2009 Ojai Music Festival Expands Environmental Efforts
California Solar Electric and LifeSource Supports the Festival’s 2009 “Green” Initiatives
Ojai Environmental and Artistic Missions Combine with “Green” Sound Sculptures by Trimpin
In response to increasing demands on the planet from climate change and pollution, last year the Ojai Music Festival in California’s lush and fertile Ojai Valley instituted a multiyear green plan to preserve the historic area once marked sacred by the ancient Chumash Indians for future generations. This year the Festival will continue those efforts with support from California Solar Electric, a leader in clean energy, and LifeSource, which focuses on returning water to its natural state and will introduce several new green initiatives.
“What makes the Ojai Music Festival so special is the unique symbiosis between the high-level music performed here by the world’s greatest artists and the incredible natural beauty that surrounds us. We want this always to be here for our children and their children, and so we are making every effort to ensure that any changes taking place in Ojai are for the better.” - Festival Executive Director Jeff Haydon
In cooperation with Ojai Valley Green Coalition and EJ Harrison & Sons and with the support from California Solar Electric and LifeSource, this year’s Ojai Music Festival will continue all of the initiatives it introduced last year, including recycling and decreasing the use of paper products, encouraging walking and biking, providing many zero-waste stations for separating trash, and selecting merchandise and locally produced foods. California Solar Electric, well known for its Green Collar job-training programs for at-risk youths, will provide informative materials at Ojai’s Green Booths. LifeSource will provide three “free” water dispensing stations located on the Festival grounds, where patrons can fill their reusable drinking containers.
For 2009, the Ojai Music Festival has established a Carbon Fund to offset its carbon footprint and has calculated that the Festival’s 2009 carbon offset will be approximately $680. The Ojai Music Festival will make a donation based on the carbon footprint to Ojai Trees, a non-profit organization that plants trees throughout Ojai. Moreover, collection boxes will be set up for Festival patrons who would like to make donations to the fund.
“We are pleased to participate once again in helping the Ojai Music Festival continue its multiyear green plan. This is the perfect example of the Coalition’s motto to ‘think globally, act locally.’ We believe each of us must be conscious of our individual responsibilities to ensure a greener and healthier world starting now.” - Deb Pendrey of the Ojai Green Coalition.
This year Trimpin, the sound sculptor, composer, and MacArthur “genius” grant recipient, will combine the Festival’s environmental and artistic missions. The Seattle-based artist, whose artworks are made from recyclable materials, has created two interactive sound sculptures, which will be on display throughout the Festival at Libbey Park . The first is “Sheng High,” a reed instrument activated through blown air and water, and the second sound sculpture is “Giuter-toy,” made from found toy plastic guitars in all colors.
2009 Ojai Music Festival green efforts include:
- Providing free water refills at water stations and encouraging concertgoers to bring their own reusable water bottles or purchase stainless steel or ceramic mugs at Festival concerts.
- Serving cold drinks in recyclable glass or aluminum containers. Coffee and tea are served in cardboard cups.
- Encouraging residents and volunteers to walk, bike, or use the Ojai Trolley to commute to the Festival. Ojai provides a free bike valet area.
- Selling reusable totes and bags, and stainless steel containers at the outdoor marketplace.
- Serving food in biodegradable containers with biodegradable utensils.
- Assisting concertgoers in sorting trash at “Zero Waste Stations” into appropriate receptacles marked Landfill, Compost, or Recyclables.
- Providing a Green Booth, where local groups can offer information about minimizing individual ecological footprints.
- Using soy ink and recycled paper and decreasing the use of paper by minimizing margins and utilizing both sides of paper.
- Recycling program books.
New this year:
- Introducing a Carbon Fund to offset the Ojai Music Festival’s carbon footprint.
- Providing re-usable water bottles to artists and Festival staff.
- Reducing number of program books printed to encourage re-use.
- Reducing materials in mailings and posting more information online.
- Showcasing environmentally friendly sound sculptures by artist/composer Trimpin.
As part of the Festival green plan, the Ojai Music Festival is bringing back an Ojai market to sell gourmet food and baked goods that use organic and locally grown produce provided by Seasons Catering, and as well as certified organic, shade-grown coffee provided by local shop, Coffee Connection, and Ojai-based Zhena’s organic teas.
Several Ojai Marketplace vendors will be on hand with local Ojai items that include organic olive oil, creams and soaps from Ojai Olive Oil and Vicki’s handmade scented soaps.
Trimpin describes his work as “an ongoing exploration of the concepts of sound, vision, and movement, experimenting with combinations that will introduce our senses of perception to a totally new experience.” He works with “natural” elements—water, air, light, fire, etc.—and reconfigures them in new and unusual applications, pushing them to the limits. Currently, an artist-in-residence at the California Arts Institute, Trimpin’s sound sculptures, both whimsical and serious, have appeared all over the world. He previously exhibited his interactive Conloninpurple installation during Ojai’s 60th anniversary season in 2006.
California Solar Electric has been designing and installing solar electric systems on residential and commercial buildings from Los Angeles to the Santa Ynez valley for over eight years. Harnessing power from the sun to free people from high electric bills while reducing carbon footprints is a passion of every employee. California Solar Electric participates in various Green Collar Job training programs, providing at-risk youth in southern California with the knowledge and experience to enter the burgeoning sustainable job force.
LifeSource Water Systems has been committed to environmental awareness and protection since their founding in 1984. Since that time, they have focused on returning water to its natural state in a way that doesn’t harm people or our planet.
The 63rd Ojai Music Festival takes place from June 11 to 14 at Ojai’s outdoor Libbey Bowl. Since 1947, the four-day Festival has become legendary for its fearlessness in championing pioneering musical ideas and personalities, including the 2009 music director eighth blackbird. This year’s programming reflects the qualities that have made the ensemble a growing musical phenomenon—genre-defying variety in wildly collaborative and visually dramatic presentations. For more information and tickets, visit www.OjaiFestival.org or call (805) 646-2094.