The Neenan Company, an architecture and construction business in Fort Collins, Colo., invited its employees to enter a contest to create a portable, biodegradable, recyclable or sustainably produced festival tent for the launch of the first Eco Music (EMU) festival in Snowmass, Co. The winner, Ben Shepard, a 3D animator with Neenan, excited EMU organizers and Facebook voters with the X Tent, which uses only sustainably sourced materials in construction and is expandable and easy to deploy with few people and minimal tools.
The X Tent unfolds into a cross-like structure of wooden beams made from wood salvaged from trees killed by pine beetles (a locally sourced and milled product). Sustainable bamboo poles connect the wood frames together. The canopy is made of reclaimed military surplus MC-4 parachutes, made of double-layered fabric that blocks radiant heat, wind and rain, while allowing entry of natural light. The festival used the X Tent, along with tree plantings and biodegradable plasticware for food and beverages, to offset the 1.2 million pounds of carbon dioxide produced during the event. Parallel EMU events with different ecological initiatives took place in Glastonbury, England, and Roskilde, Denmark.