Students sat outside in the sun on Thursday as they watched Cal Poly students throw themselves into their passions at the student-hosted Dex Fest.
Consumer packaging senior Alexa Meniktas, one of three co-founders of The Merry Hoopsters, helped organize the event with her club.
The event was off-the-grid, meaning the two clubs supplied their own energy. They organized the event by creating an e-plan through Cal Poly, but had no further administrative assistance.
The solar panel and battery were built by Solar Cal Poly, a club co-founded by architecture senior Alyssa Parr. The panel was towed to Dexter on a trailer and powered local band Pleasantly as it played for the crowd.
Solar Cal Poly was originally the Renewable Energy Club; however, Parr helped push to focus the club on solar energy so they could compete in the national Solar Decathlon.
Approximately 100 students stayed around Dexter from 11 a.m. to noon, listening to Pleasantly blast groovy tunes from their solar-powered instruments. Philosophy junior Thomas Sypkens, bassist and vocalist for Pleasantly, was excited to play for Solar Cal Poly and The Merry Hoopsters.
“They’re always around the shows,” Sypkens said. “We’ve played with them before, but not necessarily for a function like this.”
English junior Kevin Hegyi, on guitar and vocals, was happy with the crowd.
“They were really into it,” Hegyi said. “It was nice.”
According to Meniktas, the music helps bring people together.
“I feel like a lot of people are tentative,” Meniktas said. “They’re like ‘Oh, this seems like a … different crowd.’ But just come join the sun and the music, it’s fun.”
Parr agreed, adding that she hoped the event helped open people up to a renewable energy lifestyle.
“It’s possible to bring people together, no matter what you’re doing in your day, what major you are or what directions you’re going in,” Parr said. “To bring everyone together for a free concert, it’s just incredible.”