25 bands play Earth Day Jam this weekend in Salisbury

Last year’s Earth Day Jam in Salisbury: This year, there’ll be two stages offering a variety of music, plus activities, vendors and a camping option.
Last year’s Earth Day Jam in Salisbury: This year, there’ll be two stages offering a variety of music, plus activities, vendors and a camping option. SEANMEYERSPHOTOGRAPHY.COM

There’s a full crop of Earth Day-related events this weekend.

How about a fundraiser that has 25 bands at a 21/2-day music/arts festival where overnight camping is an option?

Not only does the money raised support environmentalism in central North Carolina, but it’s just 45 minutes up the road, on the outskirts of Salisbury.

Earth Day Jam, now in its fourth year, benefits Salisbury-based Land Trust for Central North Carolina, a nonprofit that buys rural property in a 10-county area and protects it from development so future generations can glimpse into the Piedmont’s past.

Last year’s one-day event drew a crowd of 1,200. This time around, at a different but nearby location, it’s a bigger affair. It’s still a family-friendly gathering with a lineup of activities that point up ecology. With an extra day and more ticket options (from $15 to $50), you can choose how you want to enjoy it. Gates open at 4 p.m. Friday.

There’s live music on two stages playing in genres from bluegrass to reggae, rock and blues to sacred steel.

From 4 p.m. to midnight Friday, you can hear Elephant Convoy, The Extended Pleasures, Abe Reid & The Spikedrivers, Dangermuffin, Big Break, Coddle Creek and Tim Reynolds & TR3.

Saturday, bands play from 10 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. The lineup: Mark Schmick, No. 9 Coal, David Blackman, Dark Water Rising, Stolen Hearts, The Jeff Sipe Trip, Dirty Grass Soul, Camel City Collective, The Goodnight Brothers Band, The Lee Boys, Jahman Brahman, Elephant Convoy and Big Daddy Love.

Playing Sunday from mid-morning to about 3 p.m for those with a weekend pass: Goof Troupe, Matt Irie & Friends, Neil Cribbs, Jeremy & Jessica Vess, Life Size and Back Deck Boys.

Each day’s music ends with a jam. There’s an array of activities for kids, ranging from traditional (face painting, balloon animals) to making art from trash. Festival admission is free for 12 and younger.

Also working the grounds: jugglers and a magician. Food vendors are located in several areas.

There will be booths by vendors, educators and sponsors in the farm’s pasture. They include artisan crafters and people in the healing arts (massage, Reiki, etc.). Sponsors range from Duke Energy and Courtyard Marriott to High Rock Outfitters and Griffin’s Guitars.

It’s all being held at Dark Before Dawn Farm, 2100 7th St. Extension, 4 miles from downtown Salisbury.

With a weekend pass, you can bring your tent or pop-up for either or both nights (RVs welcome but hookups for them aren’t available).

Beer will be available: Natty Greene Brewing of Greensboro is one of the sponsors. In fact, before you go, you can save $10 on Saturday-only admission if you buy an NG six-pack that has a fest sticker. Bring the sticker, but leave the cooler at home. Coolers, open fires, fireworks and pets aren’t permitted.

Bordsen is the Observer’s travel editor.

Want to go?

Directions: Take I-85 to Salisbury’s Exit 76; turn left and follow Innes Street to downtown Salisbury. Directions from there to venue: Gate admission: $15 (Friday), $35 (Saturday). Weekend pass (Friday-Sunday, includes optional camping fee): $50. Tickets available at the gate or online. Festival details: