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Festival Targets Clean Energy In Its Sustainability Efforts

M3F Partnered With New Use Energy Solutions To Power Event

When looking into the many shifts in attitudes from generation to generation, one of the more significant indicators is the changing trends in artistic consumption. Music, in particular, is a perfect example of this. Not only is it an easily digestible means of expressing popular viewpoints of the time, but it has shown a remarkable ability to adapt to the desires of younger people more than any other industry. 

Although movies and TV have made impressive strides in adjusting to the convenience of streaming platforms as the youth demands, the industry is not without a few dated practices. Live sports, in particular, have shown little willingness to leave the world of mandating expensive cable packages to watch their product. It’s a decision that has turned many viewers under 25 into DIY pirates who would rather risk sketchy (but free) online streams to paying the obscene cost of traditional cable. 

On the other hand, music has rolled with the punches, knowing that any profits lost on streaming services like Apple Music and Spotify will be made tenfold through the rapidly growing industry of music festivals. People listen to a significantly more expansive array of musicians than ever before, artists that are constantly performing at any number of events like Coachella, Rolling Loud, and SXSW. 

But this shift from record sales to touring is not without its downsides, particularly for the environment. A report from event organizer Goldenvoice claims that the sum of festivals held on the Coachella grounds generates more than 100 tons of solid waste per festival day and over 1,600 tons yearly, with 80% not being recycled. 

Photo Courtesy New Use Energy

A collaboration for M3F, an Arizona-based nonprofit two-day festival, has indicated an effort to lead the way into a new era of music events held sustainably. Formerly known as McDowell Mountain Music Festival, M3F announced a partnership with Tempe, AZ-based New Use Energy Solutions (NUE) to run several facilities using clean energy. NUE, which specializes in rapidly-deployable solar energy systems for clients, used its solar infrastructure expertise to significantly reduce carbon emissions during this year’s festival in March. 

Photo Courtesy New Use Energy

“The M3F Festival is a great opportunity for us to demonstrate what we can do to make outdoor events more sustainable and enjoyable by eliminating noisy and polluting gas generators,” said  Lee Feliciano, NUE COO, of the collaboration.

Feliciano believes that his company provided advantages to the festival structure that other renewable developers could not, namely the familiarity with quick setups and takedowns. 

JJ Stewart, M3F’s sustainability team lead, echoed this sentiment. “We are excited to have this unique local company, New Use Energy, bring the latest mobile solar solutions to power our merchandising and information booths, making them effectively zero carbon emitters for the event.”


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