Tuesday, July 29, 2008

posted by Jason @ 10:16 AM
While I was busy covering every inch of the 1200 acres at Rothbury's Double JJ ranch, the Europeans were also getting things going at their own similar-sounding eco-friendly music festival, Roskilde. When I first heard about this festival over the winter, I daydreamed about jetting over to Denmark for the week to camp, listen to music, and, erm, enjoy the local baked goods. Then the dollar decided to peg itself to Mexican Peso and the price of jet fuel went through the roof, and all of a sudden Rothbury looked a lot better. But I still want to go to Roskilde next year.

Springwise, a website that tracks cool new business trends, has been covering lots of green innovations in the European festival scene: bike, wind, and dance-powered cellphone chargers; rentable/reusable tents (including beer can tents); locals-only festivals; and now Roskilde. Here's what Springwise had to say about Roskilde's green efforts:

Trash is always a problem at summer music festivals, and Denmark's Roskilde Festival has typically been no exception. After the 2007 festival, it took more than 500 people several weeks to clean up the heaps of garbage left behind—at a cost of more than one million euros, the festival's organizers say. That's why this year's festival, which took place earlier this month, promoted the slogan "Less Trash—More Music" in its effort to control the leftover garbage.

Special red garbage bags were handed out to festival-goers throughout the course of the four-day event, with rewards in the form of free beer or chocolate milk for each bag collected, along with a chance to win more beer, festival kits, tents or tickets to next year's event. Through a competition sponsored by Tuborg, collectors of the most garbage (1,048 bags!) also won backstage passes to Neil Young's performance. For recyclables, meanwhile, Roskilde provided stands to collect cans, cardboard, drink containers and more. In exchange, participants were reportedly rewarded with cash refunds of roughly EUR 0.10 per bottle, allowing the most zealous of the festival's 67,000 paying attendees to come close to recouping the cost of their tickets. About 97 percent of the cups used at Roskilde's concession stands were brought back for recycling as a result, according to PSFK. Meanwhile, more than 1,600 sleeping bags left behind were donated to the homeless.

As if the music, the sustainability and the rewards for being clean weren't enough, attendees at this year's Roskilde got a little extra free love, too. In addition to the usual wrist band, festival-goers were given a condom (donated by Hanky Panky) and a set of earplugs (sponsored by TrygFonden), too. In Roskilde’s words: “Say goodbye to herpes and tinnitus.” In our words: Follow examples like that, and say hello to a new generation of loyal customers!

There was plenty of other green stuff at Roskilde, too. The festival, which started in 1971, got its first environmental audit in 1994 and has pages dedicated not just to environmental initiatives (start here) but also to climate protection activities. Looks like one worth attending!

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