Organisers of the gigantic Byron Bay BluesFest over the weekend are definitely looking after their carbon footprint: one of the stages at the festival is being powered entirely by solar power.
The Lotus Palace stage is being powered by The Sunflower – a 1.2 kilowatt solar panel structure, shaped like flower petals, which can be angled towards the sun. At a cost of $20,000, the creation is the first large-scale solar powered sound system in Australia.
Some of the acts who are performing at Lotus Palace during the festival include Jon Anderson, Russell Morris and Christine Anu.
Southern Cross University’s Doctor Barry Hill – who created The Sunflower – told ABC News24 that the system would allow cleaner acoustics to stem from the stage.
“It’s the biggest audio visual production system in Australia that’s running on solar power and this is the first festival outing that we’ve done over a number of days solely on solar power, so in a sense Bluesfest has got a first for solar power in festivals in Australia with this system,” Dr Hill said.
Bluesfest Director Peter Noble said The Sunflower contributes significantly to the event’s ‘green’ ambitions.
“I applaud the SCU for developing this outstanding innovation. The Sunflower is another significant step forward to achieving our environmental goals,” he said.
“The triple bottom line is important to me and in time Bluesfest will also come to be known as a greenfest. People will come specifically to soak up our special vibe with an awareness they are partying up with full respect to our earth.”
BluesFest kicked off on Thursday at Tyagarah Tea Tree Farm in Byron Bay, and continues throughout the Easter Long Weekend, finishing up on Monday, April 1.