. Still, I suppose every little bit helps, right?