Green Hands festivals to be held at St. Augustine Amphitheatre and PV Concert Hall


Two “green” sustainability events will take place the last weekend in June at the St. Augustine Amphitheatre and Ponte Vedra Concert Hall.

On Saturday, June 25, the St. Johns County Cultural Events Division, in partnership with Edible Northeast Florida magazine and the U.S. Green Building Council, will present the inaugural Green Hands Sustainability Fest. The festival will feature a myriad of local nonprofit organizations, including the GTM Research Reserve, Keepers of the Coast, Giving Greens, Matanzas Riverkeeper, and Whitney Laboratory, which will be on site to educate attendees on a wide variety of water and natural resource issues. Food trucks and live music by Aslyn and The Naysayers, Kenny and The Jets, Teresa Rose and Ghost Tropic will also be available.

The festival – which kicks off at 4 p.m. – will culminate with an 8 p.m. screening of “Tapped,” an award-winning documentary that provides a behind-the-scenes look into the unregulated and unseen world of the bottled water industry and examines its role and effect on our health, climate change, pollution and our reliance on oil.

On Sunday, June 26, the Ponte Vedra Concert Hall will host a Green Hands Sustainability Soiree. The soiree will also feature local non-profit organizations and a free screening of “Tapped” along with live music by local singer/songwriter Chelsea Saddler and a wine and cheese reception hosted by Whole Foods Market. Doors open at 4 p.m., followed by the screening of “Tapped” ace at 6 p.m.

Both the Green Hands Sustainability Fest and Green Hands Sustainability Soiree are free and open to the public. Event parking will also be free. Green Hands initiative The Green Hands Sustainability events align with the SJC Cultural Events Division’s Green Hands initiative.

“The Green Hands initiative is a program that the SJC Cultural Events Division created to establish and maintain operating practices that align with our commitment to conservation,” Green Hands Coordinator Megan Murphy said. “The initiative was unveiled at the start of the 2016 concert season but has been a vision for a long time and has been created to continuously work within our industry and community to minimize our impact on our invaluable resources, both locally and globally.”

As part of the Green Hands program, environmental initiatives are being implemented at both the amphitheatre and concert hall, such as the continuation of the already established recycling program and a transition to LED lighting. One of the major programs of the initiative is the “One Less Plastic Bottle Program.”

“Over the past few years, the staff has been hard at work figuring out how to eliminate the use of unneeded plastic water bottles in an industry that relies heavily on them,” Murphy said. “This season, we were very excited to announce the installation of our water bottle refill stations at the St. Augustine Amphitheatre. Patrons are now encouraged to bring their own non-metal refillable container to use during events and all artists and staff have access to stations backstage.”

In addition, concessions at both venues have made the transition from plastic water bottles to boxed water. This season, a backstage composting program at the St. Augustine Amphitheatre was established to help eliminate waste from landfills. The compost is then used to help nourish the amphitheatre’s community garden.

The Sustainability Fest and Soiree are the first collaborative events between the SJC Cultural Events Division Green Hands Initiative and the local community.

“We are thrilled about the opportunity to collaborate with the community and other local efforts,” Murphy said. 

“We are very excited to work with Edible Northeast Florida and the U.S. Green Building Council to create a shared space to bring education, awareness, and celebration to our community and its cherished resources.”