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All Points West Points the Way

Recycle exchange at APW

This weekend, August 8-10, 2008, marked the inaugural year of the All Points West (APW) Music and Arts Festival at Liberty State Park, Jersey City, NJ.  This spectacular state park surrounded by captivating views of New York City’s skyline and historic sites such as the Statue of Liberty, hosted a world-class line up of 47 artists on three stages, headlined by Radiohead and Jack Johnson and including such notables as Kings of Leon, Cat Power, The Roots, Girl Talk, Ben Harper & the Innocent Criminals and the New Pornographers, among others.  But equally noteworthy as the sights and sounds were the laudable efforts of the festival organizers to make APW green and use the festival to disseminate information and ideas about how attendees can make a positive difference in their environment.  Taking center stage in that effort was Jack Johnson’s “All At Once” Village Green, an assortment of interactive booths where attendees could educate themselves and interface with local to global non-profit organizations.  Green “passports” handed out at APW encouraged attendees to take environmental actions at the show, like recycling their bottles, visiting non-profit booths or taking mass transit in exchange for a stamp for each action on their passports.  Three such stamps earned attendees the opportunity to be entered in a drawing to watch Jack Johnson perform from the stage.  Another novel idea was the TRASHed Recycling Store presented by Panet Green, where attendees were able to accumulate points for their recycling efforts during the festival and redeem those points for such free gifts as iPod speakers, Solio solar chargers, Netflix, music, movie passes, lip balm and more.  Needless to say, this was the cleanest concert fairgrounds ever.

The venue itself was green in the sense that the vast majority of APW goers arrived via ferry from Manhattan or New Jersey Transit light rail so there was a striking absence of cars with the attendant air and noise pollution that they create.  The organization of mass transit for the event was superlative, making the flow of fans to and from the festival seamless.  Many spectacular eco-friendly art installations were in evidence, including the Solar Pavilion 2 reconfigurable structure that uses properties of self-organization found in natural systems and was designed with a zero-waste mandate.  And of course, there were many healthy food choices at the park, organic tee shirt choices and lots of information about ways that the public can get involved in the environmental movement.  Among the groups represented were Green Guerillas, Vote the Environment, Climate Counts, 1 Percent For The Planet sponsored by Patagonia, the Surfrider Foundation and All At Once.  For a full list of participants, visit www.apwfestival.com or www.allatonce.org

This was a model festival in every way; we look forward to next year.

Annette Ferstenberg


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