Review and photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk
The fabled annual Clearwater’s Great Hudson River Revival Festival means a lot of different things to thousands of different people who attend each and every year. For some, it’s all about the music. For others, it’s little about that and a lot more.
What else, you ask?
Well, it’s about community. It’s about activism. In other words, it’s about life, being a citizen, about being a person of substance. That means being involved in your community, in your country’s problems and being a part of those who are trying to offer a solution to those problems.
It’s also about education. On your way to one of the many performance stages in Croton Point Park, just stop by one of the dozens of kiosks offering information and education on topics from solar power to growing wholesome food.
Of course, many in attendance are there for the music, but what the late Pete Seeger was truly fighting for, well, they’re there for that, too. The hardcore fans, they are the true believers and the ones who spread the word about the important things that make this world a better place – being more environmentally aware, recycling and being kind to your fellow human beings and the environment.
In other words, the Clearwater Festival is really about the intersection of music and social, environmental and political activism.
However, under a clear sky with no rain clouds in sight for the whole weekend, the festival presented some of the world’s finest musical talent – from veterans like David Bromberg and soul singer supreme Bettye LaVette to relative newcomers like Josh Ritter and ukulele virtuoso Jake Shimaburkuro.
Long live the ideals and memory of Toshi and Pete Seeger!