Reviving Pacific’s Earth Day Music Festival

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Clubs pull together to make community celebration a reality

For the first time since the 1980s, Pacific University will hold an Earth Day Music Festival. Complete with local musicians, a beer garden, interactive learning tables, and a poetry reading, the party will happen on Saturday, April 22, 11 am – 4 pm on the Marsh East Lawn or Trombley Square, depending on the weather. Admission and snacks are free, and beverages will be available for purchase. The festival is the brainchild of Pacific senior Lacey Bishop, who rallied a small army of student clubs and administrators to make it happen in just two months.

   When SEA faculty advisor Deke Gunderson mentioned to Bishop that an Earth Day Music Festival had happened back in the 80s, she immediately wanted to bring it back to life as a “fun celebration for students and also the planet.” Since Bishop only came up with the idea in late February, she had to scramble to organize and coordinate a festival from scratch with the help of Charlee Davis and Emily Kresin, the presidents of the Animal Ethics club and Students for Environmental Activism (SEA).

   The event will be hosted by the SEA, CSS, Animal Ethics club, and the ACE Board, plus Bishop says they’ve been working closely with the Undergraduate Student Senate, MCCE, and Indigenous Student Alliance. With their help, she said, “This event is becoming more than I had envisioned it to be when I was joking around with Deke.” After a couple years of hosting activities every day during Earth Week, Bishop said she and other members of the SEA and CSS noticed low student participation due to activity burn-out. By putting on one big event, they hope to engage the whole community to end the semester with a bang.

   The festival will feature funk and indie rock bands from Portland in addition to performers from Pacific University, including the Counterpoint Jazz Quartet and the acoustic group Dex Mex. Bishop said, “I wanted to have more genres of music, but this is just the bands we could get in such a short amount of time—and they’re all volunteering to do this. So hopefully in future years, we can expand and get more variety and maybe have a headliner.”

   To get the beer garden, Bishop and the presidents of the SEA and Animal Ethics enlisted the multitalented Director of Student Activities Steve Klein. Bishop said, “He put in the order. He asked me, on a scale of one to ten, how bad do you want [the beer garden]? And I said ten. We’re going to attract students who live off campus that way.” Bishop added, “I proved Deke wrong, he didn’t believe me when I said I’m gonna get a beer garden.” They will serve local IPAs and ciders plus the standby Coronas and White Claws. There will also be nonalcoholic beverages outside the beer garden.

   The lineup won’t be limited to bands. There will be a land acknowledgement, a poetry reading, and festival goers might even get to see one or two of their professors get up and jam out during set changes. When asked if this is a fundraiser, Bishop stressed that the point of the festival is just to bring students and the community together for some good ol’ fun, and to celebrate Earth Day by sharing knowledge about sustainable living, although any proceeds from bottle recycling will be donated to a sustainable charity.

   Besides the stage, there will be tables set up by teams from the CSS, Animal Ethics Club, MCCE, and SEA where festival-goers can participate in activities centering sustainability and learn about composting, proper recycling, zero-waste living, and more. Bishop said there will be a raffle, and in order to enter, “You’ll get a sustainability passport. If you go to each table and interact with them—receive information or play a game—then they’ll stamp your passport.”

   Since this is her senior year, Bishop hopes to see the festival continue and grow in the coming years. “It’s already so student organized and student oriented. We have a lot of freshmen at SEA, so they have the next three years to continue it and they’re very active.” — Lane Johnson


Managing Editor

Major: English Literature

Hometown: Shedd, Oregon

Hobbies: cycling, reading, camping, xc skiing, hiking, backpacking

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