What began as a folk picnic organized by the legendary Pete Seeger in the ‘60s has evolved over the decades to become Clearwater's Great Hudson River Revival. With eight sustainably-powered stages and a killer lineup, the music and environmental festival celebrates its 40th year this June.
In the true Seeger spirit, the festival is not just about music but also about environmental activism. The two-day extravaganza features a range of sustainability-driven activities with the picturesque backdrop of the Hudson River at Croton Point Park.
Attendees can visit environmental education exhibits throughout the festival site, and can check out the Activist Area to learn about the work of local environmental andsocial justice organizations. There will also be a Handcrafters’ Village with fine crafts and jewelry, the Green Living Expo with environmentally conscious products and sustainable services, the Working Waterfront with small boat exhibits and rides, and the Artisanal Food & Farm Market showcasing local farms.
- Sienna Wildfield
And of course, Clearwater wouldn’t be the same without the music. This year’s stellar lineup includes first-timers Jeff Tweedy of Wilco, They Might Be Giants, Rhiannon Giddens of the Carolina Chocolate Drop and more. “I'm excited to have back old friends of Clearwater, including Ani DiFranco, The Mavericks, Tom Paxton, David Amram, The Mammals, and others,” Festival Director Steve Lurie says. “As for new artists, I'm especially excited about a roots/Americana/soul husband-and-wife group called The War and Treaty—I know that Pete and Toshi Seeger would have loved them. And I’m also excited about Venezuelan singer Betsayda Machado.”
Festival-goers can join in on the music at the Circle of Song, which is driven by audience participation. Clearwater also offers opportunities to sail on the iconic sloop Clearwater or
the schooner Mystic Whaler. This requires separate tickets.
All the proceeds for this event support Hudson River Sloop Clearwater’s educational programs and environmental activism. In the past year alone, Clearwater’s "sailing classroom" programs aboard the Clearwater and the Mystic Whaler sailed with over 10,000 students, educating and activating them to become Hudson River stewards.
In summer 2017, Clearwater completed three Youth Empowerment programs: Young Women at the Helm, Young Men at the Helm and LGBTQ+ at the Helm. These programs are free to participants and are held during the last weeks of July and first weeks of August.
Clearwater’s environmental action team is also making a difference. For the past year, Clearwater, NIRS, IPSEC and others have challenged the NYS Public Service Commission’s 12-year mandatory $7.6 billion subsidy to bail out aging nuclear plants in western NY, which are no longer economically viable on their own. Unless stopped, these plants will continue to generate hundreds of tons more of highly-radioactive nuclear waste, for which there is no disposal solution. Clearwater’s petition has survived motions to dismiss, and this landmark case is now headed to hearing
Indian Point’s aging reactors, Units 2 and 3, are scheduled to close in 2020 and 2021, respectively. However, with more than 1,500 tons of high-level waste stored on-site in severely overcrowded fuel pools or in vulnerable dry cask storage, much still needs to be done. Clearwater is also working with local elected officials to establish a Citizens’ Oversight Board to ensure effective input to achieve the safest possible, fully funded decommissioning plan and a Just Transition for plant workers.
Help support Clearwater’s important work by joining the Great Hudson River Revival on June 16 and June 17 at Croton Point Park in Croton-on-Hudson, Westchester County. Tickets are on sale now at the festival website. Bring the whole family and pack a tent because camping is encouraged.