Organizers: Rothbury Festival To Return Next Year

The show will go on in Rothbury next year, and for many more if organizers of the Rothbury Festival have their way.

The show will go on in Rothbury next year, and for many more if organizers of the Rothbury Festival have their way.

Festival producer Jeremy Stein of Madison House Presents said the four-day event, which featured sets from Phil Lesh, Snoop Dogg, Widespread Panic, Dave Matthews Band and dozens more, will return to the Double JJ Ranch in 2009, mostly likely again on the Independence Day Weekend.

"We're very happy with the way things are going; it's exceeding our expectations," Stein said. "This is a long-term concept. This is the first year to try it, and then we'll go from there. I have no doubt there will be more Rothburys."

With sunny and warm days after crippling storms the day before the festival started, Rothbury earned overwhelming praise from patrons and participants alike. David Murphy of STS9 pronounced Rothbury "the most cutting-edge festival in America," primarily because of its self-sustaining environmental initiatives and educational programs.

Stein, meanwhile, noted that "there's been no real failures" in the festival's operations or infrastructure. The biggest hit, he said, has been Sherwood Forest, an elaborately decorated area where the festival attendees relaxed on hammocks and in orange, pumpkin-shaped pods while hired entertainers frolic through the area playing games with them.

Rothbury's organizers were also pleased that they've been able to effectively minimize their environmental footprint. Sarah Haynes of the Spitfire Agency, who's serving as Rothbury's Greening Director, said Saturday that the festival is running at 80 percent waste diversion -- collection and recycling -- and improving daily. Rothbury is using 520 volunteers to assist festival-goers in sorting their trash into separate bins for recycling, compost and landfills.

Rothbury also held seminars and panel discussions featuring performers and scholars addressing topics ranging from recycling strategies to the most environmental friendly products.

The measures are certainly making an impact on those attending Rothbury. "I've never seen people at a festival pay this much attention to the environment," said Mike Siegrist, 24, of Canton, Mich., who bought a solar-powered cellular telephone recharger in the Rothbury marketplace. "It's cool to be at something like this."