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Ecology

Sustainability and ecology are themes that have been very important since the beginning of Cactus Music centre. To Cactus Festival, this translates into an approach that puts a lot of focus on thinking about reducing one’s carbon footprint. To do so, we teamed up with our partner the National Lottery.

Utilising existing facilities

By using existing facilities on and around the festival park as much as we can we try to minimise the hiring of equipment and its necessary transport:

• We use existing utilities (electricity/water/sewerage) as much as possible, which means, among other things, that significantly fewer generators have to be hired. These existing facilities were recently significantly expanded at the request of Cactus.

• Existing buildings & their equipment are being used to set up artist lodges, thus minimising the hiring and transport of containers.

• The existing, permanent and privately operated sanitary facilities on the edge of the park will also be used during the festival.

• For both audiences and performers, only existing, fixed parking facilities around the park will be used.

• The festival campsite is operated by a local youth movement on their grounds. Almost all necessary infrastructure/material is permanently available there as well.

Location vs transport

• By using an existing town park, we do not have to ‘break into’ existing nature sites in terms of festival location.

• Due to its specific location, the festival is very easy to reach by public transport, bicycle or on foot.

• Both Bruges’ train and central bus stations are 300 metres from the entrance.

• The festival is easily accessible by bike up all the way to the entrance.

• At the entrance of the festival park, a large temporary bicycle parking with 1140 places will be provided, which will also be actively promoted.

• After the end of each festival day, in the absence of running public transport at that hour, one or more night buses will be put in towards Ghent, which is an important city in terms of ticket sales.

• The festival communication actively promotes alternatives to car use towards the festival.

• Based on the short-chain philosophy, we try to work with suppliers from the region as much as possible, both for logistics and for cooperation with exhibitors.

• As much as possible, we hire logistic material (tents, ramps, containers, city materials…) together with Feest In ‘t Park, which takes place in the festival park just before Cactusfestival, in order to limit the transport of material.

Equipment purchases

• The purchase of new material is limited as much as possible.

• When making necessary purchases, we try as far as possible to use sustainable and/or ecological material with a view to reuse (think of tarpaulins, furniture, signposting, kitchen equipment, working equipment, etc.). We store this in a warehouse close to the festival site.

Catering

• We work with reusable cups and a thorough return system.

• In our own festival kitchen, where we cook for artists and staff (400 meals a day and about 1,000 sandwiches a day), we work only with real crockery and cutlery.

• We only serve vegetarian meals for all staff and recommend this to the artists as well. For this, we work with professional, local caterer PUUR.

• The backstage bar works mainly with glasses.

• Food surpluses are distributed among volunteers or go to Poverello.

• Catering purchases are made as much as possible from local suppliers.

• We apply the short-chain principle, centralising as many orders as possible with one supplier to avoid unnecessary transport.

• Also at the festival market, among other things, a conscious effort will be made to offer vegetarian and vegan catering to the public.

• Compulsory agreements on the environment and sustainability are made with stallholders. Among other things, an environmental guarantee is in place, containers must be made of recyclable materials, plastic and aluminium foil are not allowed and waste produced must be sorted, etc.

Waste

• Waste produced at the festival is selectively sorted and collected by type of material.

• The festival’s environmental and cup team (80 people) continuously ensures the cleanliness of the festival park and carries out separate waste collection.

• The extensive return system ensures that almost all beverage containers (cups and PMD) are collected again.

• The cup team ensures efficient separation of the different types of waste (reusable cups and PMD cans/bottles).

• The handing out of gadgets by sponsors is kept to a minimum and external flyering/sampling is not allowed.

Energy, water usage

• We use the existing, fixed electricity grid as much as possible, keeping the use of generators to an absolute minimum.

• All mood lighting used is LED lighting. The stage lighting is also slowly but surely evolving in this direction.

• Water usage is via existing water connections and separated sewers.

• For several years now, we have been using water-flushed vacuum toilets for the audience instead of chemical toilets. Vacuum toilets provide water savings of about 90%.

• Showers and toilets for the performers are located in existing infrastructures that have savings buttons.

With thanks to National Lottery participants