This weekend, the summer festival season has officially kicked off in Barcelona with Primavera Sound. Like last year’s Kubick (the recycled pop-up club) and the upcoming Daydream festival (a tribute to Radiohead), this pop, rock, as well as underground electronic music festival also takes place in the Forum Park, right by the sea. One thing that is hard to miss is the massive solar panel located at the Forum Esplanade. It is said to be the largest urban solar structure in Europe, which is no surprise considering it has a surface of 10.500 m2. The electricity produced by this structure is delivered to the electric public utility system and achieves an annual reduction in emissions equivalent to 440 tons of CO2.The system for capturing light energy uses monocrystalline technology and is made up of tiny silicon wafers that convert sunlight into electricity. In order to maximize solar exposure throughout the year, the panel faces south and is tilted at a 35° angle. Another advantage is that it offers shade during the daytime, perfect to keep the dancing crowd fresh.
Primavera Sound is proud to hold their event at such an original site, even if they don’t directly use the solar energy to power their event. They admit to feel the pressure of bands as well as fans to make their music events eco-friendlier. A lot can still be done here in Spain, regarding the energy use and waste production at music events like Primavera Sound, which attracted over 62.000 visitors last year. One positive thing of gigs held at the Forum Park in Barcelona is the excellent public transport system that connects the site with the centre of the city. Hardy anyone is crazy enough to use their private car to get there and back. Instead, we find that cycling is the best option. Now that the government has extended the Bicing bike sharing network until the Forum, it takes only half an hour of muscle power to get to the event. Primavera Sound added additional bike parking to the site for those who come on their own bicycle.
An effort was also made to reduce the amount of plastic bags. So this year, the 20.000 information packs that are being handed out come in a paper bag, rather than a plastic one. It has to be said that no analysis has been done to find out whether in this case, paper is really the greener option. (More about paper versus plastic bags here.) A small solace is Primavera Sound working with B:SM to recycle all the waste created during the 3-day festival. Of course we would prefer to have less waste produced in the first place, by using re-usable and/or biodegradable cups for example, as they do at the Latitude festival in the UK or at the FreeFunk Festival in the Netherlands. Right, now it’s time to get ready for Rufus Wainwright, Portishead and Cat Power tonight. All you need is a bike (or metro ticket), a refillable water bottle (to cut down on those plastic bottles) and an entrance ticket! ::Primavera Sound ::Forum Park