GreenBase: Festival Time Coachella's Green Side

Coachella's Green Side

Portishead :: Coachella 2008 by Dave Vann
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."

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.

[Published on: 4/16/09]

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Benjamin Human Thu 4/16/2009 01:41PM
+4 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

Benjamin Human


rastarusty Thu 4/16/2009 02:25PM
+1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!


nobody cares about the environment. they just love trendiness of the carbon neutral be green green, save the polar bears.

If you care about the environment do something real about the real problems, because there everywhere and its bad.

if you dont care, then dont, and stop thinking your festival has to say green somewhere to attract people.

people are lame these days

oldfartatplay Thu 4/16/2009 03:05PM
+1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!


hey guys, ease the f up. i'm as pessimistic about marketing as anyone you'll ever meet. but if it spreads awareness, or starts a dialogue, who cares?

maybe it's good news that we're being marketed to on this level. it's better than being ignored isn't it? who cares what their motives are, if it's gimmicky or trendy to try to spread the word, then you guys should just go ahead and stay cool and stay home.

allthink Thu 4/16/2009 03:11PM
+1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!


I was all in for gettin tix to coachella then I realized most sets were 50 minutes...someone please tell my why on earth would anyone go to this...For one good two hour long McCartney?


rastarusty Thu 4/16/2009 03:17PM
0 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!


thats not keeping me from goin out there. I already had dead ticket for tomorrow, plus roo/roth/allgood/vibes/summercamp and maybe others

theres some good acts but not enough to get me out there. My point wasnt to say being green is bad, im sayiing if you whole green initiative isnt accomplishing anything, whats the point. If you wanna be green, do something and make a difference.

they already have some good things like trading in empty bottles for a nice cold bottle of water, things like that. im down for green. Im not trying to be cool, i could care less. If people want to be green, run your car on vegi, push for industiral hemp, or especially in cali, all the raw sewage thats gets dumped into the ocean on the reg. Its like surfing in a porta pottie.

thats all im saying. If you want to be green you should have real goals and try to accomplish them and make the world greener. Not just to be able to say, im cool im green.

done peace

treyantelope Thu 4/16/2009 04:38PM
+2 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!


I getcha rastarusty, the word "green" has been watered down a lot. Being a strong environmental activist myself I get where you're coming from. However, these small changes like what they are doing are significant and people should know about it. It doesn't take much of a change in our actions to make a big difference (it only takes 15% of a popualtion to make a difference).

We all can't be the Governator or part of Obama's cabinet, so we have to make changes on the grassroots level. It may not seem significant but it is and we all should take part, even if you think it is a marketing scheme (Cochella isn't making any money off of these so-called marketing schemes).

So cheers to what Cochella is doing, and I love how all festivals are taking action now. We have a long way to go, but it's a start.

boom shanker Thu 4/16/2009 07:31PM
+2 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

boom shanker

greenbase jizz

Benjamin Human Fri 4/17/2009 06:58AM
0 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

Benjamin Human

That's what I'm skeptical about oldfart. How are we spreading awareness or starting a dialogue about being environmentally friendly if people think it's going change something by making an old trash can into "art"? This is like GE donating $10,000 to charity and spending $100,000 to advertise about. I want REAL action, but I doubt this festival/any festival could profit and have a low or no "carbon footprint". I just don't need the lip service.

MaSonDiego star Fri 4/17/2009 07:46AM
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How about a real coachella article? I have been wondering what jambase was doing since the set times came out... um.. nothing!

JERRYmadeLIVEmusic Fri 4/17/2009 08:07AM
+1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!


"If you want to be green you have real goals and accomplish them and make the world greener." Come on bro, how are they not doing this exactly!!!! You cant make the "world" greener in one step. Its got to start with you recycling, your neighborhood being clean, your favorite festival being clean (and thank you Jah for Rothbury for waking up everyone's eyes to how a festival can actually accomplish this soooooo easily), and what not. If festivals aren't going green, DONT GO. Just like if a company isnt going green, DONT buy there products. It all starts with you and your favorite music festivals!!!!! Thank you Coachella!!!!! Its well done! Every year make it better! Next year lets get the whole PA to run off of the sun! THINK BIG!!!!! and GREEEEEEEEEEEEN!!!!!!

oldfartatplay Fri 4/17/2009 11:18AM
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i can't really disagree with you benjamin (except for the g.e. metaphor). still, if a lot of people do SOMETHING, even if it's just a little-that's something, and something is better than nothing. y'know, it's still a positive move. so where's the harm?

Benjamin Human Fri 4/17/2009 11:46AM
+1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

Benjamin Human

You're right, that wasn't a good example. I was trying to highlight the futility of it; bicycles that power TVs, what happened to turning it off? It just seems we are chasing our tail on this one.