Sunstock Fest Makes a Case for Going Solar with Performances by Cults, Wavves, Kaki King and More


Trapdoor Social

Originally appeared on Grimy Goods. Words by me, photos by William Gormley.

Last Saturday was one of the hottest days of the year so far. It was forecasted to be so brutal over the weekend that it prompted LADWP to caution customers against using too much A/C, or else there would be mass power outages. There could not have been a better time to host the world’s first entirely solar powered music festival, and the premiere of Sunstock Solar Fest proved to be a huge success.

The event was dreamed up by Merritt Graves and Skylar Funk of Trapdoor Social, who studied environmental sciences in college and have a passion for saving our planet that rivals their passion for making music. Which is probably why they decided to commit their careers to doing both at the same time. They made their first foray into music activism by donating all proceeds from their second EP to help fund the installation of solar panels at Homeboy Industries, a local non-profit that conducts job training for reformed gang members. Today, the boys travel with a solar-powered trailer, using the cells to power some of their shows. 

So, in a logical progression of Graves’ and Funk’s passion, they created Sunstock Solar Festival, designed to merge LA’s vibrant arts scene with a call for wider adoption of alternative energy resources. And it turned out to be quite a bash. The Autry played host to the array of art installations, live music performances, and alternative energy organizations. Around 2,500 people milled about on the lawn, playing cornhole, tossing frisbees, and generally having first-day-of-summer fun in the sun.


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