Warm weather makes for good crowd at PSU’s Earth Jam
STOP TITO COLLECTIVE, headlining band of the sixth annual Earth Jam at Plymouth State University, a free day-long music festival run completely on solar power, plays, Saturday, to a crowd of students and residents. BOB MARTIN/CITIZEN
PLYMOUTH — Plymouth State University was hopping on Saturday afternoon for the sixth annual Earth Jam, which featured a day full of free activities and music completely run on solar power.
The event took place in front of the Hartman Union Building, and thanks to the live music and the warm sunshine, it attracted hundreds of students and local residents throughout the day. Earth Jam was hosted by Common Ground, which is a student environmental and social justice organization that has worked for more than 25 years on environmental issues through service projects and events like Earth Jam.
With the end of the school year approaching, and the weather finally warming up, Earth Jam was a reminder that the summer was right around the corner. Many took advantage of the day to take a break from their studies before final exams, spending time hula hooping, playing hacky sack, eating food from the various vendors, dancing the day and night away, or just relaxing in the grass listening to tunes.
Leeann Ketchum, a junior at PSU, and senior Jennifer Naze said that they were having a blast thanks to the weather. They explained that it was rainy and cold last year, which took away from the whole day. This year, with temperatures close to 70 degrees and clear, blue skies for most of the day, those attending were in great spirits.
“The fun in the sun has been excellent,” Ketchum said with a laugh. “All the bands have been performing really well, jamming really hard. Last year was freezing so I think the weather makes a huge difference.”
Naze agreed with Ketchum, saying that this year’s event was much more enjoyable than other years. She said that people of all walks of life were able to enjoy the activities throughout the day.
“So many different types of people are down here because there is something for everyone,” Naze said. “Earth jam has really one upped itself this year. The music has really been awesome. They stepped it up. Plus, it’s so warm!”
It wasn’t just Plymouth State students enjoying the day’s activities. Matthew Dunlap, a senior at Inter- Lakes High School, was dancing around all day to the music as well as skateboarding around town. He said that he was loving the music at Earth Jam.
“I’m feeling the groove,” he said.
The lawn in front of the Hartman Union Building was filled with vendors, with many of them from the local area. Molly Darisse, a senior and public relations director for Common Ground, said that the event has been getting bigger by the year, and that this was the first year they had prepared food. She said that there were also some vendors who came from as far as Florida.
The vendors included Main Street Book Ends, Back in Time Soaps, Warner River Organics, Windamere Herb Farm, Peaces of Us, D Acres, Longhaul Farm, Mountain View Mana, Pikehill Farm, Northwood Naturals, North Country Ride Share, Cardigan Mountain, White Gates Farm of Tamworth, Gazin’ Works by LG, Janine Waldron and the magical face paint and Allie Savage and Bottle Cap earrings.
Savage, who is a senior and the volunteer coordinator for Earth Jam, said the vendors can show up and sell their products for free in an effort to support their causes. There are also activities throughout the day such as disc golf, tie dying, a Healthy Human Race 5k Run sponsored by PSU’s Gluten Free & Healthy Living Club, slack lining, seed planting, a paint wall and yoga.
Savage said that the weather definitely made a huge difference and inspired people to come down to the free event. She said that there were steady numbers all throughout the day, with a much better turnout visibly than last year.
Darisse explained that bands submitted applications and then the members of Common Ground listened to the bands together and chose. This year they chose seven bands, with five of them made up of PSU students. She also said that many of bands played for free to alleviate costs. The day started at noon with Mountain Sound followed by Elephant, Nautilus, BRASBE, String Theory, The Phreaks and headliner Stop Tito Collective.
The music throughout the day varied in style and had something for most peoples’ musical tastes. Mountain Sound guitarist Jon Flanders said that he was very happy with how the band played, saying that they don’t have much experience playing together but that it was a successful time.
Nate Weaver, a PSU alumnae and guitarist for String Theory, had a lot of fun and said that he felt like the crowd was really into the music. Bassist Andrew Emerson joked and said he had one word for the occasion: “Dazzling.”
Weaver actually found out last night that he is the only person to play every year at Earth Jam and said that he was very pleased with how the day went. String Theory had a busy day, finishing their set at Earth Jam and heading to Rochester for another show only three hours later.
“It was a crazy day,” Weaver said. “I thought Earth Jam was good. It was very well done. Very well put together. Fun was had by everyone there, from what I saw.”