Coachella's Green Side
With Langerado out of the picture this year, the 2009 festival season is leading off this weekend with California stalwart Coachella. As in past years, the festival is featuring an impressive lineup of artists including some that aren't normally associated with the festival scene. M.I.A. and Yeah Yeah Yeahs to Paul McCartney and Franz Ferdinand. Those artists will share more than just a spot on the playbill this year - all four of them will be featured on specially tricked-out golf carts from festival partner Global Inheritance. The golf carts, called "18 & Up," are just one of the fun, attention-grabbing ways that the festival is trying to promote greener living to the masses of music-lovers coming out to the California desert for the weekend. According to promoters, "18 & Up will operate on solar, biodiesel, switch grass-based ethanol and wind modes of energy, but each cart will be redesigned to represent different artists and genres performing at the Coachella/Stagecoach festivals. The goal of the 18 & Up project is to transform a staple mode of transportation in the Coachella Valley into a mobile alternative energy exhibit."
Portishead :: Coachella 2008 by Dave Vann
Global Inheritance, a non-profit that claims it is "reinventing activism through green technology, the arts, and interactivity," will also participate in a number of other festivals around the continent this season including the Stagecoach Country Music Festival, held the following weekend at the same site as Coachella. In addition to the specialty golf carts, which will race each other every morning of Coachella, exhibits include GI's TRASHed:: Art Of Recycling bins. The 30 specially designed recycling bins scattered around the grounds will feature unusual art in an effort to encourage recycling and challenge fans to think about art in new ways. Post show, the bins will be donated to the Los Angeles School District. Also onsite will be Energy FACTory bikes: specially outfitted bikes that create energy as festival go-ers pedal. And as part of the Energy FACTory bike display at Coachella, Global Inheritance is hosting Tour De Caddy Shack, where attendees can ride the bikes to power TV's showing the film "Caddy Shack." The individual powering films with the best time will win a Coachella golf cart. Finally, in honor of M.I.A's anthem, "Paper Planes," the Global Inheritance crew is giving away onstage passes to watch M.I.A. to winners of a paper plane throwing contest. The planes, naturally, must be made of recycled paper, like your old bank statement or that term paper you got a C on last semester.
Aside from the high-visibility projects that Global Inheritance is putting on, Coachella will continue with its existing green initiatives. To encourage carpooling to the show, fans entering in any car with four or more riders that plasters the word "Carpoolchella" on an 8 1/2 x 11 or larger piece of paper are eligible to win prizes ranging from golf cart rides (presumably in the pimped-out carts) to the front entrance to VIP upgrades to the ultimate prize, a 4-pack of VIP tickets to Coachella for life. And to cut back on bottled water use, the festival is asking fans to bring in their own reusable plastic water bottles. They can fill the bottles for free at three drinking fountains or pay $1 for a quick refill of cold, filtered water. A $10 souvenir bottle will get you a weekend worth of free cold, filtered water, which is probably about the same price as buying three bottles of water at a normal festival.
If you're heading to the Indio Valley this weekend, let us know in the comments how the golf carts, artistic recycle bins, and $1 water fillups went. And hooray for festival season!
You can check out the Coachella lineup here. And you can read our review of the 2008 event here. Be sure to check back for complete coverage of Coachella immediately following the fest.