Zion Canyon Music Festival spreads a message along with tunes

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SPRINGDALE, Utah – The Zion Canyon Music Festival is underway in Springdale this weekend; bands from all over the country come to play beneath the red rock of Zion Canyon, but behind the melodies, there’s a message.

Coordinator Julie Hancock said she’d always been looking for a way to teach about sustainability, so combining it with music seemed like a perfect mix.

“The way that people learn is by having fun,” Hancock said. “So my opinion is that you support the cultural arts, you support music, you support artists, and you educate at the same time.”

Hancock started the festival in 2008. She said as it grows in popularity, the message of green living reaches new ears. They incorporate as many aspects of green living as possible into the environment, no plastic or Styrofoam, compost toilets, and the entire festival is run off solar power.

“We’re really trying to turn it into a green festival,”  Hancock said. “They’re showing all kinds of alternative energy. The festival is run on solar. Then we have other educational vendors here.”

Vendors like the Southwest Applied Technology College. Renewable Energy Instructor Mark Florence said there’s a misconception that green technology is expensive, or hard. But he said there are simple things homeowners can do to save energy.

“One of the most simple things people can do is actually go into their house and replace their incandescent light bulbs with either compact fluorescents or LEDs,” Florence said. “You can reduce it by about 75 to 80 percent.”

Festival goers don’t mind the mix of music and message. In fact, long time attendees like Terie Huston said the red rock is the perfect backdrop for a lesson in preserving natural resources.

“Especially when you’re in a gorgeous place like this,” Huston said. “You want to treasure it. And take care of it.”

The Zion Canyon Music Festival runs through Saturday. More information can be found on their website.