Saturday, Aug. 23, 2014

Rock the Green Canceled for the Second Year in a Row

By Evan Rytlewski
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Milwaukee's troubled Rock the Green festival has been canceled again, organizers announced yesterday. The environmentally conscious music festival had promised to return on Sept. 13, 2014 after canceling last year when it lost its primary sponsor, Veolia Environmental Systems, but just weeks away from that date it still had not announced a lineup. In a Facebook post, organizers vowed to return next year.

"Since our last festival, Rock the Green has been working to build on our success and continue integrating near-zero waste best practices into local events like the city of ‪#‎Milwaukee‬’s annual Earth Day celebration," the post read. "While we won’t be hosting a 2014 festival, we are finalizing our 2015 events calendar and sponsor lineup, and expect to have some good news to announce during the first part of 2015. The schedule will include an expanded fourth annual ‪#‎EarthDay‬ celebration on Wednesday, April 22, featuring multiple bands on a pedal-powered stage."

It will be a rough road to recovery for the festival, which has struggled to find a musical identity to match its ideological one. The festival drew headliners Third Eye Blind during its rainy inaugural year in 2011 and a then-burgeoning Imagine Dragons in 2012, but organizers were always more excited to talk about their recycling and composting innovations than the music itself. They cited their environmental best practices as a model for other festivals.
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