We realized very early on in Greenpop’s story that music would be vital in our mission to make greening popular and reconnect people to each other and to their environment. There’s always been music, right from the start: our co-founder Jeremy Loops played some of his very first gigs at Greenpop fundraisers in Cape Town. It’s helped us shine our light for six tuneful years since then, and it’s still a central part of our philosophy. Our Monday morning staff meetings are usually heralded by just another tune floating over the office speakers (Bob Marley will make anyone smile on a Monday morning), and there’s a musical element to every event we’re involved in.
That’s especially true at our Zambia Festival of Action in Livingstone. This event brings people from all over the world together for three weeks of eco-education, sustainability awareness, and tree planting. In this context, music is an extraordinarily powerful medium for translating messages across cultures, languages and age groups.
Music serves as an ice-breaker, opening up hearts and minds, relaxing people’s nerves even as it energizes their spirits. Most days during our Zambia project start with a post-breakfast dance party and end with singalongs around the campfire. Often, there’s a guitar and/or djembe drums at our tree planting sessions during the day too.
The Festival of Action even has its own musical facilitator! Alex Paullin is the founder of The Conservation Music Project, which empowers local musicians of various traditions to spur conservation and humanitarian change through musical collaboration, and thoughtful and informative composition in local languages. He’s been working with Livingstone’s own ‘Mosi oa Tunya’ band, crafting a song about the value of planting trees. The results are TREEmendous!
We’re proud of our like-minded musical friends, and none more so than the wonderful folks who are bringing you Superbalist is Rocking the Daisies. These guys live their motto: ‘Play hard, tread lightly’, and they’re rightfully known as the spearheads of green-thinking in South Africa’s festival space. SxRTD2016 will feature tree-planting days, a trees-for-tickets campaign (which benefits yours truly!), huge recycling drives, bio-diesel power generation, wind farm credits, a Walking and Cycling to the festival initiative, and more.
But that’s not all. They’re also awesome enough to throw their weight behind initiatives with similar eco-friendly ideals. Their help has been vital to us holding the fifth Zambia Festival of Action in Livingstone this year, and we’re hugely thankful for that. They’ve helped us bring upcycling and eco-bricks, rocket stoves and murals, permaculture and trees, trees, trees to this friendly corner of Zambia. And through it all – for us, for Daisies – music.