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Fun, Free, and Safe

SolarFest ’21 Focuses on Arts, Energy and Change

A second virtual SolarFest promises an exciting array of renowned speakers and performers on July 24th and 25th. As with the online festival last year, all the activities are free to the public.

“With all of the dynamic developments going on today in renewable energy, climate activism, sustainable buildings, and new government policies, it’s urgent that we go forward fast and safely as we search for a new consensus for a sustainable world.” says Bill Laberge, president of SolarFest.

SolarFest began in 1995 when a group from Middletown Springs, VT had an innovative idea to hold a music and arts festival powered by the sun. Since then, tens of thousands of people have enjoyed their unique blend of music, art, and education at a festival in Vermont that showcases the power and possibilities of solar energy.

To continue during Covid-19, longtime trustee and volunteer John Blittersdorf observed, “Last year, for our 25th anniversary, we had to pivot to a virtual festival, featuring multiple musicians and workshops, plus some outstanding speakers including Richard Heinberg, of the Carbon Institute, and Storm Cunningham on “Transition to a Regenerative Economy” in collaboration with the Center for Advanced Public Action (CAPA) at Bennington College.”

While public gatherings are starting to be allowed, the planning and commitments for SolarFest began at the end of 2020. This year the virtual festival is focused on reaching new groups, restoring hope, and inspiring transformations in three key areas with meaningful and tangible paths forward: The Future of Energy Policy, Climate Justice and Environment, and Decarbonizing Buildings.

The second virtual SolarFest, on Saturday July 24th and Sunday July 25th, features insights into government policy direct from congressional and state leaders and the latest on the frontlines of activism from author and 350.org founder Bill McKibben, Oscar-nominated, Emmy winning filmmaker Josh Fox, and filmmaker for social and environmental justice Deia Schlosberg, director of The Story of Plastic. The full lineup includes musical performers and the top-flight, practical workshops that have made SolarFest the place for real change for over 25 years.

Complete festival information, including the latest events and time schedule, is available at www.SolarFest.org. Plus, the site includes videos from past year’s keynote addresses as well as expert presentations on solar and storage systems, living off-grid, electric vehicles, regenerative food & agriculture, and more.

There’s also big news for SolarFest as large public gatherings are restored. “Looking ahead,” said Laberge, “we’ve been given a transformational donation that will allow SolarFest to establish a permanent home. The board is fortunate to have an experienced and dedicated group of volunteers working to identify the right site for SolarFest to put down roots.”

Whether it’s occurring virtually or in-person, SolarFest is New England’s best place for a safe, family-friendly environment for fun, learning, and the most interesting conversations.

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