As you might have seen on our Instagram Stories, we went to a festival in Belgium last weekend. We travelled to a little village near Brussels for Paradise City Festival. The Belgium-based festival is one of the few that is doing everything in its power to be ecological. It’s known for its electronic music. It was one of the cleanest party sites we’ve ever seen! There wasn’t a single empty cup on the ground and we’ve never seen a place with more vegan food options before.
This all made us think of those huge festivals where you need to jump over a bunch of empty beer cups every few steps, just to be able to walk around without tripping. Is it really that hard for festivals to be clean and ecological? To find out, we took a look at what Paradise City is doing right and wrong to keep its festival green.
A 10 steps process
Any gathering of a large number of people can have a potential negative impact on air, soil, water, resources and people. This includes not only the location where the event takes place, but also the impacts beyond. Paradise City claims to minimize these potential negative impacts. They’ve created a 10 steps process to make sure to be a green festival.
The first few steps include things like working with green energy, serving filtered tap water, a proper waste management plan and eco toilets. But there’s also less obvious things like serving future food. The food trucks on the festival site aren’t your average food trucks. At Paradise City Festival, you’ll be able to eat a Dutch Weed Burger, for example. The festival is also entirely meat-free. They use 100 % locally sourced and organically grown food and ingredients from a fair-trade source.
Transportation from and to the terrain is something we think could use some more improvement. On the website, they say it’s best to carpool to the location. Other options are a train to Vilvoorde, which is 6.5 kilometers from the festival’s location. So you’d still be forced to take an uber to get there. As a result of the bad accessibility, lots of people just took a taxi from home to the location, which isn’t good for their ecological footprint at all.
Something we thought was very funny, was the festival’s idea of camping. Paradise City offered every festival goer a 100% recycled cardboard tent. How cool is that?! The cardboard tent is made to resist a few days of rain, so it should be perfectly fine to sleep in. (photo on top of this article)
Partnering with like-minded brands
One extra thing a festival can do to enforce its message is to collaborate with brands who share the same values. Paradise City found that shared message in Neubau’s line of sustainable eyewear. The eyewear brand had its own corner at the festival where they showcased the new collection as well as the current collections.
Urbanity and sustainability combined with authenticity and ingenious wit, that’s how you could describe Neubau eyewear. one of the brand’s slogans is “SEE & DO GOOD”. It stands for the efforts to respect the environment and to enjoy aesthetics at the same time. Conscious consumption and forward-looking production are the focus. That starts with the material of the frames, but also affects the material of its spectacle case, cleaning cloths, the POS material, as well as the support of social projects empowering nature in urban surroundings.
We tried some of the brand’s sunglasses at the festival site and we loved them. The frames are very light and easy to wear.
Photo credits: Jonathan Vahsen Photography