I spent this Memorial Day weekend at the eighth annual Sasquatch Music Festival at the Gorge Amphitheater in Washington State.
The event’s natural aesthetics beckon attendees to consider their environmental impact on the earth, and in addition to being 100% wind powered it was the perfect spot for Honda to stage a “green” PR tactic.
Of the 100+ featured bands, I caught most of my favorites on the Honda solar-powered Big Foot Stage, secondary to the much larger main venue pictured above.
Coupled with the solar-powered stage, Honda displayed new hybrid models and provided a bicycle-powered charging center for cell phones and other portable electronics.
On the down-side, the large orange banners that bordered the stage looked weather beaten and faded by age compared to the glamorous X-Box 360 Main Stage. The print branding could have certainly been more appealing to compliment its eco-efforts.
Most unacceptable was the stage’s poor sound quality. In this Honda news release, Tom Peyton, the senior manager of Honda national advertising said, “We have found that Honda customers are as passionate about the environment as they are great music.”
If that’s the case, they certainly weren’t impressing fans of Miike Snow, Portugal. The Man., Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeroes, and other noteworthy groups. Some of the most exciting sets were ruined by drowned out vocals, an overbearing bass, and somewhat obnoxious feedback.
I was pretty bummed when I was trying to groove to Miike Snow and I couldn’t hear lead vocalist Andrew Wyatt’s voice. (See my favorite of their songs below.)
Despite the poor choice in print materials and the stage’s low sound quality (which I understand Honda most likely had no control over), Honda’s green efforts maintain their integrity and deserve their own round of applause. Sasquatch is the ideal event for inspiring youth culture with unforced ideas about preservation and conservation.