Clearwater Festival Turns 50
Music and environmental event returns to Croton-on-Hudson for milestone birthday. M avis Staples, The Lone Bellow, Immortal Technique, Ani DiFranco, The Wailers, Railroad Earth and The Mammals will be among the headliners at the 2019 Clearwater Festival (aka The Great Hudson River Revival), which will return to Croton-on-Hudson June 15 and 16. This year’s event will celebrate Pete Seeger’s 100th birthday as well as the 50th anniversary of the sloop Clearwater, which Seeger built to advocate cleaning up the Hudson River.
Along with two days of live music and storytelling and a wide range of family-friendly activities, the 2019 festival will have a new feature: Youth Activist Training led by a group of young change-makers like 13-year-old Alexandria Villaseñor, who made headlines this year when she spent 12 Fridays outside the United Nations, advocating for climate justice.
“Whether you’ve never come to Clearwater Festival before or have been many times, this year will be special,” says Greg Williams, executive director of Hudson River Sloop Clearwater, which produces the event. “We’re recognizing our 50th birthday and Pete Seeger’s 100th birthday with famous folk musicians, new artists from a variety of genres, and youth activism that would have given Seeger renewed hope for the future.”
A world-renowned musical artist and activist, Seeger founded Hudson River Sloop Clearwater, a member-supported corporation whose mission is to preserve and protect the Hudson River, its tributaries and related bodies of water.
The nonprofit’s work has resulted in the passing of landmark legislation including The Clean Water Act. It is carrying on Seeger’s legacy through educational programs, environmental advocacy and musical celebrations, including the annual Clearwater Festival.
“I don’t know how we got here, Pete. But we’re standing together, arm in arm, building 100 years after your birth,” says Festival Director Jason Samel. “We are so lucky to have you among us. May it be a day of remembrance of what is good in us all, and a celebration of a man’s work that will never die as long as we continue to stand up and sing.”
The Clearwater Festival has become a destination for music fans and families alike, with a variety of unique activities. The Working Waterfront offers rides on small boats and the Clearwater; the Crafts Area showcases the work of crafters and folk artists; the Green Living Expo teaches visitors how to live and work sustainably; the Discovery and Tideline tents feature hands-on environmental education programs and Hudson River research; the Environmental Action Tent highlights Clearwater’s watershed and environmental justice initiatives; and the Artisanal Food and Farm Market features food sourced from the Hudson Valley.
Additional artists in the Clearwater Festival lineup include Del McCoury Band, Chapin McCombs Chapin, Alan McClintock, Arif Choudhury, Betty & the Baby Boomers, Chief Perry, Children at the Well, Dennis Yerry, Dirty Stay Out Skifflers, Edukated Fleas, Ernie Sites, Evan Pritchard, Evy Mayer, Geoff Kaufman, Greenheart, Jacob and David Bernz, Jamie Brickhouse, Jan Christensen, Jonathan Kruk, Late Show’s Gospel Choir, Laurie and Ira McIntosh, Leeny Del Seamonds, Lonnie Harrington, Luis Ramos, Magpie, Marita Solberg, Mel and Vinnie, Mercedes Garcia, Niemo, Norah Dooley, Peter Siegel, Ramapo Spirit of the Mountain Drummers, Reggie Harris, Reggie Seasar, Rik Palieri, Sheila Arnold, Spirit of Thunderheart, The Rad Trads, The Rix, The Storycrafters, Walkabout Clearwater Chorus and William Ruiz.
People of all ages and abilities can feel at home at the Clearwater Festival, which is wheelchair accessible and provides American Sign Language interpreters for most stage programing.
All proceeds from the festival support Clearwater’s environmental research, education and advocacy efforts. The event depends on nearly 1,000 volunteers who work on committees from performer hospitality to peacekeeping and zero-waste. To volunteer or to see a list of committee descriptions, visit ClearwaterFestival.org.
Location: Croton Point Park, Croton-on-Hudson, NY. For more info, visit ClearwaterFestival.org.