Musicians to come together for World Environment Day virtual festival

(l to r) Jackson Smith, Tomas Doncker, Jesse Smith and Patti Smith.
Photo by Pascal Perich

Three organizations are teaming up to host a virtual festival in honor of World Environment Day next week.

On Friday, June 4, Pathway to Paris, 350.org, and the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) North America Region will host a livestream concert to celebrate the planet Earth. The theme of the show is the protection of our ecosystems and repairing our relationship with nature as we move forward into a new era of global recovery.

World Environment Day is the UN’s flagship day for the environment, encouraging awareness and action for the protection of the environment.

“It is critical that we consider the urgent needs of our planet as we transition back into living our lives and performing concerts again after a year of global quarantining and isolation. We simply cannot go back to the way things were before. So much has been lost due to Covid, an immeasurable amount, and all the while, the climate crisis did not go away; it has always been there underneath the surface, existing every day amongst all of the other destruction and suffering,” said Jesse Paris Smith, Co-founder of Pathway to Paris. “As we rebuild our world, we must make changes greater than ever before, and transition into a new era which favors our natural and wild places, and focuses deeply on protection and preservation. Global collaborations like this event provide healing and communication during such a challenging time, and these new connections must continue and lead to great change, new ideas, ambitious action, and true global renewal.”

The line-up for the festival includes performances from Patti Smith, Jack Johnson, Dave Matthews, Tomás Doncker, Rocky Dawuni, Ben Harper, Michael Stipe, Yury Revich, Priya Darshini, Rima Fujita, Tenzin Choegyal, Patrick Watson, and Jackson Smith. Patti Smith will perform an acoustic version of her song “People Have the Power” alongside her children and Doncker, as well as a family version of her song “Grateful.”

The festival will also feature music and words from Pathway to Paris founders Jesse Paris Smith and Rebecca Foon as well as presentations from world-renowned thinkers and activists, including 350.org founder Bill McKibben, Pennie Opal Plant, and United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

“It is our time more than ever to come together to build the future we want to step into, creating a world that deeply values and honors nature and all sentient beings,” said Foon. “We can create a sustainable world, but it takes us all.”

“It’s important for us to work together to continuously draw attention to the needs of our suffering planet,” said Patti Smith.

“I’m so honored and grateful to be included in this important event in support of our Mother Earth!” said Doncker.

The show will be livestreamed at 3 p.m. EST on the Pathway to Paris Facebook page, as well as the Facebook pages for 350.org, UNEP, and the UN Environment Programme North America