PHOTOS: Sustain With Sound festival returns to shows how entertainment can be eco-friendly


As the Sustain with Sound music festival returned under the direction of a new management team last weekend, the goal of raising awareness about sustainability, while focusing attention on community organizations and nonprofits, remained the same.

The 2019 Sustain with Sound music festival, held April 27 at the Pier 33 Entertainment in Wilmington, didn’t just feature more than a half-dozen North Carolina-based musical acts, it also emphasized a zero-waste setup that utilized recyclable and compostable products, eliminating all single-use plastics, while being powered through solar energy.

“We aimed to make the event as locally-sourced as possible, while opening people’s eyes about sustainability and eco-friendly products,” said Michael Eakins, whose Pineapple  Entertainment teamed up with Katie Nickel, the founder of the event, to put it on the third year.

With more than a thousand people in attendance, organizers believe the festival will raise several thousand dollars for the University of North Carolina Wilmington Plastic Ocean Project.
Cape Fear Solar Power provided solar panels to generate energy for the event, while assorted trash bins at the festival provided attendees with recyclable and compostable garbage disposal options. A local waste management company hand sorted through all of the items the next day to ensure that compostable and recyclable items were separated, Eakins said.

Several local breweries provided beer for the event, which was served in eco-friendly compostable cups, Eakins said, while reusable water stations let people fill up their water bottles without distributing plastic water bottles.

The festival featured seven acts, including the Michael Eakins Band, playing just their second show. Eakins was a former member of Elephant Convoy, now on an indefinite hiatus.
The opening act, Hannah Kol, opened the festival after winning a slot on the lineup through fan voting. Kol used the opportunity to promote an organization she started called “Music Heals Minds,” which collects and donates lightly-used instruments to mental health facilities to aid in treatment. Kol said she started the organization after a friend lost his life after battling mental health issues. To date, the organization has donated more than 100 instruments to a variety of local and regional facilities.

The Nude Party, a band from Boone, N.C., headlined the event, which also featured local reggae act Signal Fire, rock band Blue Footed Boobies, and R&B act Unity.
Eakins said that Pineapple Entertainment will host more eco-friendly and sustainable music events in the area in the near future.

We couldn’t have asked for a better start,” Eakins said of Pineapple Entertainment. everyone was happy and there were a bunch of smiling faces. We built a great relationship with a ton of people, who we plan to work with in the future.”

In the meantime, the Michael Eakins Band will host a CD release party on May 10 on the rooftop of the Reel Cafe in Wilmington.


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