This weekend at the Outside Lands festival, Tennis, Dr. Dog and Bomba Estereo will perform an eco-friendly set. The San Francisco festival’s Panhandle Stage has been retrofitted with solar panels from Alternative Power Productions (APP) to power up the speakers and project to crowds of up to 10,000 festivalgoers. Pumping 120 amps of power at 120 volts, the self-contained Panhandle Stage is the largest solar-powered hybrid stage in the country.
APP has worked with Outside Lands’ parent production company, Another Planet Entertainment, since the festival’s inception in 2008 and will be doing more work for its sister festival, Treasure Island, in October. The company “has a competitive edge in the production of environmentally sustainable concerts, as they know both green business practices and the music promotion business,” Another Planet Entertainment producer Bryan Duquette said in a statement.
Although there are several players in the solar panel industry, San Diego-based APP is the biggest one in the country that’s “100 percent committed to staging on entertainment-related custom panels,” according to CEO Mark McLarry.
Last year, APP also partnered with mobile staging company Kleege Industries to build and design the stage for the 2011 Vans Warped Tour. The Helios SL250 stage came back this summer for the 2012 tour. APP was also responsible for the custom-built, solar-powered DJ booth at the 2012 ESPY Awards.
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The way the APP solar panels are incorporated in the stages is identical to traditional staging, so artists performing onstage sometimes don’t even realize their speakers are being powered by the sun. They are becoming popular with artists, too; Switchfoot asked the company to retrofit their stage at Bro-Am, the band’s yearly outdoor benefit concert and surf contest in Encinitas, California.
“We love our beach, we love our ocean, and we love the planet. Thanks to APP we get to play our songs on a stage that loves the environment as much as we do,” Switchfoot frontman Jon Foreman said in a statement.