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Bumbershoot expands green goals

The 39th annual Bumbershoot, Seattle’s Music & Arts Festival is taking place over Labor Day Weekend (September 5 – 7, 2009). Advance 3-Day passes to the wallet-friendly and soul pleasing festival are on-sale now for $80 at www.bumbershoot.org. The Festival fills the 74-acre Seattle Center, located beneath the city’s iconic Space Needle, and programs 20 indoor and unique outdoor venues. Bumbershoot features a diverse array of arts including live music, comedy, theatre, dance, film, urban crafts, and literary and visual arts. The Festival’s initial lineup will be announced later this Spring. Complete Festival details and ticket information are located at bumbershoot.org.

GREEN GOALS
Bumbershoot is a leader amongst festivals for its environmental initiatives. The carbon-neutral Festival has made conscious decisions to decrease its impact on the environment, while supporting the culture and community in which it resides. These tenets of sustainability have guided the event to annually re-examine basic operations and seek programming elements that incorporate messages of environmental sustainability and social responsibility.

NEW IN 2009!
Bumbershoot is proud to announce the following new elements, expanding its current roster of green initiatives:

  • While Bumbershoot has composted behind the scenes for years, 2009 Festival fans will be able to toss their compostables with confidence in select food areas. These bins will be monitored by trained volunteers to limit contamination and support compost and recycling education. Interested volunteers wanting to participate in this developing program should visit bumbershoot.org/volunteering.htm.
  • Being green also includes acting responsibly and being involved within your community. New this year, the Festival has created Bumbershoot Gives Back, a program that supports other local non-profits and ultimately, a more sustainable community. Interested non-profits can apply to the Bumbershoot Gives Back program today at bumbershoot.org/green/give-back.htm.
  • The use of personal, non-disposable water bottles is highly encouraged at Bumbershoot. In addition to the free city drinking water found throughout the grounds, two NEW free water fill-up stations will be added to the Festival grounds in 2009 (expanding upon those introduced in Memorial Stadium in 2008). These stations will provide fans carrying  personal reusable bottles ample access to water throughout the grounds. Note: disposable bottles are not permitted inside Memorial Stadium; personal reusable bottles are allowed.
  • Bumbershoot welcomes Seattle’s celebrated Pike Place Market to the festival grounds, offering patrons local organic produce on the go!
  • Soy inks will be used on 2009 Festival tickets, decreasing the use of petroleum-based inks.
  • Set in the middle of downtown Seattle, fans can access the Festival in a myriad of environmentally sound ways. For those needing to arrive by car, Bumbershoot offers easy $2 transportation offsets through NetGreen, a regional carbon offset partner. Everyone who purchases an offset can receive a free reusable canvas tote from NetGreen at the Festival. NetGreen also works with Bumbershoot to offset all of the artists‘ transportation to and from the Festival. All offset purchases support regional projects that work to eradicate future greenhouse gas emissions in the Pacific Northwest. Want to learn more? Visit NetGreen at Bumbershoot, or online at bumbershoot.org.

REDUCE
It’s important to take the first step towards sustainability by reducing overall consumption habits. Each year Bumbershoot re-examines the materials necessary to produce the Festival and works at reducing consumption where it’s possible to do so. This reduction has led to: fewer (and smaller) official programs and brochures (as well as printing on FSC-certified papers), recyclable banners made from recycled material, merchandise options that are created with organic cotton (reducing reliance on pesticides), a ban on the use of Styrofoam (since 1980), requirement of all Festival food vendors to participate in a pre-consumer compost plan, plus ample recycle bins around the grounds for patrons (reducing overall waste in 2008 by 7.5 tons). All patrons are encouraged to reduce in their own way by using alternate means of transportation and using personal non-disposable water bottles.

REUSE
After reducing in all areas possible, the Festival looks at what can be reused. In 2009 Bumbershoot will continue to offer eco-friendly totes created by the reuse of select signage from previous years. Once stage backdrops and Festival banners are no longer reusable on the grounds, they’re donated to Alchemy Goods and are repurposed into two styles of personal eco-totes, for purchase at the 2009 Festival.

RECYCLE / COMPOST
Once the first step to being “green,” recycling now falls near the end of the eco-chain, but remains a vital part of the Festival’s plans. Patrons will find recycling and compost bins provided throughout the grounds. In addition, all Festival food vendors are asked to compost pre-consumer food scraps and recycle their used cooking grease. In 2008, the Festival composted approximately 2 tons of food waste and recycled 7.5 tons of materials that would otherwise have headed for a landfill.

Post-consumer composting is new to Bumbershoot in 2009, and will rely on a team of trained volunteers to support compost education and minimize bin contamination. Volunteers wanting to actively contribute to the reduction of the Festival’s waste stream should visit bumbershoot.org/volunteering.htm.

TRANSPORTATION
Bumbershoot’s unique urban setting allows attendees ample access to alternative transportation. Festival patrons not within walking distance of Seattle Center are encouraged to use one of the following transportation options: Seattle Center Monorail, King County Metro bus, Rideshare, carpool or bicycle. Those who carpool with 3 or more occupants will receive discounted parking rates at Seattle Center lots, while cyclists can take advantage of a free bike parking area located south of EMP SFM.

