Music filled the air around Oya Hill on Saturday, April 21, as Keene State College students partook in the 2018 Solar Fest celebrations. 

Members of the campus and Keene communities gathered between the Spaulding Gymnasium and Holloway Hall to enjoy the sun, music and art. 

Some of the art available for sale consisted of paintings, ceramics, jewelry, tapestries and crystals. 

Attendees of the event had the option to create their own tye-dye shirt or participate in a clothing swap presented by Campus Ecology.

Campus Ecology and 91.3 WKNH promoted and hosted Solar Fest together. 

Colton McCracken / Senior Photographer

Colton McCracken / Senior Photographer

The goal of the event was to spread the message about being more environmentally conscious, while actually being outside and listening to local bands and artists. 

KSC senior Sam Brault said the music is her favorite aspect of Solar Fest. Brault said her favorite band out of the lineup was Jelani Sei, and described their music as “amazing.” 

Jelani Sei was just one of the five musical acts in Solar Fest’s lineup this year. Other bands and artists included LVL UP, Sun Parade, Weakened Friends and Pink Navel.

KSC senior and Co-General Manager of 91.3 WKNH Nick Busby described Solar Fest as “one big outdoor concert,” but said it does not stop there. Busby said Solar Fest also has “vendors, free food and sustainability groups.” 

WKNH is in charge of finding and booking acts to perform at Solar Fest each year. In past years, Busby said the radio station tried to get a variety of artists to attract a crowd such as “indie rock, funk and hippie jam-band.”

Busby said that over the last few years, WKNH has tried to find more “hip-hop and rap because that’s kind of like what we realized people are enjoying these days, so we’re doing some of that this year.” 

One of the artists who falls under the hip-hop category that performed at Solar Fest this year is Pink Navel. From Boston, Massachusetts, Pink Navel is a rapper and beat maker, as described on their bandcamp page. 

Other bands who performed, like New York’s LVL UP and Sun Parade, Hartford, Connecticut’s Jelani Sei, and Boston, Massachusetts’ Weakened Friends, fall under the rock and indie-rock genre. 

Busby said he hopes “people recognize that WKNH and Campus Ecology put a lot of hard work into this event, and at this point it’s a tradition that we want to keep going, so if people recognize all of the hard work that goes into this event… maybe they’ll be inspired to join either of our organizations and help out for the years coming.” 

Busby added that Solar Fest has gotten “a lot bigger and better.” 

He said he “hopes it continues to grow in the future with more bands, more things going on and more organizations involved.”

Chloe Giarraputo can be contacted at

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