Our day at the Off the Grid Festival

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Rhythm & Renewables, Sunshine & Sustainability 

- Luke Wakeling 23 December 2016

Tucked away at the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Off the Grid festival 2016 was a gathering of minds and music.

The Palimpsest (Q&A forum) commenced under morning cloud, and discussion was suitably sombre. Challenges abound and there are some very pressing concerns that we must now face.

Waste free living - Adele Winteridge & Joost Bakker


Conversation moved back and forth, and there was passion and learning.

Waste, design, energy.

Speakers spoke with conviction and the audience was brought out from their silos of expertise into a broader discussion around creating a sustainable future.

Sustainable Design- Peter Malatt & Clare Cousins 


It wasn’t long before the clouds began to part.

A sense of collective enthusiasm emerged as the sun shone down upon the faces of the attendees - and on the solar panels that fuelled the event.

This was a celebration of the momentous task of the transition to a sustainable, perhaps even regenerative, society.

One Million Women- Natalie Issacs


The Palimpsest concluded with an uplifting and exuberant musical exclamation of the wonders of modern science and modern life, and I congratulate the always fabulous FutureCrunch.

And with that, the DJs gained control and the mood shifted.

Up we came from our seats, some to the bar, some to the solar powered cooktops.


Solar Thermal Cooking


As we dived into our food (in fully compostable containers) & beverages (housed in reusable, no waste, glasses/mugs) conversation was energetic. Little groups of 5 or 6 sprouted, and people who had arrived as strangers freely exchanged ideas, information, and hope.

Names, Facebooks, cards and contacts were shared and it seemed that the business of the day was out of the way. Our solar powered festival had entered into another stage, and it was now time for the music to shine.

The Senegambian Jazz Band


We danced into the evening and I must extend a thank you to the organisers, sponsors, speakers and attendees for providing us with a vehicle of zero waste, off grid, sustainable celebration. We know that the ideas, collective passion and new connections all generated on the day will lead to positive change. 

It was a wonderful event and I for one can’t wait to see where Off The Grid goes in 2017.

Founder of Off the Grid, Ross, and his battery.

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