CARBON OFFSET PROJECTS
With the wide array of arts featured at Bumbershoot, it’s inevitable that transportation is required for the many world-class performers, authors and artists that help make it such a popular destination. Until there are means of transportation that create zero emissions, Bumbershoot offsets all roundtrip artist transportation through  regional partner, NetGreen – a Pacific Northwest business focused on the power of sustainable actions taken by individuals (benetgreen.com). While this action doesn’t negate the emissions caused by the artists‘ travel needs, it does proactively contribute to the reduction of future greenhouse gas emissions, equal to the approximate amount of emissions created by artist transportation; in 2008, Bumbershoot offset 251.5 tons of greenhouse gas for artist travel.

While patrons are strongly encouraged to travel to the Festival by alternative transportation, the opportunity to purchase personal carbon credits to offset individual travel is available on the Festival’s website (bumbershoot.org) as well as onsite at the NetGreen booth. A $2 carbon credit purchase will offset 367 lbs of carbon. In 2008, Bumbershoot patrons offset 6 tons of greenhouse gas through individual offset purchases.

All carbon credit purchases will support regional projects in the Pacific Northwest including a methane capture project in Tillamook Bay, Oregon that will retain methane from up to 4,000 dairy cows. This specific project will prevent the especially potent greenhouse gas from entering the atmosphere (noted to be up to 25x more potent than CO2) and will reclaim it for clean energy use within the local community.

GREEN POWER
To power the Festival, Bumbershoot uses energy from Seattle City Light, a net-zero energy provider relying on 95% renewably sourced power. In addition, all Festival food vendors are required to recycle their used cooking grease, turning food waste into future fuel. Further renewable power can be evidenced in the Northwest Rooms; Bumbershoot’s visual arts exhibits are illuminated with the help of solar power.

SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY 
Bumbershoot strives to provide a diverse entertainment potluck brimming with music, comedy, arts and performance. This m઼lange of artistry is created with the community’s tastes in mind, striving to provoke thought and imagination. This hefty dose of culture and community interactivity is integral to our community‘s sustainability; while approximately 150,000 guests attend the Festival each year, and ticket prices remain far lower than the national festival average, attendance for some members of the community is financially unobtainable. In an effort to share this unique experience, Bumbershoot created the Send a Kid program, wherein a patron donation of $15 will help send an under-served youth (and their adult chaperone) for a day of exploration, imagination and culture. In 2008, this program sent 300 under-served youth and adult chaperones to the Festival.

Bumbershoot Gives Back:
Each year the creative contributions of other regional non-profit organizations are featured in the Festival’s diverse programming. New this year, the Festival has created Bumbershoot Gives Back. After the Festival, the Bumbershoot team aims to give back to the community by contributing to other local non-profits‘ project goals that create long-term change in the areas of arts, culture, education, and the environment. Bumbershoot will contribute expertise in a wide-range of areas from hands-on teamwork (including working staff and tools!) to basic training in areas of event management. Interested non-profits can apply to the Bumbershoot Gives Back program at bumbershoot.org/green/give-back.htm.

Community Involvement:
Volunteers are integral to the Festival, working on a wide variety of projects throughout the grounds and contributing to the Festival’s success hands-on. To get involved and participate as a member of the team, visit bumbershoot.org/volunteering.htm.

ECO-ART
Over the years Bumbershoot fans have been able to enjoy a unique realm of eco-art ranging from site-specific installations, impactful film shorts, and visual art displays instilled with the core values of environmental and social sustainability. The 2009 lineup will continue this tradition with thought-provoking art that encourages public discourse on some of the social, political, and environmental issues that impact us today. The initial Festival lineup will be announced later this spring, with complete Festival details revealed by mid-summer.

Beyond the Festival’s art findings, Bumbershoot plans to support the ongoing eco-initiatives of its participating artists (and vendors!), by sharing these inspriring actions with Festival fans via bumbershoot.org and BumberFan emails throughout the summer.

2008 SUCCESS
In 2008, Bumbershoot’s eco-efforts diverted 7.5 tons from the waste stream (an increase of 80% from 2007!), decreased overall trash by 3 tons, implemented free water stations for patrons with personal, reusable waterbottles, reused 64% of Festival signage (and of the new signage acquired, 59% was recyclable and created with recycled material). In addition, the Festival and its patrons offset 257.5 tons of greenhouse gases through NetGreen.

ECO-ONLINE
For more details on Bumbershoot’s ongoing efforts to support sustainability in Seattle and beyond, visit bumbershoot.org/fresh/green.

TICKETS
The Bumbershoot box office is now open at bumbershoot.org. Purchase Advance 3-Day passes for the low price of $80 through August 21st. The Festival’s box office also offers $2 carbon offsets and accepts $15 contributions to Bumbershoot’s Send a Kid program. For more information visit bumbershoot.org/tickets.htm.

MORE ABOUT ONE REEL
The 39th annual Bumbershoot: Seattle’s Music & Arts Festival is produced by One Reel, in collaboration with Seattle Center and AEG Live. One Reel is the independent, not for profit producer of the Northwest’s premier arts events including Teatro ZinZanni. For more information, visit onereel.org.