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Taos Solar Music Fest: Where Rock and Clean Energy Collide | Green Up Music
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Part of the LiveOAK Network

About Us:

We are a new media company publishing websites that focus on energy, the environment and sustainable living. By leading the conversation about green issues, LiveOAK aims to advance the principles of sustainability by making them meaningful and accessible to a mainstream audience.


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Taos Solar Music Fest: Where Rock and Clean Energy Collide


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by Brittany Mauriss

Taos, New Mexico, has been an art oasis for the last 1,000 years. The Pueblo people were crafting pottery in the area while Europe was struggling to survive the Dark Ages. In the early 1900s, the natural beauty of the area drew painters from around the world to Taos—artists who formed their own community known as the Taos Society of Artists. That sense of artistic community was revived in 1999 with the kickoff of the Taos Solar Music Festival.

The first Taos Solar Music Fest, which has featured bands as diverse as Collective Soul, Widespread Panic, Harry Belafonte, Steve Earle and Big Head Todd and the Monsters, was held as a celebration of the summer solstice. But it wasn’t long until advocates of solar energy joined the celebration. The Solar Village is a separate event that coincides with the festival’s date and operates alongside the festival site. The music festival is a ticketed event. Visiting the Solar Village is free.

The New Mexico Solar Energy Association (NMSEA), a nonprofit promoting sustainability, organizes the Solar Village. Green energy advocates, innovators and companies set up a broad variety of energy installations. Solar energy panels usually provide the power for the nearby festival. At the last Solar Village, NMSEA set up a “solar cooking area,” featuring solar-powered conventional ovens as well as a couple of homemade solar cookers.

The Taos Solar Music Fest 3-day event ran for nine consecutive years before hitting hard times in 2008, when the event fell victim to the national economic crisis. Dawn Richardson and Dan Sherman, the festival’s organizers, struggled to get the event up and going again. Last year, the festival returned, albeit only for one evening. They were, however, able to book Widespread Panic, a popular jam band with a dedicated fan base.

The good news is the full festival is scheduled to return in 2012, including the Solar Village, although the musical acts have not yet been announced. Camping passes are available at Enos Garcia Elementary School, and hotels and motels are ready for business.

It’s hard to predict which bands might appear this year. The organizers state that they usually try to book musicians touring in or near New Mexico. No band has appeared at the festival more often than Big Head Todd and the Monsters, so there’s always the chance that the rock band, which has a sizable following in the mountain states, will make an appearance. The Taos Solar Music Festival is scheduled to take place in Kit Carson Park, from June 29 to July 1, 2012.

Photo Credit: Taos Solar Music Festival


Brittany Mauriss is editor for CalFinder Solar, an awesome free service that connects you with contractors for residential solar panels, energy-saving window estimates and more. Her passions are renewable energy, indie music and green upgrades around the home.


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3 Trackbacks

  1. [...] permanent solar array. Although the use of PV panels and solar-powered stages is not new to the festival circuit, Bonnaroo is treading on new ground with a permanent installation. Generating more than 61,000 kWh [...]

  2. [...] permanent solar array. Although the use of PV panels and solar-powered stages is not new to the festival circuit, Bonnaroo is treading on new ground with a permanent installation. Generating more than 61,000 kWh [...]

  3. [...] permanent solar array. Although the use of PV panels and solar-powered stages is not new to the festival circuit, Bonnaroo is treading on new ground with a permanent installation. Generating more than 61,000 kWh [...]


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