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Farm Aid Transforms Conventional Concert Experience with Family Farm Food and Sustainable Production
SOMERVILLE, Mass. — From concert concessions that feature family farm-identified foods to extensive composting and recycling initiatives, Farm Aid will put the environment, and the role family farmers play to protect it, center-stage at its annual benefit concert on September 20 at the Comcast Center in Mansfield, Massachusetts.
Farm Aid 2008 Presented by Whole Foods Market and Horizon Organic will be the only concert event to serve family farm food to concertgoers, artists, crews and VIPs at concessions and in backstage catering, demonstrating what is possible in efforts to bring more family farm food to more people.
Menu items with local, organic, humanely-raised and family-farm ingredients include traditional festival snacks like pizza, hamburgers, hot dogs, sandwiches, burritos, pitas, corn on the cob and baked goods, as well as fresh fruits and vegetables. Sonya Dagovitz of Natural Needs is acting as the food forager for Farm Aid, seeking out the farms and brands that meet the organization’s food criteria. Sportservice, a division of Delaware North Companies, is managing concessions and Whole Foods Market is providing all of the food for backstage catering.
“By growing food, fiber and fuel in ways that protect the air, water and soil, family farmers play an important role in addressing some of the biggest problems facing our country including global warming,” said Carolyn Mugar, executive director of Farm Aid. “On September 20, we are looking forward to inviting concertgoers to experience family farm food and to learn more about the many ways family farmers protect our environment.”
Farm Aid 2008 Presented by Whole Foods Market and Horizon Organic will feature compostable service items including plates, silverware and napkins. Volunteers will be on hand to help concertgoers differentiate between compostables like food waste and service items, recyclables like plastic, aluminum, cardboard and paper items, and trash. Compost collected at the event will be organically processed by Groundscapes Express in Wrentham, Mass. Additionally, the energy used to produce the concert and transport the more than 20,000 concertgoers and artists to the show will be offset with clean wind energy. Farm Aid’s concert greening initiatives are underwritten by Horizon Organic and Silk Soymilk.
As part of Live Nation’s Green Nation Amphitheatre Initiative, the Comcast Center enforces strict recycling practices with strategically placed bins throughout the venue including backstage and in administrative offices. Restrooms use 95 percent recyclable material. Catering provides reusable plates and utensils and beverages are served either as fountain-type drinks or bulk water opposed to cans or bottles. Energy saving practices and water conservation methods are in place throughout the venue. The Comcast Center also grows ornamental plants in an organic greenhouse at the venue and maintains the grounds with Integrated Pest Management practices that include nurturing a bat population to limit mosquitoes and using organic repellants instead of insecticides.
In addition, the Comcast Center has partnered with PickupPal, an eco-rideshare program. The website, www.pickuppal.com, is designed to link concertgoers so that they may carpool.
At Farm Aid 2008 Presented by Whole Foods Market and Horizon Organic, the HOMEGROWN Village will offer concertgoers the opportunity to engage with family farmers and learn more about the environmental, economic and health benefits of a food and agriculture system based on family farms.
The stellar lineup at Farm Aid 2008 Presented by Whole Foods Market and Horizon Organic features Willie Nelson, Neil Young, John Mellencamp, Dave Matthews, Kenny Chesney, The Pretenders, moe., Arlo Guthrie, Jerry Lee Lewis, Steve Earle, Nation Beat, Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, Jakob Dylan and The Gold Mountain Rebels, Danielle Evin, Jamey Johnson, Jesse Lenat, Will Dailey, One Flew South and The Elms.
Farm Aid 2008 Presented by Whole Foods Market and Horizon Organic sponsors represent companies that incorporate local, sustainable, or organic food, and support an economic future for America’s family farmers. Sponsors include Whole Foods Market, Horizon Organic, Silk Soymilk, DIRECTV, Tretorn, Pet Promise, T.F. Green Airport, Organic Valley Family of Farms, Equal Exchange, Delicious Living Magazine, Toy Farmer, Peak Organic Brewing Company, Steaz, Maria & Ricardo’s Tortilla Factory, Organic Prairie, Stone Hearth Pizza Co., American Apparel, Chouinard, ISITE Design, and Recycled Paper Printing.
Farm Aid’s mission is to build a vibrant family farm-centered system of agriculture in America. Farm Aid artists and board members Willie Nelson, Neil Young, John Mellencamp and Dave Matthews host an annual concert to raise funds to support Farm Aid’s work with family farmers and to inspire people to choose family-farmed food. Since 1985, Farm Aid has raised more than $30 million to support programs that help farmers thrive, expand the reach of the Good Food Movement, take action to change the dominant system of industrial agriculture and promote food from family farms.