A solar-powered Coachella? That’s a future that alternative rocker Skylar Funk ’10 hopes to see one day. Although there isn’t a solar generator that is big enough to power the Coachella main stage yet—things are moving in that direction, says Funk.
As students in the environmental analysis program, Funk and classmate Merritt Graves ’10 became passionate about environmental issues, and since founding Trapdoor Social together, they have combined their love of music with their sustainability activism. After driving around the country to play shows, Funk became frustrated with all the gas they were burning. So, in 2015, the band acquired a solar trailer that provides them with more than enough power for their concerts. “The real treat is that there is no loud generator which disrupts the whole sonic experience of the festival,” says Funk.
In 2016, Trapdoor Social launched the fully solar-powered Sunstock Solar Festival in Los Angeles, a zero-waste event that also raises money for worthy causes. He adds, “We need a place, we need a positive space to cross-pollinate and to grow our movement and to be a community.”