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Festivals going vegan and carbon neutral parties: the way we enjoy ourselves is changing

  • Patrick Swift
  • 24 June 2016

2016 is all about ethical partying. Iceland’s Secret Solstice is running on volcano power (and zero carbon), festivals are starting up with the explicit aim of raising money for charity, and DGTL in Amsterdam, Comunite in Mexico and Outline Festival in Moscow are completely vegetarian. Combining good PR with giving something back seems like a no brainer, but why is this happening now?

“People long to do good”, says Marco Wijnakker of Amsterdam festival NieuwLicht. It’s raising money for a different charity each year, with Niños de Guatemala (NDG), a charity aiming to stop the cycle of poverty in Guatemala by providing education, supported in 2016. Each year, everyone involved in NieuwLicht will donate part of their entrance fee. “Our lives are changing quite rapidly, through the digital revolution. Money is shifting as a centre in our lives, and people are searching for more meaning.”

Marco has a point; beyond good causes, it’s a heightened consciousness that characterises this movement. “I just went to Bloc Weekender and the music was great and the people awesome, but the food was crap Butlins food and it was just cheap cider, beer and vodka to drink”, says Kim Booth, owner of promotion company Rebel Butterfly. Now she’s organising spiritually minded, free Cosmic Pineapple parties to be held at Pikes Hotel this September. “Think Burning Man vibes in Ibiza”, says Kim. Meanwhile in London, new night LIK has just had its second sell-out party. Its main selling point: no alcohol and zero tolerance for drugs. We’re not talking your local church group’s knees-up here; with underground house and techno DJs and a great sound system, LIK is ‘mindful clubbing’.

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