One of the dangers associated with the question of sustainable development at a festival is to fall back to hypes and to offer “standard” solutions you’ll find in the sector
We chose to entrust our ecological aspect to the non-profit organisation Dour Développement Durable ASBL (3D Asbl).
In its origins, the association was founded to make young people aware of the importance of sorting garbage and respecting the environment, but also because the first members had already cooperated in cleaning up the festival grounds after the event. This has enabled them to develop sorting methods adapted to the events sector and more specifically to the requirements of a festival the size of Dour Festival, located in the centre of natural surroundings, where animals return after 5 days.
Since Dour Festival has been working with 3D asbl, we have seen a visible evolution in terms of ecological impact!
We always make sure to consider proposed options in their context, taking into account our own constraints and the availability of every element, and this at different levels:
On the Walloon level, with Festival Wallonie#Demain
Festivals Wallonie Demain, launched 4 years ago by the Walloon Minister for Environment as part of the project Wallonie Plus Propre, aims to make Walloon festivals more eco-friendly and to raise public awareness of more eco-friendly behaviour.
Follow all the activities of Festivals Wallonie#Demain!
On the European level, with DEMO and PowerVIBES
DEMO – Transforming the music sector into a driving force for sustainability
Dour Festival is also DEMO, a cross-border project of Interreg V France – Wallonia – Flanders, organized with the help of 11 cultural and professional partners in sustainable development aiming at a more Durable and Ecological development in the Music sector and its Operators.
The objectives? To promote sustainable development through integrated resource management and to stimulate in an innovative, creative and sustainable way the cultural and tourist heritage as well as the richness of our cross-border position.
The missions? Designing and testing innovative projects in the field of sustainable development at our events with the help of all DEMO partners and thus creating a synergy and joint solutions in the music sector.
PowerVIBES – when festivals control their energy consumption!
“We did not wait for the innovations; we want to shape them ourselves”.
As a festival we are looking for innovative ways to use our resources intelligently, use sustainable solutions and to reduce CO2 emissions. That is why Dour Festival is participating in the development of the GEM Tower as part of the European project Interreg NEW PowerVIBES.
At festivals, diesel generators are still a very important source of electricity due to the large amount of energy required.
The use of diesel generators has some major drawbacks:
- Considerable CO2 emissions
- Noise nuisance (the constant hum of the generators)
- The bad smell
However, the latest development in renewable energy makes it possible to generate large quantities of electricity in an efficient and cost-effective way using only renewable resources.
PowerVIBES aims to reduce festivals’ carbon footprint by 20% by making diesel generators superfluous. Instead, affordable and reliable energy is produced from renewable resources wind, biomass, and solar power. To illustrate, if the Netherlands’ summer festivals cut their diesel consumption by 10%, over 1.000.000 litres of diesel and over 3,000 tonnes of CO2 is saved annually.
This project combines a vertical axis wind turbine, PV panels, and a battery, all customized in a containerized unit and with a bio-fuel generator as backup. All are connected in a smart grid. Two of such transportable units (with smart grid) will be built and tested on in total 16 festival sites. This extensive testing regime is essential as of large differences among festivals, as they operate under significantly different legal, technical, seasonal, locational, and environmental conditions. This process of reflection and feedback (with a loop of testing-analysing-adjusting-implementing after each test) leads to a (practically) universally applicable system, to be used in all countries of the NWE region.
This energy production is completely clean. Therefore, the unit can be clearly visible on a festival site to reach an audience of millions that experiences this sustainable energy concept.
In collaboration with the non-profit organisation 3D, Dour Festival is constantly developing and innovating with the aim of returning the location to its original state after the festival. This clear focus on sustainability means that the vzw 3D participates in all development phases and stages to give practical ideas from the user’s point of view. It regularly reflects, discusses and advises on various topics.
The vzw 3D is involved in testing, monitoring and evaluating the model in the context of Dour Festival.
More information about the project Interreg NWE PowerVIBES: nweurope.eu
Thanks to its commitment at Dour Festival and its daily activities, the non-profit 3D is the representative for sustainable developments at the festival. And for the projects Festivals Wallonie#Demain, DEMO and PowerVIBES.