Music

Mill Valley Music Festival to Be Entirely Powered by Renewable Energy

With music festivals around the world getting more focused on meaningful sustainability initiatives, Central California’s Mill Valley Music Festival is set to raise the bar by getting 100% of its power from renewable energy sources.

Happening this weekend (May 11-12), the Mill Valley, Calif., event says this initiative will make it the first festival in the United States to be entirely powered by renewable energy. The source of that energy will be Moxion MP-75 batteries — battery-powered generators that use no fuel, produce no emissions and are almost fully silent. (Last year, these Moxion batteries were listed among Time‘s Best Inventions of 2023.)

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The festival, which is expecting 6,000-12,000 attendees per day, will use seven Moxion batteries to power its stages, VIP areas, vendors and all other power points. Another three batteries will be on-site as backups. A representative for Moxion tells Billboard that these batteries have been donated to the festival to serve as proof of concept that Moxion can share with other live events organizers to help transition festivals from traditionally used diesel-powered generators to clean power sources.

Amazon and equipment rental company Sunbelt are among the investors in the Bay Area-based Moxion Power, whose batteries have previously been used to partially power festivals including Reverb’s Luck Reunion near Austin, BottleRock in Napa Valley and Southern California events PowerTrip, Camp FlogGnaw, Long Beach Tamale Fest, CaliVibes and Coachella. Upcoming deployments are planned for Los Angeles festivals Cruel World and Just Like Heaven.

While many festivals have experimented with the use of some clean power — including battery and solar — some event organizers have been reticent to fully rely on battery-powered generators due to concerns over dependability and cost. According to a company representative, Moxion does not publish retail prices given that battery cost varies based on incentives available at the time of purchase, but they say battery cost is comparable to the cost of the traditionally used diesel generators when considering rental and fuel prices.

Nic Adler, the vp of festivals at Goldenvoice — which produces events including PowerTrip, CaliVibes, Camp FlogGnaw, Cruel World, Just Like Heaven and more — told Billboard in March that the minute the costs of green initiatives “start affecting the bottom line [of festivals] in a positive way, there’s going to be a full push for all of this.”

Organized by the Mill Valley Chamber of Commerce and Noise Pop Industries, Mill Valley Music Festival is in its third year and this weekend will feature artists including Fleet Foxes, Margo Price and St. Paul & the Broken Bones.

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The festival projects that by using Moxion batteries, it will avoid generating roughly
9,000 pounds of greenhouse gas emissions. (For comparison, 9,000 pounds of greenhouse gas emissions is roughly the equivalent of an average gas-powered passenger vehicle being driven for 10,000 miles.)

“We’re thrilled to be the exclusive energy source for Mill Valley Music Festival this year,” says Moxion CEO and co-founder Paul Huelskamp. “Moxion was born right here in Mill Valley, so it’s incredible to see the festival become a sustainability leader. We hope this inspires more eco-friendly
practices across the board.”

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