July 2008 – First Venice Eco-Fest Attracts Thousands

Mother Earth consciousness, environmental doo-dads, eco music and poetry and a beautiful day in Venice consumed the attention of thousands of Venetians and visitors, June 28.

A host of sponsors (see above), including the Free Venice Beachhead, helped make a reality of Stephen Fiske’s dream of bringing a major environmental event to Venice.

Exhibitors included the Ballona Institute, Be Love/Common Peach, Beyond Baroque, BioPro Technology, Bohemian Exchange, California Recycles, California Solar Energy, Earth Friends, Pure Water Science, Santa Monica Baykeeper, South Central Farmers, Venice Arts Council, Voice for the Animals, and lots of Yoga practitioners, healthy food advocates and wholistic medicine groups.

A big stage was busy all day. Local music groups included the new Canaligators, Superbroke, and Suzy Williams and The Backboners. Poetry was interspersed, but as usual, did not get the same billing as the music.

The only shortcomings were a lack of expert speakers on the environment who could offer solutions to the environmental/energy problems we face today.

In a refreshing contrast to many festivals, the booths contained environmentally-conscious products where the aim seemed to educate as much as make money and then move on to the next festival.

The festival took place within sight of the beach and the ocean. At the rate we’re pumping carbon into the atmosphere, the entire festival area, and most of Venice, may be under several feet of water within a few years or a few decades.

Perhaps events like the Eco-Fest will help make people aware of the danger of global climate change before it’s too late.

Fiske told the audience that there would be another Venice Eco-Fest next year. By then more dire changes in the climate may draw an even larger crowd yearning to do something positive.