EarthFest Returns to the Hatch Shell in 2016

Radio 92.9's all-day music festival has a street date. —Michael Marotta

This post originally appeared on Vanyaland.

Neon Trees at EarthFest 2014

Neon Trees / Photo by Margaret Burdge for “Photos from Radio 92.9’s Earthfest 2014”

Mark those calendars, and leave a lot of room: Radio 92.9’s EarthFest 2016 has a street date, but we’ll have to wait several more months for the actual lineup.

The ’90s-loving radio station announced that its annual free, all-day, family-friendly music festival will return to the DCR Hatch Memorial Shell on May 21, 2016. And perhaps as a testament to the strong annual draw of the outdoor EarthFest, which over the years has consistently pulled in nearly 100,000 concertgoers, the lineup will only be revealed a few weeks before the festival—on Earth Day, April 22.

Also of note is that EarthFest will be returning to the Hatch Shell after a year away. This past summer’s edition was tied into the week-long Outside The Box Music Festival at Boston Common, a temporary site while the river-side location was undergoing renovations. The ’15 lineup was a bit more forward-thinking than in years past, featuring Massachusetts alt-rock dudes Guster and a host up national upstarts: New Politics, Alex Preston of American Idol notoriety, and Atlas Genius. Local folk-rock band Hunter opened the festivities.

“We are thrilled to be returning to the DCR Hatch Memorial Shell for the 2016 event,” says Mary Menna, vice president and market manager of Greater Media Boston and Radio 92.9, in a press release. “The Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation has been a true partner for many years, along with Whole Foods Market, our festival presenting sponsor. We look forward to showcasing our environmental commitment and kicking off the summer on May 21st!”

In addition to the bands, EarthFest also attempts to be an educational, environmentally friendly fest, featuring exhibits and environmental displays at its Eco-Pavilion, and a comprehensive recycling and composting initiative that minimizes its environmental impact. There’s also a Kids Planet, billed as “an interactive area designed specifically for families and children under the age of 12. Knowing that environmental responsibility starts at a young age, Kids Planet will feature a musical line-up specifically aimed at children under age 12 as well as earth-friendly activities and educational displays.”

Before 2014 (the year when Neon Trees and Smallpools performed), the mainstage lineup at EarthFest have comprised a sort-of Now That’s What I Call ’90s collection of bands from alt-rock’s yesterday, like Vertical Horizon (’13), Third Eye Blind (’12), and Collective Soul and the Gin Blossoms (both in ’10).

Check out the full list of EarthFest alumni below, and catch up with video footage from the 2015 edition after the rundown.

2014: Neon Trees, The Wailers, Smallpools, Morning Parade, Venetia Fair
2013: Vertical Horizon, Cracker, Gentlemen Hall, Fastball, Camper Van Beethoven, Todd Biggins Band
2012: Third Eye Blind, Spin Doctors, Switchfoot, Eve6, Twin Berlin
2011: Ed Kowalczyk, OK Go, Sponge, Atomic Tom, The Ground Up
2010: Collective Soul, Gin Blossoms, Crash Kings, Marcy Playground, Jackson Wetherbee Band
2009: Soul Asylum, The Lemonheads, Shawn Mullins, Seven Mary Three, Red Summer Sun
2008: Cake, BoDeans, The English Beat, Cracker, The Help
2007: KT Tunstall, Guster, Mat Kearney, Jon Butler Trio, Vega4
2006: The Alternate Routes, The Fray, James Blunt, Los Lonely Boys
2005: The Wallflowers, Ari Hest, Anna Nalick, Low Millions, Five for Fighting, Carbon Leaf
2004: Peter Wolf, Third Eye Blind, Edie Brickell, Los Lonely Boys, Bodeans
2003: Sheryl Crow, Big Head Todd & the Monsters, Peter Wolf, Sister Hazel, Nickel Creek, Alice Peacock