Radiohead Pushes Festivals Like Daydream to Go Green

Radiohead LED light show at Daydream Festival in Barcelona photo

Images by Sergio Carratala

After Primavera Sound Festival got people dancing under the largest urban solar panel, the Barcelonians were lucky enough to attend the even greener festival Daydream (organised by Sinnamon), a tribute to no other than the band Radiohead. Barcelona was one of the cities Radiohead chose to visit with their 'Carbon Neutral World Tour'. A fantastic concert visualised brilliantly with an amazing light show. And there is much more to the pretty lights than just dancing colours.Radiohead's environmental theme is facilitated by energy-saving LED stage lighting designed by the band's production designer Andi Watson, and manufactured by i-Pix, the UK-based creators of innovative theater and stage lighting systems, who use Lamina's TitanTurbo LED light engine modules.

The project started around October last year when i-Pix president and chief engineer, Chris Ewington, visited Lamina to view a demonstration of their new narrow optic. The project went quickly from prototype to full production once Watson and Radiohead production manager Richard Young and lighting crew chief Andy Beller viewed the first prototype with the new Lamina narrow optic. "From our experience, most shows spend months in discussion and a maximum of six weeks in prep, so this timescale did not come as a surprise" stated Ewington. "The design period was condensed from six months to four days, the components were produced in two weeks, and the units built over two weeks."

Lamina is the only energy-efficient lighting company to have its entire portfolio of LED lighting products individually certified for CO2 emission avoidance. The New Jersey-based lighting company labels its products with a "green tag" which highlights their energy efficiency as compared to their traditional equivalents in the form of the amount of carbon dioxide offset. Each Lamina TitanTurbo LED has been certified to avoid over 3 tons of C02 emissions into the earth's atmosphere.

It is clear that this English rock band pushes festival organisers to make the events more eco-friendly, based on the results of a previous study Radiohead did with Best Foot Forward. The Sinnamon crew told us that the band requested real cutlery instead of disposable plates and cutlery, as well as water tanks to refill their bottles to avoid the use of plastic ones. A Radiohead-branded reusable water bottle was on sale at their merchandise stand amongst posters and t-shirts.

Sinnamon not only made an effort backstage to reduce the environmental footprint of the Daydream Festival, but fans were positively surprised and participating happily in recycling. The biggest step Sinnamon took was the introduction of a reusable cup service, already popular at festivals outside Spain, but never before applied to large festivals in Barcelona. The cups are fully recyclable and available for 1€ at the bar. It comes with a handy clip so you don't loose the cup, and at the end of the night you can either return it to get your Euro back, or take it home as a souvenir. After all it is a unique Radiohead-branded cup. The local company Ecofestes, who specialise in reusable and recyclable products for events, supplied the cups.

There were also recycling points for plastic water bottles. For every 5 empty bottles you received a full one instead. The result of these two recycling actions was clearly visible compared to other festivals: No body had to walk home though an ankle-high sea of plastic rubbish.

Also suggested by Radiohead, was the local volunteer group of Friends of the Earth (Amigos de la Tierra), who informed people about how to fight climate change and collected signatures to send to the politicians of each country (in this case Spain) to reduce CO2 emissions.

To save paper, both the festival program and didactic material on drug use by Energy Control was downloadable via Blootooth at the Nokia tent. ::Daydream Festival

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