Planet Roo’s Social Innovation plans announced at Bonnaroo 2017

Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival has once again affirmed its place as a thought leader in social innovation with the announcement of its Planet Roo non-profit partners and programming. Planet Roo is an area located within the festival grounds where patrons can explore non-profits, take classes, listen to thought provoking interviews and learn how to change the world.
The 2017 Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival will take place June 8 – 11, held as always at Great Stage Park, the spectacular 700-acre farm and event space located just 60 miles south of Nashville in beautiful Manchester, Tennessee. Tickets – including General Admission, VIP, and the brand new Platinum Pass – are on sale now, exclusively $1 from each and every ticket sold to the 2017 Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival will be dedicated the festival’s ongoing sustainability efforts on-site and beyond.
Bonnaroo’s long commitment to sustainability, environmental activism, and global consciousness is thanks to Superfly and A.C. Entertainment as well as the monumental efforts of countless Bonnaroo Patrons and the tireless work of the festival’s non-profit partners. The only large scale festival on the planet with its own permanent solar array and compost processing facility on site, Bonnaroo has been diligent in its pursuit of true sustainability since its premiere 2002 event. This year the festival is excited to expand this type of innocative thinking in the environmental field to encompass its work with the Planet Roo non-profits.
The epicenter of Bonnaroo’s sustainability work and overall global consciousness, Planet Roo has long provided Bonnaroo Patrons with a unique haven from the always-energetic festival life. In Planet Roo, the festival hopes to empower its patrons to raise their voice beyond the weekend to make their lives and the lives of those around them better.
One of the most important ways to make ones life better is through the food we produce, cook and eat, and with that in mind, Bonnaroo has sought to building upon its successful BonnaROOTS dinners (the festival’s annual locally-sourced community dinners supporting grassroots causes Oxfam America and Eat For Equity), by announcing a new collaboration with Seed Life Skills. Seed Life Skills is a non-profit founded by Chef Hugh Acheson. On-site they will create a space where patrons can learn about the importance of culinary instruction that, despite our emphasis on a healthy food culture has been lost from our educational system. They will have “how-to” demonstrations out of their booth in Planet Roo, Chef Acheson will teach a cooking class out of the Planet Roo Academy, and will participate in an interview with Oxfam from the Solar Stage to discuss food policy and education.
“We could not be more excited to be coming to Bonnaroo this year,” says Chef Acheson. “Planet Roo is giving Seed Life Skills the opportunity to speak to what I think is the most engaged generation in a long time. We have a lot to fix in this world, but the current generation is totally in tune with how to provide more equal footing to all young citizens from all walks of life. And as a bonus, this generation likes food as much as we do.”
In an effort to inspire people to help others, Bonnaroo will have groups from the social advocacy world on site for the first time, from Showing Up for Racial Justice and Southern Poverty Law Center to The Innocence Project. The Innocence Project works to exonerate the wrongly convicted through DNA testing and reforms the criminal justice system to prevent future injustice. They will have some clients on site to discuss their experiences with the judicial system and answer patron questions.
Of course, Planet Roo will once again be anchored by The Farm’s only fully solar-powered Solar Stage, set to see a number of surprise innovations at the 2017 event – please visit Bonnaroo’s Planet Roo page for programming updates. Highlights this year will include morning yoga classes, conscious-raising interviews with chefs, beer brewers and activists, twerking classes with Big Freedia and more.
Bonnaroo is also continuing its partnership with Steelys Drinkware and the Plastic Pollution Coalition for the innovative “Refill Revolution.” Patrons can pre-buy a quality stainless steel beer cup with their ticket purchase or on site at any beverage stand with draft beer. Cups are $15 each and includes the durable cup (with to-go carrying strap) filled with a cold beer, plus an additional $1 discount off all subsequent refills made with the cup at beer stands throughout the remainder of the festival. 2016 saw more cups sold than in any previous year.
Even though Bonnaroo works relentlessly to reduce the amount of waste the festival creates, the organizers of course realize that some waste creation is inevitable and once again Clean Vibes’ Trading Post powered by Think Twice Drink Twice will be on The Farm encouraging and promoting recycling and responsible waste management. Last year, Bonnaroo and Clean Vibes teamed to divert 65% of all festival waste by weight from the landfill, including 347.18 tons diverted, 155.1 tons of recycling/reuse, and a stunning 536.22 tons of waste food recovery. As a new partner to this year’s’ festival, Think Twice Drink Twice is sponsoring all of the recycling stations throughout the festival, encouraging attendees to reuse their plastic water bottles before recycling them. They hope to reduce the plastic bottle consumption at Bonnaroo by half. All of the food service items onsite are compostable thanks to our sustainability partner Eco-Products.
In addition to Planet Roo, the festival created the Bonnaroo Works Fund, a 501c3 nonprofit organization, administered by the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee. The Bonnaroo Works Fund (BWF) supports regional and national organizations devoted to improving arts, education, and environmental sustainability across the country, with a direct focus on local reinvestment and asset building. Over $XX million has been generated thus far, benefitting such diverse organizations as Head Count, MusiCares, Rock the Earth, First Book, Music For Relief, and Notes for Notes. BWF also provides much needed local support to Middle Tennessee, in particular Manchester and Coffee County communities. For more, please visit
Harkening back to our roots in New Orleans and musical education will also be welcoming Tipitina’s Foundation for the first time.  Tipitina’s provides instruments and music classes to students in New Orleans. Bonnaroo will be partner with the Foundation to create a “Why Music Matters” campaign. Together, the festival will engage with its patrons to write notes to their students about why music and music education matters. The notes will be distributed to the students in New Orleans.
“Supporting music education is part of the primary mission of the Bonnaroo Works Fund,” Fund director Nina Miller says.” As the arts are financially threatened, it is especially important to show our support for the type of work Tipitina’s Foundation does. With all of the data available demonstrating students’ benefit from music education: greater overall engagement in school, stronger language, reasoning and creativity skills; music education is as important to building smarter, stronger communities and enriching the world as it is providing individual students with a sense of accomplishment and belonging.”
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