Bisco Power Mission Success
Less than a year after The Disco Biscuits played a sold-out show in New York to raise money toward the purchase of solar panels for a school, the band recently visited the Albert M. Greenfield Elementary School in their hometown of Philadelphia to see the results of their work.
"Bisco Power Mission," a joint project between The Disco Biscuits, the non-profit organization HeadCount and Mercury Solar Systems, helped Greenfield become the first public school in Philadelphia to install rooftop solar panels. The $35,000 installation will save the school over $43,000 in energy costs over the next 25 years.
HeadCount is a non-profit organization dedicated to registering voters and inspiring participation in democracy through the power of music. Since it started in 2004, the organization has registered over 150,000 voters. Along with the Grateful Dead's Bob Weir, HeadCount's Board of Directors includes well-known musicians, managers, promoters and top media publishers involved in the live music industry.
After visiting a class of fifth graders who have been learning about solar energy, The Disco Biscuit's bass player and co-chair of HeadCount said, "It was pretty amazing to see how it all came together. We always talk about harnessing the energy that music generates - well in this case we literally made that happen."
Adding an educational element to the project, the output of the photovaltaic panels is displayed in real time on a video monitor in the lobby of the school. Next to that is a plaque listing the names of Biscuit fans who helped make Bisco Power Mission possible by purchasing a commemorative poster with their concert ticket.
Proud of the fact that "every time the kids come into school they're getting a little reminder about solar and renewable energy" from the video moniter, The Disco Biscuits guitarist Jon Gutwillig hopes that "some of those kids will grow up to be engineers, and be more likely to work in renewable energy because of it."
The Bisco Power Mission concert was held on March 21 at New York City's environmentally-friendly music hall, the Brooklyn Bowl. The show raised $15,000 for "Greening Greenfield," the organization that is heading the school's five-phase greening project.