At the 35th Telluride Bluegrass Festival, along with their guitars, banjos, mandolins, basses, dobros, fiddles, and drums, artists went on stage with their own Sustainable Festivation Klean Kanteens. Keeping with Planet Bluegrass sustainability vision, no plastic bottles were used backstage, instead each artist received a reusable stainless steel water bottle manufactured by Klean Kanteen, a California company. These bottles were very popular among the Festival artists - making appearances on stage, backstage, at Elks Park, at the artist signings at the Country Store, and throughout town.
The system wasn’t perfect, but we held to our pledge of having no bottled water backstage/onstage. On the occasion when artists would forget to bring their bottles on-stag we filled a compostable cup with local water. - certainly an improvement over a single-use bottle of water trucked in from far away.
Abigail Washburn had this to say about the Klean Kanteens- “I’ve been looking for a non-plastic option for a reusable water container for a long time… the kanteen was perfect. I’m far away from telluride now and I’m still using it everyday.” (Speaking of Abby: check out the videos she made backstage at Telluride Bluegrass for USAToday.com.)
In the front of house, Festivarians had the opportunity to fill up their own reusable bottles at the free filtered water station. (Here’s a water thread over at the Festivarian Forum.) Over the course of the festival, festivarians consumed 10,160 gallons of water from the station. That’s a somewhat smaller number than we were expecting - given 10,000 thirsty Festivarians per day for 4 days. But this amount of water dispensed from the station is the equivalent of 3,387 cases of 16oz water bottles. Not an insignificant number.
Hereâ€™s to you, Festivarians, for helping reduce the amount of plastic water bottles consumed, and showing that drinking local is the way to go. To continue in the Drink Local attitude, choose to drink from your tap rather than a single-use plastic bottle.
We sold-out of our limited supply of bottles at the Country Store. They sold about as quickly as we could take them out of the box. (Oh, and nice job Klean Kanteen on the intelligent packaging: the bottles were shipped many to a box, instead of being individually boxed.) We’ll have more stainless steel bottles to sell to Festivarians at RockyGrass and the Folks Festival with our Sustainable Festivation logo. But it’s not the brand of bottle that matters - it’s the concept of reusing a water bottle. And for that, any water bottle you have in your kitchen should do the trick. Just don’t forget to bring it with you. Everywhere you go.