Despite the never-ending sunshine, San Diego is rarely thought of as a “green” city. While it ranks 14th in a 2012 study by Corporate Knights (a publication that promotes “clean capitalism”), the city failed to appear among the top 50 in a 2008 Popular Science review. But that hasn’t stopped Point Loma innovators Alternative Power Productions (formerly Sustainable Waves) from providing the world’s largest solar-powered stages for events such as Outside Lands Festival, Vans Warped Tour, and ESPN’s ESPYS.
“Whenever you get a large number of people together in one area for an extended period of time, you’re going to make an environmental impact,” says APP owner Jamie Minotti.
“The larger the event, the larger the potential impact. Although use of recycling programs are pretty common, the idea that the impact can be reduced through the use of alternative energy is still a somewhat new concept. Even smaller events use big amounts of energy in the form of sometimes multiple, large diesel generators. Our solar-powered stages offer an opportunity for events and promoters to eliminate or greatly reduce the need for generators.”
On Saturday, April 5, Minotti and his crew are bringing their solar stages to Liberty Station to power the second annual V Elements (“Five Elements”) festival, which saw about 2000 attendees in 2013.
“Last year’s inaugural V Elements was pretty amazing,” says Minotti, who also manages artists with the Madero Group. “At 8:30 a.m. we had 200 people waiting in line, which none of us expected. Things went really smooth overall and, based on the feedback, people had a great time. From what we heard, people liked being able to come during the day, hang out, do some yoga, check out the art displays, do a few workshops, get a massage, and then be able to let loose when the party and music kicked in later in the afternoon.”
This year, V Elements is expanding to add a second stage, bring in larger national acts and yoga instructors, and increase their focus on interactive art, food vendors, and performance artists.
The lineup features heavy-hitters such as Emancipator Live Ensemble, Orgone, Particle (featuring DJ Logic), Ana Sia, Freddy Todd, San Diego’s Desert Hearts, DINK music, local bass boss Michael Divinity Mannino, and Pool Party, to whom you can dance yourself clean in Dr. Bronner’s comically oversized Magic Soap Tub.