How do you design an outdoor music festival which leaves no trace? That was the goal of Pickathon founder Zale Schoenborn when he and his team envisioned an eco roots music festival in the outskirts of Portland Oregon. Since it was launched in 1999, Pickathon Music Festival has been the only waste-free and plastic-free outdoor music festival in the US, featuring solar-powered structures and an outdoor stage designed to be dismantled and recycled at the end of the concert. When students from Portland State University were tasked with designing a recyclable stage for the 2014 concert, they rose to the challenge with an incredible structure built entirely out of recycled shipping pallets. Check out this exclusive behind-the-scenes video that documents the development of this portable stage, which will help to ensure that the wild concert experience will leave no trace on the surrounding environment.



pickathon music festival, happy valley oregon, treeline stage, eco-friendly music festival, eco outdoor music festival, eco concerts, sustainable concerts, sustainable stage design, eco concert design, solar powered lighting, ecoshuttle Photo by Tim LaBarge

The design-build students from Portland State University spent months working on ideas to formulate a design based on the concept of recycled shipping pallets. They finally arrived at this eye-catching, undulating form, which is 40 ft by 60 ft and utilizes 520 shipping pallets and 6,000 screws. At it’s highest point it is 18 feet off the ground with a snaking structure that undulates off of the back of the stage. The stage, backdrop, and seating are all comprised of these recycled pallets, creating a rustic venue that’s ideal for the grassroots concert series.

pickathon music festival, happy valley oregon, treeline stage, eco-friendly music festival, eco outdoor music festival, eco concerts, sustainable concerts, sustainable stage design, eco concert design, solar powered lighting, ecoshuttlePhoto by Tim LaBarge

This portable concert venue was dismantled at the end of the festival and left no hint of its existence a week after the show finished. The shipping pallets got to have a nice “vacation” being part of a music festival, and now – much like the concert-goers – they’ve gone back to their day jobs of shipping products around the country.

pickathon music festival, happy valley oregon, treeline stage, eco-friendly music festival, eco outdoor music festival, eco concerts, sustainable concerts, sustainable stage design, eco concert design, solar powered lighting, ecoshuttle Photo by Jason Redmond

Along with the Tree Line Stage’s no-trace construction and six other low impact stages, Pickathon is also the only concert festival to offer solar-powered lighting, 100 percent plastic-free single-use dishware, recycling and composting facilities, and even an EcoShuttle to and from public transportation hubs.

+ Pickathon Music Festival