Started in 2008, the history of the Rothbury Festival is not extensive, but is quite exciting. Each July dozens of musical groups and artists gather in Northern Michigan at the Double JJ Ranch for the four-day festival which promotes environmental sustainability and improvement. Dedicated to "throwing a huge party with a purpose," the Rothbury Festival strives to support the environment, using clean energy, running a near-zero waste production and making every effort to educate the public on green ways. It's efforts have been rewarded, earning the 'Greener Festival' award two years in a row.
At their inaugural Rothbury Festival held from July 3-6, 2008, numerous musical artists performed at the gathering, including Snoop Dogg, Primus, Modest Mouse, the Dave Matthews Band, John Mayer, Cobie Caillat and Widespread Panic. An estimated crowd of over 30,000 attended the event, making it an instant favorite. The success continued in 2009, when the Rothbury Festival returned to the Double JJ Ranch in Michigan from July 2 to July 5. Headlining acts featured Damian Marley, NAS, Ani DeFranco, The Dead, Willie Nelson and, perhaps most notably, Bob Dylan. The return of the Rothbury Festival did not come without controversy, as the Double JJ Ranch was pending sale, forcing the concert producer AEG Live to require a specific lease to hold the event.
While the first two events brought thousands of fans to the area and raised a great deal of money for local and national environmental initiatives, the concert organizers announced in early 2010 that the Rothbury Festival would take a one-year hiatus. In a statement released on the official website of the Rothbury Festival, AEG stated they plan to continue the history of the event in 2011, but "due to various artists' recording and touring schedules, we now believe that timing will not allow us to assemble the cutting edge roster that everyone has come to expect from Rothbury."