Solar Sunflower to debut at the WED Festival
  • Friday 03 June 2016
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Music will be powered by the sun at the World Environment Day (WED) Festival this Sunday June 5, as Sunshine Coast Council supports the Solar Sunflower mobile power generator’s local debut as part of a commitment to showcasing clean technologies and the greening of events on the Coast.

Come rain or shine, the Sunflower prototype mobile solar power generator developed by Southern Cross University will provide a sustainable electricity supply designed to power audio visual production equipment used at music festivals and events.

Environment Portfolio Councillor Jenny McKay said council had been a long-term supporter of the WED Festival and recognised the value of this annual celebratory community engagement event.

“From free native plant giveaways to getting up close and personal with all sorts of wildlife and riding on a ‘smoothie’ bike, council has an exciting line up of environmental initiatives for people of all ages to come and enjoy at the WED Festival,” Cr McKay said.

“The displays and supported activities are a great way for council to connect with the Sunshine Coast community around environmental themes, and we find they are always enjoyed by festival goers.

“In addition to supporting the Solar Sunflower and hosting a number of terrific council environmental displays, we are pleased to support the Sunshine Coast Environment Council to deliver the WED Festival through our Community Grants program.  

“This year, there has been much excitement about the return of the event to Cotton Tree Park, set on the banks of beautiful Maroochy River, which is always a popular destination for all the community.

“And why not leave your car at home and travel sustainably to the festival?

“Simply walk, run, cycle, scoot, skate, kayak, use public transport or carpool to the festival, to go in the draw to win a Fit Bit and other great prizes.

“Visit the TravelSmart team at council’s tent to enter the draw.”

The Solar Sunflower features a cutting-edge lithium battery storage design that enables it to provide a reliable electricity supply for an entire event without any solar charge, day or night.  It’s sure to be a talking point for festival goers as well as creating interest in renewable energy options for other local events.

“The Sunflower project is both a solar technology research project and a multimedia creative arts project,” said Dr Barry Hill, Sunflower lead researcher at Southern Cross University. 

“Led by the University’s music technology and creative media students and supported by a diverse community of researchers across science, engineering computing and music at SCU, the Sunflower project is both an innovative Australian-designed cutting-edge technology prototype and an important community arts/ education project.”

Dr Hill said the Sunflower used technology, engineering, social media, visual design and music to demonstrate how the electricity required to power festivals and events can now be provided by solar and other sustainable technologies.

“The project highlights the social value of music festivals and events, like World Environment Day, as rich sites for community engagement with new ideas and innovative sustainable technologies,” Dr Hill said. 

Council managed and supported WED Festival displays and initiatives

At the Sunshine Coast Council Nomadic Tent we will have:

  • Get up close and personal with Geckoes Wildlife from 12.30 - 3pm
  • Adopt one of 200 free native plants
  • Take a spin on the Smoothie treats with the Travelsmart team on the Smoothie bike
  • Pot your own edible seedlings with Anne Gibson
  • Get your facepainted with Happy Heart Facepainting
  • Get the low down on waste and recycling
  • Help write the community story of what a healthy environment looks like with the Interactive Wooden Tree
  • Connect with the range of exciting resources that our Libraries have on offer.
  • Learn about environmental council programs and activities

Sunshine Coast Council Free Art-making in the Yurt:

These workshops are provided by the Regional Arts Development Fund – a partnership between the Queensland Government and council to support local arts and culture in regional Queensland.

Graphite Illustration

Come and learn the fundamentals of graphite drawing with Sunshine Coast Children's illustrator Paul O’Sullivan.Materials supplied. 10.30 - 11.15am, 12 - 12.45pm, 1 - 1.45pm, 3 - 3.45pm

Papillon Butterfly Making workshop

Design and create your very own butterfly from a used tea bag, cobblers wax, watercolour pencils and discarded materials with artist Kim Shoenberger. This is a book in workshop. Limited numbers. 10 -11.30am, 1 - 2.30pm

Weaving with Weeds

Learn about Cat’s Claw, a recently declared 'weed of national significance', including how to find it and how to create a small woven basket to take home entirely created from the weed vines. This is a book in workshop. Limited numbers.11.30am - 1pm, 2.30 - 4pm

Plus - check out the Solarsunflower http://scu.edu.au/arts-social-sciences/index.php/93 display as it powers the music with energy from the sun. SCU Bachelor of Contemporary Music Students will be on hand to show people how the solar generator works…  - proudly supported by council.