Pearl Jam, Dave Matthews Band, Phish, Jack Johnson and many more artists featured in past years’ Bonnaroo festivals are donating their music to a Best of Bonnaroo compilation, to encourage Americans to speak out on climate change. All of the featured tracks are original songs, with the exception of My Morning Jacket’s performance of The Velvet Underground’s Oh! Sweet Nuthin‘.

Organized by the Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival, HeadCount and the NRDC Action Fund, this collaboration marks the first time free music has been used to prompt Americans to contact their elected officials.

Best of Bonnaroo isn’t your run of the mill compilation, pulling the hits from each artist in a patchwork attempt to appeal to the masses. The 17 different live performances were hand-picked and represent powerful works from each artist. Ani DiFranco’s Fuel is a gripping, immensely gravitational re-telling of a fan favorite, while Pearl Jam’s Animal is more celebratory than furious, a buoyant romp through formerly dangerous grounds. The Decemberists’ The Wanting Comes In Waves/Repaid is perhaps the most powerful track off their most recent Hazards of Love album, taken to new heights here, while Death Cab For Cutie turn in a shimmering rendition of Cath…

“This generation has an opportunity to be remembered as one that confronted environmental challenges and took responsibility for the future,” said Jack Johnson, whose song “Inaudible Melodies” can be heard on the compilation. “With that opportunity comes the responsibility to speak out.”

With climate change legislation now at a critical juncture, several organizations teamed up to use the gift of music to inspire citizens into action. HeadCount – a nonpartisan civic engagement organization best known for registering voters at concerts - conceived the idea as a way to point new voters toward being informed and active citizens. The NRDC Action Fund – an advocacy group committed to passing legislation that jump-starts the clean energy economy and reduces pollution – stepped in with resources, research, strategic guidance and a base of 250,000 supporters.

“The musicians we work with are very passionate about this topic and have great power to drive change,” said HeadCount’s Executive Director Andy Bernstein. “Their music will serve as a soundtrack for action.”

To download the album for free or just a few select tracks from the festival, head to Before downloading the music, visitors are asked to email their Senators, the President or their local newspapers about climate change. The music is free no matter what, but the artists hope all their fans join them in taking action on this issue. The clicking around to get the free music may drive you a bit nuts, but once you get there, you’ll be happy.

The Best of Bonnaroo tracklist:

Wilco – Bull Black Nova
Pearl Jam – Animal
Jack Johnson – Inaudible Melodies
Dave Mathews Band – Rapunzel
Death Cab for Cutie – Cath…
Ani DiFranco – Fuel
Phish – Kill Devil Falls
Gov’t Mule - Banks of the Deep End
O.A.R. – Delicate Few
moe.- Not Coming Down
Raphael Saadiq – 100 Yard Dash
Bob Weir & RatDog – Throwing Stones
The Disco Biscuits – And The Ladies Were the Rest of the Night
The Decemberists – The Wanting Comes in Waves/Repaid
My Morning Jacket – Oh! Sweet Nuthin’
Guster – Happier
Phil Lesh and Friends - Box of Rain

Bookmark and Share