Confession: I’ve been to more than a few music festivals. These multi-day celebrations of music and off-grid living are a ton of fun, but they’re not so great for the planet. A single festival can suck up thousands of watts of energy, generate tons of trash, and turn grassy fields into dusty wastelands. Wanting to put their loving vibes into action, many festivals hope to become self-sufficient, reducing waste and generating their own clean energy.

Outside Lands, a music festival held annually in the San Francisco area, recently retrofitted an entire stage with solar panels. This year marked the fifth year that energy for all of the sound and lighting for Outside Lands’ Panhandle Stage came from alternative and solar sources. Made possible through a partnership of Alternative Power Productions and Kleege Industries, Panhandle delivers 120 amps of power at 120 volts, and is said to be the largest solar-powered hybrid stage in the country.

According to Outside Lands, the stage is a Stageline SL250 integrating a 4.83-kilowatt (4830 watts) solar array, which supplies sunlight to two 800 amp batteries totaling 1600 amps of storage. The array powers four Outback Systems Inverters pumping 120 amps of power at 120 volts. The stage also houses a 10-kilowatt biodiesel generator equipped with an auto start feature, making this stage 100 percent self-contained.

The solar panels are integrated so seamlessly into the stage’s construction that many artists don’t realize they’re rocking out to clean energy until after the show.

APP will be doing more work in October for another festival, Treasure Island, according to Rolling Stone [PDF]. The company “has a competitive edge in the production of environmentally sustainable concerts, as they know both green business practices and the music promotion business,” Another Planet Entertainment producer Bryan Duquette said in a statement.

Main photo credit: Citoyen Du Monde Inc/Flickr