Billie Eilish not only closed out the first night of Lollapalooza with style on Thursday but did so in a way that wasn’t harmful to the environment. The young popstar partnered with nonprofit organization REVERB and used solar-powered, intelligent battery systems for her headlining set at Grant Park in Chicago, Illinois.
The zero-emission battery systems used at the festival by Eilish were developed by Overdrive Energy Solutions and powered by a temporary solar farm to reduce the use of diesel-powered generators, which have a negative impact on the environment by producing pollutants and greenhouse gas.
Using such alternatives to reduce live entertainment’s carbon footprint is part of REVERB’s Music Decarbonization Project, an initiative that was co-founded by Eilish. The nonprofit and Eilish aimed to show not only fans but the live music industry that clean energy technology is reliable and can power large stages.
“We hope and believe this will be a watershed moment for the music industry.” Adam Gardner, frontman for the band Guster and co-founder of REVERB, said in a statement. “There are real climate solutions available right here, right now. By showcasing this technology with one of the biggest artists in the world, on one of the most revered festival stages, we’re accelerating the necessary transition toward a decarbonized future, for music and beyond.”
Eilish was introduced to the nonprofit by Coldplay, another major musical act that is also actively taking steps to reduce greenhouse emissions from touring.
“They’re just an answer to a prayer,” Eilish’s mother, Maggie Baird told Pollstar. “One of the things I like about REVERB is that they have created a way for even newer artists to add [eco-friendly options] without it costing any more than other services. I hope [efforts to reduce carbon footprint] will spread. … It’s really about keeping the planet in mind with every decision you make.”
Lollapalooza wasn’t the first time fans got to see Overdrive Energy Solutions’ setup. REVERB partnered with Luck Reunion in March to power the mainstage with great success, reducing emissions related to fossil fuel power by more than 90 percent.
“What you saw at Luck Reunion was a great demonstration of what could be done,” Neel Vasavada, an engineer by trade who has worked with the music industry for decades and founded Overdrive Energy Solutions, said. “To do a stage that was twice as big or six times as big isn’t just within the realm of possibility, it’s completely achievable and could be done tomorrow.”