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Ridgestock returns

The Fifth Annual Ridgestock Music and Sustainability Expo is Saturday, and in preparation, organizer Roo Cantada made a costume for her stepdaughter, Ama, out of last-year’s fliers and posters.

It was an endeavor inspired by the local recycled trash-aficionados-turned-fashion-design group, Haute Trash, and demonstrates a theme in the day’s events – the combination of fun and entertainment with practicality and sustainability.

Haute Trash will be on display Saturday, along with several bands, speakers discussing sustainability issues, and fair-style booths selling organic food and crafts at the North Columbia Schoolhouse Cultural Center on the San Juan Ridge.



Ridgestock is meant to both entertain and to educate, Cantata said. Whether people come for the music or the knowledge, they will be exposed to both, she said. This is the purpose of grassroots festivals which are popping up nationwide.

Cantada said her inspiration for starting the festival came in part from a self-proclaimed motto she displays in bumper-sticker form on her dusty Toyota: “The best way to predict the future is to live it.” Practice what you preach is the message.




There was no place to play music on the Ridge, Cantada said, and there was a hole for a festival with the short-lived loss of the annual story-telling festival at the Cultural Center. So she organized the first Ridgestock.

A few years later, Cantada was approached by Madeline Curtis – who will be speaking Saturday about Cob building – to add speakers and booths.

“It was totally congruent with the image of what I wanted to do. We worked together that year and it really took off,” Cantada said.

Cantada hopes Ridgestock will gain in popularity and get bigger. For Cantada, however, the key is in consistency.

The event is held on the third Saturday of August each year – a day Cantada singled out at the time to ensure Ridgestock would not coincide with other events attracting a similar audience.

Last year, the festival drew a crowd of about 300 festival-goers and 200 volunteers and performers, bringing in about $1,600 in proceeds, which go to the Cultural Center, an important “community center” for locals.

Some of the speakers include internationally touring and Washington resident, Dr. Brian O’Leary. O’Leary is a physicist and author who has worked at Princeton and Cornell universities and now travels to give lectures and lead workshops.

O’Leary will be discussing the “Free Energy Movement,” meant to inspire people to become more proactive and educated about alternative energy sources such as cold fusion.

“Any one of these issues, if properly developed, could be put in the palm of your hand. They are cheap, renewable and would mean a total transformation of the global economy,” he said.

Another speaker will be Bob Cantisano, “Amigo Bob,” who will be talking about organic farming. Amigo Bob has been living in Nevada County for 35 years and is also a well-known community activist.

He has owned his two and a half acre farm, “Heaven and Earth” for four years now and has participated in Ridgestock before. This year he plans to discuss the how-to’s behind farming your own fall vegetables such as broccoli, lettuce, carrots, and cabbage.

“It is a really important opportunity (for people) to learn about alternatives in their lifetime,” he said. “I would go even if I didn’t know any of the bands.”

KNOW & GO

WHAT: 5th Annual Ridgestock Music and Sustainability Expo

WHEN: 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., Saturday

WHERE: North Columbia Schoolhouse Cultural Center on Tyler Foote Road

HOW MUCH: $7 for the day (11 a.m. to 5 p.m.), $15 for the evening (5 to 11 p.m.).

Ridgestock 2004 Music and Sustainability Expo

Speaker schedule:

11 a.m. Welcome

11:15-11:45 – Bio Diesel – Graham Noyse

11:50-12:15 – Cob Building – Simon & Madeline

12:20-12:40 – Strawbale – Keith Robertson & Brian Arnold

12:45-1:40 – Free Energy Movement – Brian O’leary

1:45-2:15 – EarthQuaker Institute – Carl Macgruder

2:15-2:45 – Organic Gardening and GMOs – Amigo Bob

2:50-3:05 – Ethanol – Roy of Earth Core

3:10-3:40 – Definitive Designs – Yurt Boy

3:40-4:00 – Perma-culture skit

4:05-5 p.m. – Solar – Martin Web of PlanIt Solar

Music Schedule

2-2:30 p.m. – Sunshine Redemption

2:40-3:20 – Ancient Ones

3:30-3:55 – Darkana

4:10-4:45 – Rumble and Flood

4:50-5:25 – Cosmic Wobble

5:30-6:15 – Haute Trash

6:35-8:10 – Alma Melodiosa

8:20-11p.m. – Bodhi Busick and Anarcho


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