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Living the Festival Dream: One GrassRoots Festival Per Season
To every season, there is a GrassRoots Festival…

2013 GrassRoots Festival Dates:
Feb 21-24 –Virginia Key GrassRoots Festival of Music & Dance – Miami, FL
April 18-21 – Shakori Hills Spring GrassRoots Fest– Pittsboro, NC
July 18-21 – Finger Lakes GrassRoots Fest – Trumansburg, NY
October 10-13 – Shakori Hills Fall GrassRoots Fest – Pittsboro, NC

It begins…

FingerLakesheader-grfAbout 22 years ago, Ithaca-based band Donna the Buffalo and some of their friends saw a void in their community.  AIDS was a new and deadly disease and people were uneducated about it and how to prevent it.  As artists do, they decided to use their art to spread the word and make a difference – they created a festival. In the summer of 1991, The Finger Lakes GrassRoots Festival was held on the fairgrounds on the edge of the small town of Trumansburg, NY.  Folks danced, listened to great music, created and witnessed art, met up with old friends, found new ones, and shared ideas.  The festival was a hit, and the profits went to AIDSwork of Tompkins County to help spread the word about the terrible, yet preventable, disease.

Since then, the not-for-profit festival in NY has grown continuously and has given funding to socially and environmentally responsible organizations including: Doctors Without Borders,  Musicians For World Harmony, Ithaca Free Clinic, Ithaca Ballet, Hospicare of Tompkins County, Boy Scouts Of America, LACS Katrina Relief Group and more.  Not just another music festival, GrassRoots became synonymous with not only being the region’s premiere music event but a community that cares about each other and the world around them and are passionate about music and culture in a very human way.

The acts on the bill have not always been pop-darlings or the coolest “hit” of the year, they are artists with a conscience, who have something to give the audience that lasts longer than the moment in which songs are heard.  Featured genres include: World, Roots Rock, Americana, Bluegrass, Latin, Old-time, Zydeco, Cajun, Blues, Folk, Country, Hip Hop and Jazz.  World music heroes like Africa’s Hugh Massekela, Oliver Mtukudzi, Seun Kuti (accompanied by his father Fela’s band Egypt 80), and Tinariwen; Reggae pioneers like Burning Spear and Toots & The Maytals; Hip Hop social activists Arrested Development; Folk and Country greats Merle Haggard, Lucinda Williams, and Old Crow Medicine Show; Latin artists Maraca Y Otra Vision and Sierra Maestra, Native Americans Keith Secola and Deer Clan Singers; and others The Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Ani DiFranco and Rickie Lee Jones all have graced the GrassRoots Festival stages. Artists that make a difference, that educate and feed the soul.

The journey continues…

shakorihdrlogo1In 2003 a group of organizers from the New York festival, including GrassRoots Festival Organization founder Jordan Puryear, decided that they had such a great thing going, they should share it with as many people as possible.  With a vision for a GrassRoots for every season the organization moved south to central North Carolina.  The region is well known for its music, from its history of Old-time, Bluegrass, and Folk music to a thriving indie college scene; here was a perfect atmosphere in which to create another GrassRoots Festival.  They discovered a 75-acre old farmstead outside of Chapel Hill and on Earth Day weekend of April 2003, the Shakori Hills GrassRoots Festival of Music & Dance was born.  Four days of music, dance and art in a green, idyllic setting.

The Spring and Fall Shakori Hills GrassRoots festivals, from their inception, reached out and included local non-profit and advocacy groups and helped present their missions to audiences.  Shakori Hills also presents a safe and friendly place that is very welcoming to families.  Sara Waters, festival co-coordinator shares, “The kids’ area is outstanding, with activities from crafts to learning how to play instruments, kid-focused bands, and storytelling, to making masks and painting umbrellas for peace, there’s even a festival-wide game of capture the flag and a parade consisting of giant, ornate puppets and any number of percussion instruments.”

There are four stages, including two in large outdoor fields, a more intimate cabaret tent and a large, 10,000 square foot dance tent.  Some of the artists who have performed at Shakori Hills include: Carolina Chocolate Drops, The Avett Brothers, Bela Fleck & The Flecktones, Oliver Mtukudzi, Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings, Sam Bush, Rusted Root, Nickel Creek, Richie Havens, Ralph Stanley, Squirrel Nut Zippers and Nnenna Freelon.

As with the New York festival, there is a Healing Arts area with Yoga, Tai-chi, massage and  movement workshops.  At Shakori Hills there is also a “Sustainability Fair” where area pioneers in Earth friendly technologies and practices come to share and present their ideas. “Attendees can camp out and stay for all four days or just come in for an afternoon.  Everyone finds something here that they are interested in. They may come for a favorite band and find they have a new love of  Zydeco dancing or an interest in gardening or biodiesel,” Waters recounts.

