One of NorthSides core values is sustainability. A festival is basically a big challenge, since many people with a high level of consumption are gathered in a small area of space in a short and intense period of time. But we accept this challenge and we want to push forward the development of sustainability at festivals.
WASTE AS A RESOURCE
In 2012, we collaborated with sustainability agency WorldPerfect about waste sorting and communication of our green visions. With ‘SouthSide’ as a testing area, we therefore had so-called “Trash Talkers” help the audience sort waste in five ambitious sections, and we had environmental company Marius Pedersen manage our waste afterwards.
In 2013, we enhanced the green ambitions. Our goal was to sort waste at the festival site and in all stalls. On the site we focused on leftovers, and behind the stalls we sorted in six sections. Together with WorldPerfect, all the stalls and the dedicated volunteers, we manage to sort at recycle 20 tonnes of waste at NorthSide 2013.
Festival visitors are greeted at the entry by tuxedoed “Trash Butlers” who come equipped with handheld vacuum cleaners and pocket ashtrays to give off the appearance of cleanliness.
The 16 “Trash Talkers” on site make sure festivalgoers are greeted with a clean space -and that the green areas stay green. Volunteers from as far away as Canada and Ireland help collect trash, which is separated on site. Still, a 100-percent environmentally-friendly festival is hardly possible.
Backstage, crew members are busy separating trash around the clock. With the goal of at least 60 percent of the trash to be recycled, even the small stands selling beer and candy need to sort their waste into seven different categories.
The majority of visitors to the festival arrive either by bike or on foot. There’s no parking lot available for those who arrive by car. The thousands of bicycles can be locked up at the “BikeSide” lot for free. Security guards watch over the two-wheelers. A small repair shop ensures that a flat tire won’t leave you stranded.
We use a lot of wood to build NorthSide, both in stalls and bars, and as part of fixtures and decoration. That’s why we, in 2013, launched a fundraiser for Verdens Skove, where we raised money to restore the rainforest in an area corresponding to the festival site.
At the same time, we focus on the supply of food and drink on NorthSide. We require our suppliers to deliver organic products and also prefer local products instead of products to be transported far.
The food stands offer items that meet Danish standards for organics by around 90 percent. With an emphasis placed on regional products, festivalgoers can eat, for example, a grilled goat which was raised in the central Jutland province.
All posters and flyers are printed on stone paper, which is a environmentally friendly alternative to plastic-coated paper. In the production of stone paper, half the amount of energy is used compared to plain paper, and furthermore, not a single drop of water is used, and no trees are felled.
Stenpapir.dk have made a calculation of how much of an environmental impact NorthSide saves by printing on stone paper:
- Energy: 14,000 kJ
- Water: 23,600 liters of water
- Wood: 680 kg