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Sorry, No Kokua Festival This Year

Tuesday, January 6th, 2009

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.”

kokua festival

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.

Posted in Industry | No Comments »

Jack Johnson and Surfrider Continue to Lead the Way

Tuesday, June 17th, 2008

jack johnson liveWith so much going against us as we fight against the demise of our environment, it’s both motivating and inspiring to watch natural leaders rise up and open paths for those who are new to this battle. The massive success of Jack Johnson’s annual Kokua Festival has led to a partnership with Surfrider Foundation as one of a select group of non-profit organizations chosen by Jack to participate in his 2008 world tour and help launch his All At Once campaign.

The All At Once campaign and online community take a page out of the Kokua Festival by bridging the gap between Jack’s fans and local, as well as national, organizations who make saving the environment their life’s work. Surfrider CEO Jim Moriarty has coined the term “on-ramp” when describing methods to get the average joe like many of us onboard and passionate about doing what we can to help. Creating these on-ramps is what the All At Once campaign is all about. The A.A.O. campaign puts concert-goers face to face with these organizations in order to provide steps of environmental actions they can take, both large and small. Once the show is over, the online community will ensure the work will continue by providing a network for those who are already involved to stay connected with those just getting their feet wet.

“I can’t think of a better reason to put on a concert than to bring people together to create positive change,” said Johnson. “With this year’s tour we are bringing together all of our resources All At Once to give back to each community that we visit.”

Jack’s continued efforts to aid in this cause are remarkable and open up the door for so many who otherwise may not know where to start. This partnership with Surfrider is ideal and goes to show that the surfing community as a whole are leading the way when it comes to cultivating the culture of global activism.

If you’re searching for an on-ramp, the All At Once campaign is a perfect way to get onboard.

Posted in Surfing | No Comments »

Jack Johnson’s Kokua Festival: 100% Eco-Success

Thursday, April 24th, 2008

kokua festivalUnder the watchful eye of a picture perfect Hawaiian sky, North Shore-native Jack Johnson and lovely wife Kim once again held their annual Kokua Festival this past weekend in Waikiki, HI. The festival has steadily grown over the last few years, and this year the surfer/film-maker/musician put on what could only be described as a truly magical and enriching evening for all in attendance.

As the festival itself has grown, so have the caliber of musicians who come to play and help benefit the Kokua Hawaii Foundation, which was founded by Kim Johnson in order to help give back to the children of Hawai’i as well as raise awareness for our struggling environment. Among the many musicians was the legendary artist and activist Dave Matthews, who couldn’t help but state time and time again what a truly inspirational and admirable event this was. It was the first time Matthews has played in the islands, as well as the first time that he and Jack have ever been on stage together.


Posted in Surfing | No Comments »

Jack Johnson and Dave Matthews Set for Kokua Festival

Monday, April 7th, 2008

kokua festivalMy nearly life-long appreciation of Dave Matthews makes be instantly biased toward any sort of project that he sets his hands on. Upon learning that he would be joining the lineup at Jack Johnson’s 2008 Kokua Festival – to be held next weekend at the historic Waikiki Shell in Oahu – I knew it would be something I would end up keeping a close eye on. Realizing that there would be many of our faithful readers unable to make it out to see what it’s about for themselves, I have gone ahead and decided to take one for the 5ones team. Duty calls, and I will be making the trip back to my hometown of Honolulu in order see for myself just what the Kokua Festival is about, and then report back.

From top to bottom, the Kokua Festival is a remarkable project in every sense of the word. It is held to benefit the Kokua Hawaii Foundation, which is a non-profit organization that supports environmental education in the schools and communities of Hawaii. The core volunteer force for the festival is made up by members of Kamehameha Schools’ Tree Hugger Club, and great lengths are taken in order to ensure that it will be completely eco-friendly.

The fact that Dave Matthews will be complimenting Hawaii’s favorite son Jack Johnson, as well as many other unbelievably talented musicians, to perform for a truly worthy cause makes this a can’t miss. I wish everyone had the priviledge of attending what is sure to be an unforgettable experience. For those who can’t make it, I got you covered;)

Posted in Surfing | 2 Comments »

Surfers Continue Going Green Worldwide

Monday, February 18th, 2008

While taking my daily news-cruise I came upon another story of surfers putting themselves on the front line against the all-out assault on our environment. This time it was 15 Aussie surfers and kayakers that went as far as to put their lives at risk in order to protest the dredging of a channel off of Port Phillip Bay. They paddled out right through the ships exclusion zone and came within yards of the massive ship and it’s dredging equipment. They all ended up with a $176 fine and a scolding from the local police, but were successful in making sure that their voices were heard.

Did they take it to far by risking their lives to make their point? There are points to be made on either side. What is clear is that the surfing community is as in touch, if not more so, with what is going on with the environment as any other. After recently receiving tickets to Jack Johnson’s Kokua Festival I checked out their site was extremely impressed with the measure’s they have taken to be ‘green’. Some of the methods they have implemented in order to be bio-friendly include offering eco-friendly merchandise such as reusable tote bags, bottles, and organic cotton clothing, as well as a $2 option used to offset emissions from their personal travel to and from the show. More and more surf contests are being fueled with bio-diesel and clothing companies are making a point of using recycled materials in the production of clothing and shoes.

The success of The Surfrider Foundation and local communities coming together and stopping the proposed Trestles toll-road has been a well-documented example of how closely knit and well-informed the surfing community as well as its industry really is. Surfers continue to rise up for cause after cause and I imagine this trend will only continue to grow as more awareness is risen in regard to the damage being done against the environment.

Posted in Surfing | 2 Comments »

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