Rock The Green, a Milwaukee environmental sustainability music festival that ran in 2011 and 2012, will return this September after a three-year hiatus with a lineup of folk and alternative bands.
Festival headliners include folk band Lord Huron, electronic musician Robert DeLong, Los Angeles rock duo Best Coast, English rockers The Heavy and the San Francisco folk band Thao & The Get Down Stay Down.
[caption id="attachment_145093" align="alignright" width="328"] A view of the Rock The Green main stage in 2012 at Veterans Park.[/caption]
Lord Huron and Best Coast have each developed a national following. Lord Huron appeared on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno in 2012 and Late Night with Seth Meyers in 2015. Best Coast lead singer Bethany Cosentino appeared on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah in May.
Milwaukee Americana band Trapper Schoepp will also perform along with local acts Evan Christian, Eagle Trace and Great Lakes Drifters on a bicycle-powered side stage.
Rock the Green founder and executive director Lindsay Stevens Gardner said the nonprofit was forced to pump the breaks on its annual music festival after the 2012 show when its lead sponsor, Veoli Environmental, was sold to an affiliate of a Florida-based company called Advanced Disposal.
"We’re a 100-percent volunteer-run nonprofit," Gardner said. "It costs money to put on the event. It all takes funding and so our sponsors cover most of that cost."
This year, the nonprofit was able to secure enough funding to host the festival through dozens of local sponsors, including Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company, Badger Meter, 88Nine Radio Milwaukee, Harley-Davidson, MillerCoors and Rexnord Corporation.
Gardner has decades of experience working in the music industry. She started working for an independent record label in Boulder, Colorado doing radio promotion in 1994, and eventually formed her own indie record promotions agency called LuLu Promotions Inc. where she worked with acts such as Dave Matthews Band. In 1998 she began working as the vice president of events and touring at a San Francisco-based marketing agency called On Board Entertainment, where she put together music festivals, concert tours, promotional campaigns, sporting events, gaming competitions and launch parties for clients.
"I’ve worked with hundreds and hundreds of bands over the years," Gardner said.
She said she used her connections in the industry to secure acts for the festival and the 2016 lineup was put together over the past six weeks.
In the past the festival has been held at Veteran's Park on Milwaukee's lakefront, but this year it has moved to the Reed Street Yards in Walker's Point, a stretch of land along the Menomonee River west of the Global Water Center and south of the Harley Davidson Museum.
[caption id="attachment_145089" align="alignright" width="300"] Looking north over the Reed Street Yards in Walkers Point.[/caption]
“This is something new and different," Gardner said. "It’s also a future development site for all the water technology coming out of that hub, so it ties in nicely with our mission."The festival will be held from 2 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 17. General admission tickets cost $35 and VIP tickets cost $75.Tickets will go on sale July 21.