Oxfam America’s Music Outreach team joined music fans from all over the world at the recent Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival in Manchester, Tennessee. In our fifth consecutive year at Bonnaroo, this year’s team featured Oxfam staff members and volunteers from New York, Wyoming, Indiana, New Jersey, and Vermont. We were there to talk with attendees about Oxfam’s GROW campaign for food justice and to raise awareness about the food crisis in the Sahel region of West Africa. Oxfam’s team of 10 had literally thousands of conversations over the four days, and over 3,000 people signed a pledge to join our efforts.
As one of the yearly highlights of Oxfam’s festival outreach season, Bonnaroo has also become a place for music artists who support Oxfam’s work to do so in front of tens of thousands of fans. Oxfam-supporting artists like Radiohead, Flogging Molly, Fitz & The Tantrums, Aziz Ansari, and tUnE-yArDs all happened to be in the festival lineup, which allowed us to talk about the intersection of music and social justice in truly tangible ways.
A personal highlight for me was being invited to introduce a special screening of the incredible documentary The Island President in Bonnaroo’s Cinema Tent. The award-winning movie is about the efforts of former Maldives President Mohamed Nasheed to tackle climate change before it literally causes oceans to swallow his country’s land whole, and the introduction gave me a chance to talk about Oxfam’s ongoing climate justice work.
Here are a few photographic memories of Oxfam’s Bonnaroo adventures this year: