NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

PortWatch

May 19, 2011

EarthFest returns to the Hatch Shell

Where can you combine national and local music acts, environmentally friendly products and local nonprofit environmental organizations?

The annual EarthFest, of course.

The free music extravaganza returns for the 18th year Saturday with Live's Ed Kowalczyk, OK Go, Sponge and Atomic Tom.

The Radio 92.9 EarthFest is the first major event of the season and the largest free radio station concert in the country. Performances on the main stage will begin at 11:30 a.m.

In addition to these, EarthFest will also include music in Kids' Planet — an expanded interactive family area with environmental activities and educational displays. Kids' Planet will feature performances from Dan Zanes & Friends, Sarah Wheeler & Little Groove, RhymeZweLL, Vanessa Trien & the Jumping Monkeys and student performers from Zumix.

For those who want to save the planet, check out the exhibits and environmental displays staffed by sponsors and nonprofit environmental organizations from New England.

Each is focused on raising awareness and offering educational information about different environmental issues facing the planet. Some of the highlights will include:

The Whole Foods Pavilion, where more than 30 vendors will assemble to promote earth-friendly products and offer cooking demonstrations and other interactive activities.

The MBTA Hybrid Bus Display. Powered by a Cummins clean diesel engine, this state-of-the-art hybrid drive system is equipped with a regenerative braking system that diverts brake energy into the vehicle's energy storage system for future use by the hybrid system. The hybrid system is capable of improving fuel efficiency by a minimum of 20 percent compared with conventional diesel buses when operated during a stop-and-go inner-city duty cycle.

Radio 92.9's EarthFest expects to draw more than 100,000 people. To minimize the environmental impact of the event, Casella Waste Systems will manage a comprehensive recycling program onsite.

In addition, Mass Bike will staffing a free bike-valet program, offering concert-goers an alternative to driving to the festival.

If you go

What: EarthFest

When: Saturday, starting at 10 a.m.

Where: Hatch Shell, Esplanade, Boston

How: Admission is free. For more information, visit earthfest.com.

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