A couple years ago, Ines Galinda and her friend Oscar Diaz were horrified by a documentary they saw on the BP oil spill. Instead of pushing their reaction aside, or signing an online petition, they decided to do something more to get people to pay attention to what they see as a dangerously growing stream of environmental disasters.Â Galinda and Diazâ€™ answer was the Friends of Nature, or FON Fest, which takes place at Virginia Key Beach on Key Biscayne. They hope it will set an example as an environmentally responsible event and raise peopleâ€™s awareness of environmental problems.
The scope of the festival is ambitious, with five stages for over 60 electronica, reggae, indie rock and other musical acts, including major names like Nortec Collective and Matisyahu, and favorite local bands such as Locos Por Juana, Afrobeta, Kevens, Suenalo, as well as 17 comedians. Thereâ€™s a film tent run by Wynwoodâ€™s O Cinema, and Red Cup Nation, a DJ booth in a solar powered truck. Artists will create works on site from trash and recyclables, and there will be workshops in yoga and community organizing.Â Sound systems will be powered by biofuel generators, and campsites are available. The FON Fest website promotes car pooling and shuttles from four downtown sites.
Theyâ€™ve had challenges in making the festival environmentally friendly. They had to hire an independent recycling company, since the City of Miami doesnâ€™t provide recycling in city parks. Beverage companies refused to service the festival unless they did away with a plan for water stations so people could fill their own bottles.Â Though Galinda has worked at South Beach clubs and Diaz at festivals such as Ultra, this is the pairâ€™s first major event. Tickets range from $45 to $170. For more info contactÂ email@example.com