WKNH Radio and Campus Ecology hosted their annual Solarfest on Saturday, April 23. The solar panel-fueled event offered live music, free merchandise and Ben & Jerry’s ice cream for concert-goers.
There were five musical acts that played at Solarfest, including The Groms, Survey Says!, Spose, A Great Big Pile of Leaves and Kung Fu. There were also speakers from NextGen Climate, a group dedicated to promoting climate change, who spoke between musical acts about the dangers of fossil fuels and encouraged others to use renewable energy whenever possible.
Executive Board Member of Campus Ecology Seanna Flynn said she thinks this year’s Solarfest “was a big step up from last year.” “Not just music-wise, but we also have more vendors from the community and college organizations tabling this year,” she said. The festival hosted a total of 25 student organizations and community organizations such as Ben & Jerry’s as well as the Wormtown Trading Company, all willing to show their support for a cleaner environment.
Campus ecology offered a variety of merchandise for students including a Campus Ecology t-shirt, bandanas and water bottles. “The tie dye we used is from fruit juices so it’s organic, and we also handed out aluminum water bottles for reusable use,” Flynn said.
Co-Music Director of WKNH Patrick O’Donnell said he thinks it was important to book a variety of acts. “We had a surf rock band, a ska band, a jam band and a hip-hop group. So I think students get exposed to a lot of different kind of music,” he said. “I feel like the Social Activities Council is more interested in booking popular acts for Spring Concert, and that’s not what we’re into; we’re more into providing a more well-rounded music experience for everybody. I think there are a lot of people that look forward to this rather than Spring Concert.”
He continued, “I think last year’s solarfest was more music based. This year has been more of a connection between Campus Ecology and WKNH, and that helped get the message across. When everybody is outside in this environment, it all sort of synergizes and you understand what it’s all about and that’s promoting a sustainable environment.”
Nick Busby is the Event Coordinator for WKNH. “I think this year’s event was much bigger than last year’s, and I think that because we had a new E-board [at WKNH] we had bigger ideas and knew how to execute them better, especially considering our budget was about the same as last year,” he said. “The band I was most excited about booking was A Great Big Pile of Leaves because they’re one of my favorite bands, so having them agree to play was kind of surreal for me,” Busby said.
Keene State junior Kevin Rogers said he had a good time at the festival. “I really liked A Great Big Pile of Leaves, I liked their sound a lot,” Rogers said. “I didn’t go to the Spring Concert because it wasn’t anything I would’ve enjoyed. I don’t really care for Lupe Fiasco or Kid Ink. I’d rather see a pop-punk act like Modern Base come; something that’s not just some rapper like we’ve gotten the past two years. With Solarfest you could come and go as you pleased…Plus it’s free.”
Marc Apesos can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org