Ben and Jerry’s festival won’t be at Sugarbush

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(Host) Ben and Jerry’s One World-One Heart festival, its annual party to celebrate music and social causes, won’t be held at Sugarbush resort this summer. The ice cream company posted a statement on its web site saying that the Warren ski resort isn’t large enough to host the company’s twenty-fifth anniversary celebration.

The festival in the past has drawn 20,000 to 30,000 people to the Mad River Valley for the day-long event. Ben and Jerry’s anticipates this summer’s festival of music and ice cream and may draw up to 50,000 people.

Susan Roy is the executive director of the Sugarbush Chamber of Commerce. She says the decision to relocate the festival isn’t surprising:

(Roy) “You know, as soon as Unilever bought Ben and Jerry’s, I saw the end. The writing was on the wall, as far as I could see. Why would Unilever want to continue this type of event? You know, maybe they do. Maybe they just want to bring it more global, more national versus grass roots. You know, they’re conglomerate. They’re not a community-oriented type of business. So I wasn’t surprised.”

(Host) Ben and Jerry’s was purchased by the Dutch corporation, Unilever, almost three years ago, causing speculation about the future of the company’s social mission.

A Ben and Jerry’s spokesman wouldn’t go on tape about the festival’s future, but said One World-One Heart will be held this August and will be “bigger and better than ever.” The company hasn’t announced the location of the event, and won’t say whether it will be held in Vermont.

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