A new adventure…

miami-logo-final-4With their newest motto (taken from a fortune cookie) at heart– “If at first you succeed, try something harder.” –the organizers packed up and moved south yet again.  Historic Virginia Key Beach Park in Miami, Florida is now the home to the third, and winter season, Virginia Key GrassRoots Festival of Music & Dance.  When asked about what was behind the creation of the southern-most GrassRoots Festival, Puryear says, “Well, it is a dream come true!  Creating four seasons of GrassRoots Festivals was an idea inspired by the turn of the century mark in 2000 and us wanting to do something really great.”

Like it’s big sisters, the Virginia Key GrassRoots Festival has adapted to the local culture, celebrating it and learning from it.  The festival organization has spent time not only planning a festival, but becoming familiar with the local community, finding out what the festival can bring to the table that might be missing or underestimated locally.  The GrassRoots festivals not only add to their surroundings, but they strive to make it so the event becomes a place for the local community to celebrate itself, unite in understanding as well as in fun.

The first Virginia Key GrassRoots Festival featured among others: Chaka Khan, Del McCoury, Arrested Development, Suenalo, Locos Por Juana, Keith Frank & His Soileau Zydeco Band, Jahfe and Donna The Buffalo.

Why this dream and what it means…

The GrassRoots festivals uphold their belief in education as much as fun, in sharing as much as taking a break from the everyday world.  Waters comments on the overall dream: “The idea is to have a wonderful experience and then take that out into the world, continue what you have learned and help others to learn it as well.”   Puryear speaks about what happens in the Dance Tent of all four festivals–how there, “the artists and the audience are on the same level, sharing in something very simple yet quite profound, the movement of the body and the communication music portrays without words.  The people, both artist and audience, sharing the music, breathing the same air, dancing on the same floor, kicking up some dust, become one.”

Written by Sara Waters.

2013 GrassRoots Festival Dates:
Feb 21-24 –Virginia Key GrassRoots Festival of Music & D ance – Miami, FL
April 18-21 – Shakori Hills Spring GrassRoots Fest Pittsboro, NC
July 18-21 – Finger Lakes GrassRoots Fest – Trumansburg, NY
October 10-13 – Shakori Hills Fall GrassRoots Fest – Pittsboro, NC

GrassRoots festival websites:
http://www.grassrootsfest.org
http://www.shakorihillsgrassroots.org
http://www.virginiakeygrassroots.org

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The Second Annual, Virginia Key Grassroots Festival of Music & Dance will return to Miami, Florida February 21 thru 24, 2013 at the Historic Virginia Key Beach Park.  The four day GrassRoots Festival event will feature: music on four stages, on-site camping, Sustainability Fair & Expo, Kids’ Area, Dance Tent, World Foods Cafe, and Zen Village Area with Healing Arts, Yoga, movement workshops, massage, meditation and crafts.

Virginia_Key_Grassroots_PosterMusical highlights include: Inner Circle, Rusted Root, MC Yogi, Suenalo,
Donna the Buffalo, Keith Frank & His Soileau Zydeco Band, Spam Allstars,
Locos Por Juana, Elastic Bond, ArtOfficial, Driftwood, Johnny Dread, Revelation Mizik, Jose Conde, Keith Secola, Equanimous Minds, Osceola Brothers.

Local partners include: Virginia Key Beach Park Trust, Zen Village, Moksha Family Art Collective, and Community Arts & Culture.  These organizations are working in cooperation with the GrassRoots Festival Organization to produce the 2nd annual Virginia Key GrassRoots Festival.

GrassRoots Festival Organization Inc. is a 501c3 not-for-profit corporation from Trumansburg, NY that has produced the yearly Finger Lakes GrassRoots Festival of Music & Dance. From its inception in 1991, the organization has raised over $1,000,000 for arts, education and the fight against AIDS at its summer festival events in the Finger Lakes region of upstate New York.  In 2003 the GrassRoots Festival Organization expanded its operation to North Carolina with the twice yearly, Spring and Fall, Shakori Hills GrassRoots Festival of Music & Dance.  The Virginia Key Grassroots Festival of Music & Dance is the winter season festival of the year-round not-for-profit music, dance and arts festival series.

 

miami-logo-final-4

For more information see the Virginia Key GrassRoots website: www.virginiakeygrassroots.org
or call: (786) 409-5261.
or visit our office: 107 NE 22nd Street, Miami FL, 33137
other GrassRoots websites:
www.grassrootsfest.org  www.shakorihillsgrassroots.org

Virginia Key Grassroots Festival of Music & Dance
February 21st-24th 2013
Historic Virginia Key Beach Park
4020 Virginia Beach Dr.
Virginia Key, Miami, Florida 33149

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World-Renown GrassRoots Music Festival Poised to Take Centerstage at the Historic Miami Virginia Key Beach

Scheduled to perform: Chaka Khan, Del McCoury, Arrested Development, Immortal Technique, Beausoleil, Keith Secola & His Wild Band of Indians, Locos Por Juana, The Lee Boys, Donna The Buffalo, Jahfe, & more…

In the spirit of family, cultural celebration and fun, The Historic Virginia Key Beach Park will serve as home to the world-renown Virginia Key GrassRoots Festival of Music & Dance, February 9 – 12, 2012.

