Mother Nature doesn’t always cooperate with our outdoor plans — not even for a live music festival held in her honor.
With the forecast for Saturday looking less than stellar, the organizers of the Springfield Earth Day Festival are moving the event indoors, from Jordan Valley Park to the Jordan Valley Ice Park (don’t worry, the ice has been removed for the summer). Their advice to guests? Get your tickets now — and bring your own reusable water bottle.
“There’s a limited capacity inside the ice park,” said Molly Healey, the festival’s president. “We want to make sure that we have a spot for everyone, so we encourage everyone to buy their tickets as soon as they can.”
Those $35 tickets (children 12 and under are free) get you into what organizers call a plastic-free, leave-no-waste, sustainability music experience. The gates open at 11 a.m. and music starts at noon.
Daredevils headline a loaded lineup
“We’re super excited about the music,” Healey said. “We’ve got the Ozark Mountain Daredevils headlining and a lot of local bands, regional bands. It’s a great lineup.”
Healey herself is a member of the Daredevils, a beloved, long-running, legendary rock group. They’ll take the stage at 6:30 p.m. That band recently released a new version of “Jackie Blue,” its top-40 hit single from 1975. Healey sings lead on the revamped version, titled “Jackie Blue 2.”
The lineup also includes bluegrass outfit The Hillbenders, Memphis-inspired band Sister Lucille and roots rocker Opal Agafia — from Eureka Springs, Arkansas — among others.
Entertainment extends off-stage
But that’s not all that will be happening at the Springfield Earth Day Festival.
“We’ll have food for sale at the festival, some live art painting by Garrett Melby,” said Healey. “He did that last year and donated his paintings to the cause. We’ve got Springfield Aerial Fitness that’s going to be on-site and they’re going to be performing aerial choreography throughout the day.”
There’s also a special spot for young ones who might need some entertainment of their own.
“For the kiddos, we’ve got our reading corner with people reading stories all day,” Healey said. “So if your kids are getting antsy, you can take them over there and have them entertained for a little while.”
Proceeds from concert donated to environmental organizations
A keynote speaker is scheduled to take the stage at 6 p.m. Organizers are tight-lipped about who it is, but Healey was willing to reveal the subject matter.
“The speaker is going to be delivering a message about the importance of sustainability in our local environment,” she said.
That message is at the heart of the Earth Day Festival. There will be informational booths and vendors will be selling sustainably-made goods. Guests will have access to compostable/recyclable food containers. All beverages are served in commemorative, reusable, take-home cups that guests purchase to support the cause. The money raised at this year’s event will be donated to the Ozark Society, Springfield Compost Collective and the Springfield-Greene County Park Board.
“We have sponsorships paying for the organizing, the promotion and the production of the festival, so we take the ticket sales and we can donate all of those to our local environmental organizations,” Healey said. “It’s a two-pronged approach. One is that we get to maximize our earning potential to donate to these nonprofits, but also we get to partner with local businesses and get the whole community involved. That really worked well for us (last year), so we’re doing the same this year, except bigger.”
Don’t forget your refillable water bottle
Even with the festival moving inside the ice park, guests are still encouraged to bring their lawn chairs and blankets so they’ll have a comfortable place to hang out and enjoy the music. And don’t forget that refillable water bottle.
“That’s super important because we’re not selling plastic water bottles at all,” Healey said. “We have a hydration station that City Utilities is providing. Guests can refill their water bottles throughout the day. It’s super convenient, right there on the grounds, and free — which is the best thing. Your bottle needs to be empty when you enter the park, but you can fill it up as soon as you get there.”
Want to go?
What: Springfield Earth Day Festival
When: Saturday, April 22; gates open at 11 a.m., music starts at noon
Where: Jordan Valley Ice Park, 635 E. Trafficway
Tickets: $35 in advance; children 12 and under free with a pass holding adult
For more information: Visit the Earth Day Festival’s website, or find them on Facebook
Special performances by Springfield Aerial Fitness all day
Noon — The Shandies with 83 Skidoo
1 p.m. — Alyssa Galvan
1:30 p.m. — Sister Lucille
2:30 p.m. — Mark Barger
3 p.m. — Opal Agafia
4 p.m. — Dance Monkey Dance!
4:30 p.m. — The Hillbenders
5:30 p.m. — Brandon & Annabelle Moore
6:15 p.m. — Keynote speaker
6:30 p.m. — The Ozark Mountain Daredevils