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Shakori Hills music festival will celebrate Earth Day

By Sara Waters
Posted Sunday, April 11, 2010

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Silk Hope, NC - This April 22 marks the 40th Anniversary of Earth Day! To celebrate, the Shakori Hills GrassRoots Festival of Music & Dance will be doing its part to reduce its footprint, to put the earth first, and to educate all festival attendees about how easy and fun it is to protect and care for our planet.

Throughout the weekend, as festival goers buy food, throw out their trash, and clean up the area around their camp site, they will notice Shakori Hills's efforts to cut down on litter going to the landfill. All food vendors provide compostable plates, bowls, cups, and utensils, which are separated out at trash stations around the food area. There are also recycling and composting sites throughout the grounds. For a festival that has a peak of 8,000 attendees, that's a lot of avoided garbage. To reduce plastic bottle use, festival goers can bring their own bottles and refill them with water from the Blue Green Machine. The Machine is a water filtering system that takes water from the local well and filters it, giving free water to anyone who needs it, thanks to their owners, Kinetico.

Shakori Hills has also teamed up with The Abundance Foundation - a local organization whose purpose is to increase public awareness of sustainable energy usage and local food consumption in Chatham County. Together, the organizations are working on a plan to make the festival and its home solar power dependent in the next few years. Both organizations will be taking donations from the public at the festival, and will have a solar panel on display to show attendees how it works.

In an effort to promote alternate forms of fuel and of transportation, the festival has two separate shuttles that run on bio-diesel fuel to run folks to and from the festival. One shuttle is sponsored by Ninth Street Bakery in Durham. It picks up in Durham, Chapel Hill, and Carrboro during the day and runs back at night, and the cost to ride is just $5. Customers riding this shuttle also get $5 off of their festival ticket at the gate. The second shuttle is sponsored by Piedmont Biofuels and Chatham Transport, and it runs back and forth to the local co-op grocery store Chatham Marketplace so that festival-goers can buy groceries and supplies they may need while camping. This shuttle is free! To find out shuttle times and stop locations, visit

Shakori Hills has taken special care to create a place for people to learn about what effects, good and bad, we as humans have on the earth. The festival's biggest tribute to the planet and the holiday that celebrates it is the Earth Day Fair (formerly called the Sustainability Fair). This is a designated spot on the festival grounds where there will be discussions, demonstrations, and special guests. Activities are scheduled Friday through Sunday. A full list of Earth Day Fair events can be found at, but here are some examples:

Making and Using Biodiesel Fuel, Chris Jude and David Thornton, Piedmont Biofuels Design/Build. Chris and David will lead a down and dirty detailed presentation on this clean and renewable alternative fuel. Learn from the experts how to make one's car, tractor, or home heating earth-friendly machine! A primer on what biodiesel is, how to use it, and even see a hands-on biodiesel production in action. Also, Piedmont will be on hand for fuel sales in the parking lot by appointment. Friday at 2:30pm and Friday at 1pm

Green Jobs by Central Carolina Community College with Laura Lauffer, Sustainable Technologies Coordinator. Green Jobs are all the rage but what does that mean? What are local trends in green jobs, state and national trends? What certifications are needed, how can you make any business or technology more sustainable? Laura will lead this informative interactive discussion, come ready to share your experiences, ideas and hopes for your green job! 5:00pm - The Independent Progressive Politics Network will host a forum.

The Power of Solar Thermal Energy, Fred Stewart, Solar Consultants. A full 14% of total energy used by an average home is due to maintaining hot water. Imagine the amount of energy saved if every house in this country had a solar thermal hot water system. Fred Stewart will conduct a highly educational discussion on solar thermal systems. What are they? And how much energy can a system save a household. With more than 27 years experience installing solar energy systems, Fred is the expert. Solar Consultants has installed thousands of thermal solar systems across the state and helped develop some of the most innovative solar energy systems in the world. Saturday at 11am.

Green Building Round Table, Michael Chandler of Chandler Design-Build, Inc. Bring your green building thoughts and dreams for a reality check with Michael Chandler, local green builder, teacher and writer, two time finalist for NAHB Green Custom home of the year, DOE Energy Value Housing Award Winner and NAHB Green Building Professional of the year. This is not a talk, it's a question and answer session, so bring your questions and get informed answers. Saturday at 5pm.

With the music, the crafts, the great family activities, and the wonderful food at the Shakori Hills GrassRoots Festival, it's easy to forget all the other wonderful things that happen there. These earth-friendly activities represent some of the very core values of the community that the festival is creating: education and living sustainably. 40 years after the inception of the holiday that is Earth Day, Shakori Hills has not forgotten how to celebrate it.

More festival information

Featured musical acts include: Egla Fleck, Chiwoniso, Rusted Root, Bassekou Kouyate, Donna the Buffalo, Abigail Washburn, Preston Frank, Vince Herman & Great American Taxi, Rosie Ledet & The Zydeco Playboys, Eilen Jewell, Crooked Still, Scythian, Asylum Street Spankers, Sim Redmond Band, and The Hackensaw Boys

Tickets and info: Festival tickets are on sale now and available by phone and at Four day passes are $90 in advance and $100 at the gate. Kids 12 and under are FREE! Day passes are $22 (Thurs), $30 (Fri), $37 (Sat), and $26 (Sun). Youth prices (13-15) are $11, $15, $18, and $13. Tent camping is $10 per tent and vehicle camping is $50 in advance and $60 at the gate.

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Shakori Hills music festival will celebrate Earth Day
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