The Second Biennial Get Off the Grid Fest will be held over the weekend of August 9,10 and 11th, 2019 at Warren Wilson College in Asheville, North Carolina*. Echoing the first gathering that was timed with the total solar eclipse of 2017, the purpose of the upcoming event is three-fold. Our first intention is that this Expo serve to link people who have the technical expertise and know-how in the field of renewable energy with folks who have the commitment to and interest in achieving energy independence. Second, as a Fair, the event aims to provide a venue for homesteaders, companies, organizations, associations and individuals to showcase and share their ideas, products and experiences living and working sustainably. Third, the Festival seeks to expand the understanding of participants as to being off-grid, not only in the production of energy, but also living self-sufficiently in areas of health and wellness, food production and consumption as well as cultural expression and community building.
The three-day event is expected to attract between three and four thousand people who will engage with a variety of solar power producers and installers, biodynamic farmers and organic growers, food activists, healing arts and holistic health practitioners, earth scientists and educators from area schools as well as members of local community based organizations focused on economic and ecological sustainability. Festival-goers will interact with vendors in an open-air market and exchange ideas and information with a host of experts and instructors in a wide range of fields from hydro-electrics to hydroponics, solar power plants to herbs and medicinal plants, vermiculture to viticulture, beekeeping to goat tending, performing arts to healing arts.
The Get Off the Grid Fest features a strong music and dance component and an assembled cast of stellar musicians, performers, presenters and speakers on three stages and in several tent venues. The schedule of artists appearing include internationally acclaimed Rising Appalachia, Elise Witt and Donna Hopkins; nationally renowned Terry Garthwaite, Jeff Mosier and Strung Like a Horse; regionally popular Natti Lovejoys, Sol Driven Train and Jess Goggans as well as a host of popular Asheville-based groups and performers such as Jeff Sipe, Taylor Martin and Bayou Diesel.
The 16-acre Big Berea Pasture adjacent to Riceville Rd. near the campus of Warren Wilson College, just 5 miles east of Asheville’s city center is the site for this year’s event. An ample staff has been gathered to assist the Get Off the Grid Fest sponsors, companies, volunteers, artists, educators and vendors whose work in renewable energy and sustainable living deserves such a platform and spotlight. Come join us and help plant not only a seed but an entire orchard where the future can grow out of the pasture.
Warren Wilson College is a private four-year liberal arts college located in the Swannanoa Valley near Asheville, North Carolina. The college offers classes in a range of disciplines with Environmental Studies and Creative Writing among the most popular. Unique aspects of the college in relation to other schools of similar size is Warren Wilson’s experience-based learning programs and its commitment to sustainability and localized production. Over 160 acres of the school grounds comprise an active farm worked in part by the college students who also perform many operations including recycling, composting, food preparation and service as well as maintenance, renovation and cleaning of their dormitories, kitchens and dining areas which, in turn, receive supplies and foodstuffs from the farm itself.
Farm manager Asher Wright will be providing farm tours during the festival which is itself sited on a pasture used to grow hay and forage for the farm.