WinterWonderGrass believes that festival season should be experienced year-round. With an impressive lineup of talent, the outdoor music series comes to Stratton, Vermont, on December 14-16, with bands like Railroad Earth, The Infamous Stringdusters, and Keller and the Keels, to name a few. (Early 2019 events are scheduled for Colorado and California as well.) Festival marketing director Ariel Rosemberg fielded a few questions by email.
Putting a festival like this together is definitely a team effort. How would you describe the group of individuals who work behind the scenes at WinterWonderGrass?
Our team is second to none where everyone truly makes contributions at the highest level. We have experts dedicated to sustainability who ensure we’re properly and most effectively managing waste, experts dedicated to curating an ultimate winter fan experience, experts at each of our resort partners and so on. For me being relatively new to the core team, it’s truly a breath of fresh air to be a part of the wheel that is WinterWonderGrass.
WinterWonderGrass will take place in three destinations in the months ahead. As you plan and execute these events, how would you describe your commitment to the community?
The manifestation of community is one of the principles that keeps the WWG ship at sea. Our potential energy immediately transitions into kinetic at the mere rumble of discussion and stoke within our host resort communities. Additionally, since inception, the festival has contributed upwards of $100k to our local/regional non-profit partners and it’s our intent to continue on that path.
Environmentalism is an important aspect of this festival. What steps are taken to ensure this festival is environmentally responsible?
We work very closely on a national level with an organization out of Burlington, Vermont, called Waste-Free Earth. With their help we’re able to confidently promote that we’ve held a diversion rate of 80-90 percent for each festival in California and Colorado. Our intent is to bring that same model to Vermont, by the way. Every bag of trash, recycling, compost, etc., is sorted through on site with the help of volunteers. And the festival has committed to using only reusable or compostable product wherever possible (since ’15) and has eliminated all single-use plastic (since ’16).
A couple quick stats from 2018 alone: WWG diverted +23K lbs of waste from landfills due to composting, recycling or donation programs. It’s estimated that WWG saved +68K single-use compostable cups from being produced thanks to a partnership with Klean Kanteen (all three-day ticket holders receive a Klean Kanteen reusable cup). It’s estimated that WWG saved +76K single-use plastic water bottles from being used thanks to our single-use plastic ban and our free filtered water stations.
Summer festivals are plentiful, of course. Why did the concept of a winter festival appeal to you?
I love this question and we get it a lot. For me in short, there’s nothing better than huddling up with your closest friends (old AND new), listening to your favorite band, sipping a delicious craft beer or whiskey in the dumping snow at the base of the most iconic ski resorts in the country. The idea of being “cold” to a certain degree (no pun intended) can be easily masked by experience. Cold is a state of mind, it’s an opportunity to just let go of all the BS that surrounds us on the daily and just be absorbed by the moment. Plus, there’s no way to ski fresh powder after a humid, rainy, muddy summer festival night!
Passes are still available for all three WWG weekends. Buy your tickets and discover more at winterwondergrass.com