A solar powered music festival? Damn you are cool Melbourne!

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By Daniel Wilson

Off the Grid is Australia’s first solar powered, zero-waste, music and arts festival. It is returning to the heart of Melbourne for the second year running, and this time they are adding a second stage.

It was a cracker last year: Beautiful weather, awesome beats, local food, ethical drinks, and zero guilt.

Once again, on the longest day of the year, when the sun is at its highest point in the sky, a five-metre-tall solar stage, powered by a state-of-the-art battery bank, will keep the beers cool and the dance floor humming.

Music festivals tend to create a lot of waste. But not this one. Dump-trucks will not be lining up to take your garbage to land fill. No coal will be burnt on your behalf. It is a guilt free party that shows the path to a more sustainable future.

And as if the whole shebang wasn’t ethical enough, 100 per cent of the profits will go directly into building a solar project that will speed up the transition of Melbourne becoming a self-sufficient city.

Some see transitioning to renewables as a burden. But not the organisers of Off the Grid. They want to party their way to a better future.

Ross Harding, founder of renewables consultancy firm Finding Infinity, and Eyal Halamish, founder of digital democracy organisation OurSay, teamed up to create Off the Grid. “We know action happens when people come together and celebrate what is possible. That’s why we are empowering Melbournians to party for more renewable power,” explains Eyal Halamish.

The festival has garnered the attention of some seriously influential people. Economist Ross Garnaut, who was famously commissioned by the government to provide an independent review of Australia’s climate change policy said, “Off the Grid is getting people talking about something we should all be talking about. Australians face a big challenge moving from having the developed world’s biggest emissions per person to zero emissions.”

According to British fashion designer Dame Vivienne Westwood, “It’s time to party”. She has become a climate change activist in recent years, “Fossil fuel based capitalism is past its sell by date,” Westwood said. “Conventional energy is getting more expensive. It’s heavier, it’s deeper, it’s less. And we live in a world where the poor get poorer and the rich get richer but fewer”

Surprisingly, the festival itself will not only makes waves in sound, but also in thought. The day will begin bright and early at 9am with some of Australia’s leading environmentalists, architects, activists, entrepreneurs and foodies who will participate in a conversational style discussion, reinforcing Finding Infinity’s mission to connect and empower the city of Melbourne.

By lunchtime, the state-of-the-art sound system will be switched on as the event transforms from conference into Off the Grid’s diverse music and arts line-up.

We can expect a day of curated performances from Melbourne’s finest, including NO ZU, Andras, Chunky Move presenting Benjamin Hancock and more.

Off the Grid will aim to generate maximum impact, whilst leaving no footprint.

Off the Grid:

December 21st – ACCA Forecourt, Melbourne

More information + ticket sales via Off the Grid:


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