Clarksville, Ark. --- On Saturday, April 9, in celebration of Earth Day, U of O's Ozarks Outdoors program will host the GAIALUNA Festival, a 12-hour music jamboree that will feature an array of bands and a series of speakers from all around the state.
“The festival will be held in the demonstration campground in the woods on North Street, on the edge of campus,” said Ozark Outdoors student coordinator Lauren Ray. “It will go from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. [Fellow student coordinator] Ben Adkins and I both have friends in bands around Northwest Arkansas, and we’d heard the Acoustic Refugees were really big locally and wanted the community to be involved, so it turned out to be pretty easy to line up the music.”
She said the event will serve as an official kick-off for the new Ozarks Outdoor and Environmental Experiences program.
Bands who will play at the festival include Old Golden Rose, Native Son, Pride of the Thicket, Wasted Life Family Band, and local sensations the Acoustic Refugees.
Speakers will include Jessie Gibson of SnerQ Yoga Studio, who will hold a morning yoga session, John Pennington of the Arkansas Earth Day Foundation, and Ozarks’ Chaplain Rev. Nancy Benson-Nicol, speaking on “Spirituality & Nature.”
Program Director Jamie Lewis Hedges pointed out the good fortune of all involved. “This event exemplifies the unique position the university has for supporting its community, in that we have half a dozen bands and half a dozen grass roots organizations we can bring to Clarksville and U of O, to create a forum to talk about protecting both our environment and our community.”
Organizations to be represented at the GAIALUNA Festival include the National Audubon Society, the Sierra Club, Arkansas Earth Day Foundation, Arkansas Wildlife Federation, and Buffalo National River Partners.
Lauren added several student organizations will have booths set up on site.
“We’ve been working on this since we got back from our Wilderness First Responder Training in Portland,” she said. “That was the end of February. But we wanted to keep it on the down-low until we had gone through all the right channels and gotten approval from the stake holders in the event. So right now we’re gonna blow it out to the media to make sure everybody knows about it in time for April 9. It’s going to be terrific!”
She said the group is also planning workshops that will take place between band sets.
Admission for the event will be $5, with proceeds going to benefit Ozarks Outdoors-related events. Multiple convo opportunities will be available for students attending.
Parking will be available on College and Buchanan Ave., as well as at the Walton Fine Arts-Mabee Sports Complex parking lot.
For more information, please email Jamie Lewis Hedges, Director of Outdoor and Environmental Experiences, at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (479) 979-1436.