Filed under: Activities & Attractions, Destination Camping & RV Resorts, Family Camping, Family Weekend Trips
Family Fun in the Sun!
An event worth planning an entire summer camping trip around, the Taos Solar Music Festival is not to be missed. The final weekend in June every summer, the small town of Taos, NM (population just over 7,000) puts together an amazing combination of talent and the cutting edge information on solar power and makes a celebration out of it. Whether you come for the music or the technology, you will not be disappointed.
This year’s festival, celebrating its 14th anniversary, was held June 30 and July 1. Highlights were the incredible talent and a Solar Forest that blended art and renewable energy. Three solar energy companies gathered forces to power the five trees; four of which represented the elements and directions: Earth, wind, fire and water. As we are in Taos, the fifth tree was a chile tree.
Groups such as the New Mexico Solar Energy Association (NMSEA) are offered space to demonstrate solar panels, solar ovens and other innovative products designed to heat or power your home, camper or whatever else you may need power for. Taos boasts over 300 days of sunshine each year, making it the perfect place for the festival focusing on solar power and the perfect home to KTAO, the world’s largest solar powered radio station. With all of that sun, there is a great deal of information here about the latest in solar energy.
June 30th, the first day of the two day event featured Lyle Lovett, with his unusual country style, and Los Lobos a tex/mex band from East Los Angeles who have been playing together and recording music since 1973. Also performing were Saints of Valory, a multinational band with members from Brazil, France, Canada and the US, and Anthony Leon and the Chain, a Santa Fe band that won Solar Fest’s first ever band contest.
Day two featured Michael Franti and Spearhead, playing music from his newest album, appropriately named “The Sounds of Sunshine”, as well as bluegrass legend Del McCoury, Louisiana slide guitarist Sonny Landreth and Mat Kearney, who has been recording with Columbia records since 2006.
But the man to watch was Taos’ own Max Gomez. The 25 year old has attended every one of the past Solar Fests.This year, just when the album he recorded is about to be released by New West Records, Max was invited to perform on the Main Stage on Saturday afternoon. Reminiscent of a young Elvis, this young man has more charisma on stage than is safe for a handsome young man. Remember his name, and listen for the song “Ball and Chain,” a song Gomez wrote years ago and that will get airplay. This young man is going places.
With such a wide variety of appealing music, you might guess the festival attracted people of all ages. There were young couples, families with young children as well as couples with gray hair. Tickets for next year’s event can be purchased for $45 for one day or $85 for a weekend pass at several local Taos businesses and at www.solarmusicfest.com . Also available are weekend camping passes (Friday-Sunday) so bring the family and the camper and make yourself at home. The festival is held in the Kit Carson Park, a large grassy park in the center of town. The grassy field at the local school is also opened up for campers and is only a three block walk from the festival.
Read more about New Mexico campgrounds and things to do in New Mexico.