The main stage at Willie Nelson’s 2023 Luck Reunion was fully powered with on-site solar energy for the event’s full 14-hours, according to the team behind the project.

Featuring headline performances by acts including Willie Nelson, Spoon and Margo Price, the event was promoted by Luck Presents who worked on the project with Overdrive Energy Solutions and specialist environmental not-for-profit organisations Reverb and Sound Future.

Aside from the obvious reduced environmental impact of moving away from the use of diesel generators, Luck Presents CEO Matt Bizer said the use of solar energy resulted in an improved  experience for the festival team, artists, and attendees: “Outside of knowing we are taking steps to lower our carbon footprint, hearing the silence between sets and not having wafts of diesel exhaust blowing onto stage was a welcomed change on its own.”

The project was funded via Reverb’s Music Decarbonization Project – an industry supported effort to advance innovative climate solutions to directly eliminate carbon emissions created by the music industry. California-based Overdrive Energy Solutions designed, built, and managed the on-site solar farms and intelligent battery systems used at the festival. Sound Future, a non-profit focused on climate innovation within the live event industry, conducted a scientific analysis of this effort looking specifically at the climate, budgetary and human impacts.

Reverb co-executive director Adam Gardner said, “There are real solutions right here, right now to slash live music’s carbon pollution. What was accomplished at Luck proves that. If every festival made the switch from diesel generators to solar-powered battery systems, it would be a huge leap forward for music’s role in fighting the climate crisis.”

Sound Future CEO Cassie Lee, who previously worked at NASA, said, “This case study, and others like it, are a powerful demand signal that culture leaders are ready for a fossil-free future for live events.”

“The power systems we used for the main stage worked flawlessly and were easier to set up, run and maintain than diesel generators,” said Overdrive Energy Solutions founder and CEO Neel Vasavada. “Using lithium-iron phosphate batteries allowed the units themselves to be safer and more sustainable in the long term as well.”