Arcadia Folk Fest provides music for a cause

The fourth annual Arcadia Folk Fest at Mass Audubon’s Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary boasts a commitment to environmental/climate-focused action and sustainable practices.

It will take place on Saturday, September 17, from 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., at the Easthampton Sanctuary. It will be carbon neutral and solar powered through Arcadia’s photovoltaic arrays and will generate zero waste.

Food truck menus will be 100 percent plant-based and there will be opportunities to engage in climate advocacy. The event will promote cycling, including prizes for those who cycle to the event; environmental education will be integrated into the festival.

“These days many music festivals are taking steps to reduce their carbon footprint,” said Peter Hamelin, director of music for Signature Sounds. “What’s different about Arcadia Folk Fest is that we’re focused on eliminating our carbon footprint and it’s not something we’re doing on the side. It is actually the reason for the event. We want to be the new model.”

Presented by Signature Sounds, the festival will take place at the Wildlife Refuge, 127 Combs Road, Easthampton. Headliners for the all-day celebration of music and nature include Bonny Light Horseman, Brett Dennen, Sean Rowe and Heather Maloney, Kimaya Diggs and Cloudbelly.

“We are very excited to play Arcadia Folk Fest and be part of a festival that is so actively committed to sustainability,” said Anaïs Mitchell of Bonny Light Horseman, who returns to Folk Fest after first performing at Arcadia concert in 2019. “Festivals are a window into the way the world can be, and Arcadia is showing the way so beautifully.”

For the kids at the festival, Carrie Ferguson and the Grumpytime Club Band will perform and there will be arts and crafts projects for kids throughout the day.

“Children are a critical part of the Mass Audubon community. We want to include them in this celebration and we want to show them early on what sustainability looks like in practice,” said Jonah A. Keane, director of Mass Audubon’s Connecticut River Valley.

The event has four goals: Model how to organize a sustainable community event; celebrate community and connect new people with the work of Mass Audubon; add to the cultural vibrancy of the Pioneer Valley and fill a void for a local folk festival; and raise funds to support Mass Audubon’s work in the region.

“Having a music festival of this kind in a wildlife sanctuary clearly resonates with the community,” Keane said. “People love the combination of music and nature. Also, we want to bring new people to Arcadia to connect them with our important work. And, at Arcadia, we’re able to run the event entirely on locally generated solar energy.”

According to Keane, the climate crisis and the loss of biodiversity are the main challenges of today. “We have to take measures. At the same time, we cannot shut down everything to minimize our impact on the planet,” he said. “We must adopt practices to greatly reduce our impact while we continue to operate. And we must continue to build togetherness and hope for a livable future through various avenues, including community events. We’re showing how we can host not just green concerts, but carbon-neutral, even carbon-positive events that build community and hope and don’t jeopardize the future of our planet.”

Folk Fest tickets are $60; children 10 and under, free entry. To purchase tickets and learn more about Arcadia Folk Fest 2022 (full list of artists, green features, parking, etc.) go to

Event: Arcadia Folk Festival

When: Saturday, September 17, from 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m

Where: 127 Combs Road, Easthampton

Acceptance: 60 dollars; children 10 and under, free

For more information: Online,

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