SCU's Sunflower has seeded in fertile soil at this year's Splendour in The Grass Festival
THE future of festivals is green and can be seen at The Electric Garden Silent Disco at Splendour In The Grass this year.
The undercover dance party is a collaboration between North Coast Events and Creative Environment Enterprises as part of the Southern Cross University's School of Arts and Social Sciences (SASS) research and learning Sunflower project.
The Electric Garden event manager, Robert "Jaz” Jazwinski, said it is about "change through entertainment” and is an "awesome pairing”.
He said the improvement in "alternative energies and efficiencies” has now made it possible for the university's Sunflower Project to power a 5kw sound system using the latest digital audio amplification technology.
Jaz said he was first involved in powering festival tents using solar, wind and peddle power at Glastonbury during the 90s where, like at Splendour, there was "a strong educational element.”
"It was an interactive experience for the festival goers but basically when they stopped peddling at 4am the lights went out.”
He said the technology behind The Electric Garden Silent Disco had come a long way since then, with the Sunflower Project catching up fast with Elon Musk's Power Wall battery technology.
Southern Cross University senior lecturer in contemporary music, Dr Barry Hill, said the SCU Sunflower was built for about $35,000 without labour, but because it's a prototype, future models will likely be built cheaper.
The giant solar flower has a 1.2 KW array and is made up of a state of the art energy generation storage and management system that can be tilted and positioned for optimum orientation to the sun.
The aim is to be able to have a lithium provide lithium battery bank provide enough power to run a festival stage entirely from solar energy.
The goal to have a "think green ethos within the Australian music industry to promote best practice in solar and alternative power generation and efficient audiovisual technology” has arrived.
"Over the next five years, the project aspires to develop and refine an audio visual production system featuring the latest in efficient audio technology and LED lighting that has a very light environmental footprint,” he said.
The university's Sunflower solar array makes its debut as part of a big science presence at Splendour.
Through the support of Inspiring Australia, Science Tent, in collaboration with online communicators, Future Crunch, is connecting festival goers to science through fun, dynamic presentations, musical performances and interactive experiences.