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Environment & Science

Song of the Week: 'The Sun' by Jukebox the Ghost, for Outside Lands and Alternative Power Productions' solar stage

It looks like the rest of the stages, but it's powered by the sun.
It looks like the rest of the stages, but it's powered by the sun.
Mark McLarry/APP

It may not be hot enough to fry an egg on the sidewalk in Northridge, but the sweltering heat is frying my brain in Pasadena. I suspect it will be a little more chill up at Outside Lands in San Francisco this weekend. (The place I'd rather be during this FlexAlert.)

A cool part of that festival in my hometown Golden Gate Park: a stage powered entirely by the sun. A San Diego based company called Alternative Power Productions has been growing its presence there since the beginning of Outside Lands, on a steady diet of sun, fog, and SF-style hipsters…and this year, Rolling Stone noticed:  

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.

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.

I love festivals, yes, especially JazzFest, but for many multi-day music shows in the US, greening efforts can leave a lot to be desired. San Francisco's Outside Lands diverts its waste, invites organic farmers to sell fruit and vegetables, offers a bike valet for people who ride into the park, and actively encourage people to bring water bottles rather than use disposable cups. Which, even with its hefty price tag, would lighten my psychic load. 

So in honor of Outside Lands and its solar-powered stage, I give you a band that will be playing on that stage this afternoon. "The Sun," by Jukebox the Ghost:

everything under the sun is going to get burned
everything under the moon is going to sleep

Listen to all of the Songs of the Week here.