The Roots Surf Fest is a unique event, an active communal experience which brings people together to surf and do a myriad of other things. Apart from providing an all round fun week, its main project aim is to have a positive impact on the location where they are based for the week. This is achieved by using local produce, local skills and by reducing the festival’s carbon footprint by planting trees. Beach clean ups and chats on ocean conservation make the event even more interactive.
Organizer Matt Kemp explains that he has worked with festivals for many years. Three years ago, whilst teaching on a surf summer camp in Asturias, he fractured his elbow, which meant he couldn’t surf. This gave him some time to think and join the dots of things he most loves in life like conservation, sustainability, workshops, music and people sharing new things together. With his good friend Thomas, who introduced him to surfing, and his girlfriend Maria on board as co-directors, the festival quickly took shape and has been steadily evolving.
This year’s New Year Roots Surf Festival takes place from the 28th December 2015 – 3rd January 2016. “The waves are good at this time of year and it has always been our goal to move the festival around so it’s positive impact can reach different communities,” explains Kemp. A packed agenda includes surf, live music, yoga, workshops, Roots Olympics, late night interactive festival entertainment, carbon offsetting tree planting, ocean conservation, surfari’s, open air cinema, great food, excursions to Paradise Valley, a local bathhouse and market and much more.
We ask Kemp about the values he has discovered in the surfing community that most resonate with him. “I love the solidarity amongst the people and the way they motivate and learn from one another. I like the fact it is not competitive – there is a saying that the best surfer is the one enjoying themselves the most.”
The Roots Surf Festival looks se to keep growing and getting even greener. Plans on the horizon include introducing bike powered stages, solar panels getting more input from other groups or individuals who believe they can bring more fuel to the fire of the Roots Surf Fest. And of course, plenty more good vibes.