Boom Festival – An environmentally sustainable festival

The Boom Festival is a multicultural arts and music event driven by a strong ethos for the environment. It takes place around the shores of a stunning lake in the heart of the Portuguese
countryside from 28 July until 4 August 2012.

The location
The festival takes place in Idanha-a-Nova, situated within the Geopark Meseta Meridional – a bioregional area containing a complex eco-system of its own soils, landforms, watersheds,
climates as well as native plants and animals. An intelligent understanding of the environment has been critical to the festival’s permaculture and environmental program, which is based on the context of the bioregional framework. The Boom Festival Environmental Program The meticulous production of the Boom pivots around an intense environmental program. The
festival has successfully implemented a number of initiatives as it progresses towards the ultimate goal of taking the entire festival completely off the grid.

Initiatives include:
Boom Off the Grid: Taking one giant leap towards this goal, this year, Boom takes both its Healing and Sacred Fire areas completely off grid – that’s 25 percent of the entire festival.
Your Oil is Music: Boom’s plan for alternative energy has been evolving over recent years: in 2008, it launched the project: Your Oil is Music, collecting 45,000 litres of waste vegetable oil
for its generators; preventing the emission of 117,000kg of C02 into the atmosphere.
The Boom Lab: Launched in 2010, the Boom Lab built five photovoltaic stations – a move that helped bring the festival even closer to becoming independent of the mainstream electrical
Principles of Permaculture: Planting of edible gardens and flowers beds; nourishing the land using natural composting materials, implementation of ingenious ideas for growing organic food
in hot, dry climates.
Water: Boom’s system for recycling water has been in place since 2008 and is based on plants, bioremediation and evapotranspiration. The 2010 edition saw the launch of the STAR
water treatment unit, based on bio-remediation and evapotranspiration, treating 100 percent of all waste water at Boom. A total of 5.5 million litres of wastewater was treated.
Bio-construction: All structures across the site built using sustainable materials including adobe, cane, stone, bamboo and straw-bale.
Composting toilets: 95 percent of the toilets at Boom 2010 were composting toilets – the cleanest most odour-free toilets to be found at a festival of this scale. Built from scratch on site,
they generated 70,000 litres of organic, high quality liquid fertilizer for agricultural production.
Waste Management: The Boom Ecoteam comprises a total of 150 volunteers that collect all the waste and recyclables on site. The team works around the clock collecting rubbish for the
waste conversion facility, which compacts everything to send to the municipal system. There is also a system in place to recycle compost organics.
Fair Trade and Local Brands: Boom supports fair trade, opting for local brands and small companies
Eco-Art: The power of art is most profound when created with nature. Vast gardens become works of art as environ-artists work with natural materials, demonstrating sustainable and
creative ways of connecting with nature.
AWARDS: Boom’s dedication to creating an environmentally sustainable festival has reaped the following awards:
• Greener Festival Award in 2008 and 2010 (for Outstanding Prize)
• European Festival Award 2010 (for Green ‘n’ Clean Festival of the Year)

Basics such as fruit, vegetables, animal products, olive oil, water, local beer (made from natural ingredients) and materials for building and construction, are locally sourced.
Permaculture principles drive the environmental program, allowing choices that enhance the ecology, economy and culture of the place while serving as a self-supply solution to the
temporary resource shortfalls that many of us have experienced around the world.

Boom Videos: /


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