It breaks my heart to be writing this right now, but it looks like all of us looking forward to Jack Johnson’s annual Kokua Festival are going to have to wait at least another year. After 5 straight years of absolutely incredible shows (including the one I was privileged enough to attend last year) under the Hawaiian skies, the Kokua Hawaii Foundation released the following statement regarding the 2009 show, and lack thereof-
“After hosting five consecutive and successful years of the Kokua Festival, we have decided to take a break. We’d like to send out a big ‘mahalo’ to everyone who has supported the festival over the years, and especially thank the artists who have donated their positive energy and memorable performances.”
You’ll notice that there was no reason mentioned for the ‘09 hiatus. The likely culprit would be the current status of the economy, but that is simply speculation on my part. And let’s hope it’s just a hiatus and not a permanent end to what has been one of the top music festivals around. Beyond the world class music talent the Kokua Festival has featured annually (Johnson, Eddie Vedder, Ben Harper, Dave Matthews, Mason Jennings) the environmental awareness raised by the Kokua Festival has been priceless and something that will be sorely missed.
Let’s hope the Kokua Festival comes back stronger than ever in 2010. And even if it doesn’t, continue to check out Kokua Hawaii and do your part to preserve our environment.