Solar Power At Byron Bay’s Bluesfest

Byron Bay Bluesfest’s Lotus Palace sound system is powered by solar panels this year.
Called the Sunflower, the 1.2 kilowatt solar power system’s panels are arranged in the shape of flower petal that can be tilted and positioned for optimum orientation to the sun.
The off grid system was created by Southern Cross University’s Doctor Barry Hill and SCU’s Visual Arts technicians and students, who incorporated cutting-edge latest digital audio amplification technology and a lithium battery bank.
“The aim of the project is to show the way sustainable design principles can be promoted within the Australian music industry, as well as promoting best practice in alternative power generation and energy efficient audio-visual technology,” said Dr. Hill.
The Sunflower project is ongoing  and will further develop and refine a high efficiency audio visual production system.
Bluesfest has a special focus on sustainability and operates under the slogan “Waste Wise – Refuse, Reuse, Reduce, and Recycle”.
Only recyclable packaging and plastic is allowed on site and accompanying the regular recycling stations are smaller bins for all food scraps, plates and cutlery. No glass is allowed on site and volunteers also move through crowds to collect rubbish.
The festival is held at Tyagarah Tee Tree Farm, 11 kilometres north of Byron Bay and 8 kilometres south of Brunswick Heads. Frequented by koalas moving between treed areas, during the festival an ecologist and staff from the University of Queensland provide assistance in the event of a “koala encounter”.
The site; which features 5 performance stages, 4 licensed bars and an undercover food hall, can cater to 17,500 festival visitors per day and 6,500 campers over the entire weekend. After each Bluesfest event, the land is returned to its original state. 
In 2010, Bluefest won the Australian Event Of The Year; in addition to being named Australia’s Best Cultural or Arts Event.