The Festival organizers are planning to fill a bio diesel bus in North Carolina to travel down to the festival. Here’s what they say about it:

Hey folks! We’re planning on renting out a 55 passenger bio diesel bus for an epic road trip from the Shakori Hills Festival location in triangle area NC down to the Florida Keys for the first annual Virginia Key GrassRoots Festival. http://virginiakeygrassroots.org/

The bus leaves Wednesday, Feb 8th and returns Sunday, Feb 12th after the music.

The Tour Bus is super comfortable with DVD and bathroom, and runs on locally made bio fuels.  We’ll drive 1600 miles round trip (14 hours each way), starting out in the night so we’ll wake up at the beach! $120 per person covers fuel and drivers, and saves you festival overnight parking costs of $50.00. Plus, you can bring your camping gear with you!

NOTE: We need 55 people to sign up in order to fill the bio bus. Email grassrootsbiobus@gmail.com or Call Iris @ (919) 542 0244 for more info or to sign up.  For more info click here.

The four-day event will showcase some of the world’s most amazing and respected talents from over 50 performing groups whose genres include: roots rock, reggae, hip-hop, Latin, funk, Cajun, bluegrass, African, Kompa, world beat and zydeco. Grammy® Award winning performers Chaka Khan, The Del McCoury Band and Arrested Development will headline the inaugural festival along with the legendary ska/reggae band Fishbone, Donna the Buffalo, BeauSoleil avec Micheal Doucet and several South Florida local favorites Locos Por Juana, Suenalo and ArtOfficial.

To learn more about The Virginia Key GrassRoots Festival, performers, or to purchase tickets please contact Emma Hewitt at (786) 332-4630 or visit us at http://www.virginiakeygrassroots.org.

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Global Music Festival Debuts in Miami with Headliners
Chaka Khan, Arrested Development, and Del McCoury


Family-Friendly Virginia Key GrassRoots Festival February 9th-12th, 2012
Welcomes Community Participation

The world-renowned GrassRoots Festival of Music & Dance is coming to The Historic Virginia Key Beach Park in Miami on February 9th-12th, 2012. Founded in upstate New York in 1991, the non-profit festival showcases top tier world and roots music performers from a wide variety of genres; Latin, Reggae, Hip-Hop, Americana, Funk, Cajun, Bluegrass, Indie Rock, African, Kompa, World Beat, and Jam. International and Grammy Award winning artists will perform alongside some of Florida’s premier bands – Chaka Khan, Del McCoury, and Arrested Development.

Throughout the four-day, family-friendly event, a Kid’s Village will offer interactive activities. Local artisans and visiting craftspeople will display and sell their work. In addition, celebrity dance instructors will provide ongoing group instruction and festival performers will conduct daily music and instrumental workshops. Those interested in wellness will find movement classes, flow workshops, massage and more in The Healing Arts Area.

The festival welcomes local residents and out of town visitors. The on-site campgrounds, just a short walk from the beach, are open to all festival attendees for a reasonable fee. Space is for tents and vehicle camping. Day Tickets, Discounted 4-Day Passes, and Special Packages are available by phone (786) 332-4630, online www.virginiakeygrassroots.org, and at the gate.

The Virginia Key GrassRoots Festival’s mission is to promote community engagement through music and arts education, while supporting environmental sustainability, and social justice. To this end, GrassRoots invites local non-profit groups to set up booths in the Community Advocacy Area. For more information please contact Emma Hewitt at emma@grassrootsfest.org or (786) 332-4630.

GrassRoots is seeking volunteers to help in all areas of the festival, from the Street Team to Hospitality Kitchen. In trade for hours worked, Volunteers are rewarded free festival passes. For more information visit http://virginiakeygrassroots.com/volunteer

Festival Line-up:

Arrested Development, ArtOfficial, Beausoleil Avec Michael Doucet, Big Cosmo, The Del McCoury Band, Donna the Buffalo, Driftwood, Fishbone, Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad, Greg Humphreys, Jim Lauderdale, Keith Frank & the Soileau Zydeco Band, Keith Secola & Wild Band of Indians, The Lee Boys, Locos Por Juana, Mixed Culture, Preston Frank, Revelation Mizik, Roy Jay Band, Rubblebucket, Sim Redmond Band, Suenalo, Thousands of One, Toubab Krewe, Willie Watson & the Evil City String Band

Visit the website for additions that have been added to the lineup

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