Willie Nelson Leads Zero-Emission Future With Solar-Powered Batteries At Luck Reunion

Autism Speaks Light Up The Blues 6 Concert
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – APRIL 22: Willie Nelson performs at the Autism Speaks Light Up The Blues 6 Concert at The Greek Theatre on April 22, 2023 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harmony Gerber/Getty Images)

Willie Nelson is help leading the charge to a greener future after utilizing solar energy to power the main stage at 2023’s Luck Reunion. A recent findings report conducted by Sound Future shows the reduced impacts from the solar-powered stage.

Overdrive Energy Solutions designed, built and maintained the stage, which was funded via REVERB’s Music Decarbonization Project. Sound Future conducted a scientific analysis of the stage’s success,

“There are real solutions right here, right now to slash live music’s carbon pollution,” REVERB Co-Executive Director, Adam Gardner, said in a statement. “What was accomplished at Luck proves that. If every festival made the switch from diesel generators to solar-powered battery systems, it would be a huge leap forward for music’s role in fighting the climate crisis.”

The 19-page report measured Sound Future’s three metrics of value: the benefit for the environment, the benefit for the bottom line and the benefit for talent. The solar-powered stage saved carbon dioxide emissions equivalent to a car driving around 900 miles.

“This case study, and others like it, are a powerful demand signal that culture leaders are ready for a fossil-free future for live events,” Sound Future’s Cassie Lee said in a statement. “Bolstered by performances from icons of Outlaw country, the 2023 Luck Reunion set a new precedent for climate-conscious behavior at US festivals.”

The team built a solar farm in the form of a ground-mount as a means to limit wind-loading, with the array requiring four people to build. The mounts were designed to be walked on, minimizing tripping hazards.

“The power systems we used for the main stage worked flawlessly and were easier to set up, run and maintain than diesel generators,” Overdrive Energy Solutions Founder and CEO, Neel Vasavada, said in a statement. “Using lithium-iron phosphate batteries allowed the units themselves to be safer and more sustainable in the long term as well.”

Despite inclement weather postponing the festival’s originally scheduled date from March 16 and 17, which then prevented the solar panels from charging to full capacity, the stage still was a resounding success.

“Outside of knowing we are taking steps to lower our carbon footprint, hearing the silence between sets and not having wafts of diesel exhaust blowing onto the stage was a welcomed change on its own,” Luck Presents’ CEO, Matt Bizer, said in a statement.