The Water is Life Festival, normally held at Bayfront Festival Park in Duluth, has been called off this year in order to realign with current environmental issues and expand the scope of its audience.
The festival, dedicated to issues of environmental justice, has raised money for Native American–led nonprofit Honor the Earth. In the past, the Water is Life Festival featured headliners like Bon Iver and the Indigo Girls, and last year the festival hosted around 4,000 attendees.
Back in 2021, Mpls.St.Paul interviewed Justin Vernon of Bon Iver and Honor the Earth’s Winona LaDuke about the festival that year. They both expressed the urgency of the environmental situation and how music can move people to action.
“It’s a feeling in me that seems like we are all so similar and we share so much, and we need to come together to save our environment, to save our earth from total annihilation,” Vernon said of his decision to perform that year.
While the festival will not happen this year, it is slated to return in 2024 with organizers already starting to plan next year’s lineup and events.