Every artist has a theory about the purpose of art. Some believe it should exist solely in the realm of aesthetics. Others believe it should be used as a tool to educate as well.
Eric Hilligoss falls into the second group, that of artists who use their work to convey a larger message. The frontman for local rock outfit NoMan's Djinn, Hilligoss has a simple thought for South Florida: "Save your environment while you can." A Miami native who attended college on the West Coast (UCLA), Hilligoss is still troubled by visions of polluted Los Angeles, where water contamination closes large stretches of beach with frightening regularity. South Florida, he fears, may not be far behind. If development in the Everglades isn't curbed, Hilligoss warns, "we're looking at a couple of decades of drinking water."
To raise awareness Hilligoss teamed with Enzu Castellanos of Power Studios to coordinate Rock for the Glades, a twelve-hour rock fest and art exhibition that will benefit the National Audubon Society's Everglades Ecosystem Restoration Campaign. The event will feature performances by more than 30 local rock acts on Power Studios' four stages and a display of Everglades-related art by photographers and painters.
Rock for the Glades is unlike most other benefit shows in that the bands are not working entirely for free. Musicians have been asked to sell tickets, and they get to keep 40 percent of the money they generate. At least ten percent of all revenues will go to the Audubon Society, which recommends public policy for Everglades protection and restoration. Audubon representatives will be on hand to give brief talks about the Glades between music sets. The goal is to raise at least $5000.
According to its creators, Rock for the Glades is just the first in an ambitious series of concerts meant to bring attention to different delicate environmental areas. Future shows will help the Miami River, Biscayne Bay, and the South Florida shoreline.
Ross Power, an accomplished sculptor and owner of Power Studios, adds that Rock for the Glades will benefit all participants by uniting them for a good cause: "Through the process of saving the environment, we ultimately save ourselves."
Rock for the Glades takes place Saturday, August 22, from 3:00 p.m. to 3:00 a.m. at Power Studios, 3701 NE 2nd Ave. Tickets cost $8 in advance and $13 at the door. The lineup includes Raraavis, Sixo, Richard Shepherd, In Your Pocket, Lo-Fi, Al's Not Well, Endo, Satellite Six, Maria, Nicolle Chirino, Me and the Bluedog, Flic, Bill Cruz, Outdance, Clam Bake 2000, NoMan's Djinn, Pulling Birds, Eve to Adam, Helen Back, Sandra Dshnert, Esseres, Fulano de Tal, Pariah, Scott Echert, Lunazul, Friction Farm, Mark Acetelli, the Dharma Bomb, 9th Hour, Trophy Wife, Crime Cassara's Rawtopsy, Lanny Smith, the Goods, Manchild, and Kingpins.