Thousands Campaign to Save the Boundary Waters at Wild Waters Music Festival

Campaign to Save the Boundary Waters hosts the first Wild Waters Music Festival.

DULUTH, Minn.- Thousands made their way down to Bayfront Festival Park in Duluth for the first ever Wild Waters Music Festival.

The Wild Waters Music Festival invited 10 Minnesota bands to perform, but for many attending the event, it was less about what the bands were singing and more about what they stood for.

The festival was the newest Save the Boundary Waters Campaign initiative to protest proposed sulfide–ore copper mining.

Campaign officials say mining waste will run–off into the Boundary Waters if facilities are built near them and will ruin the quality of the water.

They say a music festival was a fun way to get new supporters in their fight.

“This gives us a chance to get a whole new audience. Here we have an audience of younger people who are familiar with the Boundary Waters, it’s an iconic place. These bands are iconic Minnesota bands and these bands have all taken a stand and all said we love the Boundary Waters, too. We’re here to help you support protecting the Boundary Waters,” Campaign to Save the Boundary Waters executive director Tom Landwehr said.

Supporters like Brande Bruce and her family could even make donations and sign a petition to stop the construction of mining facilities near the Boundary Waters.

“I think if we can change their decision on something like this, it will set a precedent. If we can make a difference, I think this will affect the future for everyone. Not just ourselves fighting for this, but the people that may not even be aware that it’s going on,” Bruce said.

Fox 21 reached out to a few of organizations associated with sulfide–ore copper mining for their thoughts on the music festival.

Dean Debeltz, director of operations and safety, Twin Metals Minnesota, Ely, Minn. responded in an email saying:

Those of us who work in mining care deeply about protecting the Boundary Waters and ensuring an economic future for the people who live in the surrounding region. We also know we need the kinds of minerals that are in the Duluth Complex as climate change compels us to move to low-carbon green technologies. The World Bank estimates that we need to mine as much copper over the next 25 years as we mined in the past 5,000 years. Wind turbines, solar cells and batteries in electric vehicles all require the minerals we plan to mine. And the fact is, anybody who takes a selfie at the Wild Waters Music Fest or who drives there in a car is a user of copper, nickel, and a host of other minerals. As users of these minerals, we all should require the kind of oversight over their acquisition that our robust regulatory system and our culture demand.”

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