Communal dancefloor energy at one of
the world's most sustainable music festivals.

Paradise City awarded highest festival sustainability certification.

Posted on
Jan 29, 2024

Four stars, four years in a row.

Paradise City meticulously tracks and evaluates its energy, water, and waste data every year. Following the success of the 2023 edition with over 43,000 visitors, Paradise City is thrilled to announce that we have received an 'outstanding' certification from A Greener Festival, earning four stars for the fourth consecutive year. To put these achievements into context, we're happy to share the collected data from last summer.

In A Greener Festival's own words:

"Not only a shining example of festival sustainability, Paradise City has made it hip to be green. The festival exudes care for the future in every communication, encouraging guests to travel mindfully with initiatives such as specially arranged night trains, campsites with equipment lending and repurposing, and trash policies and deposits. On-site, the festival honours its beautiful castle and forest setting with solar-powered stages, reusable serviceware, electric service vehicles and repurposed decor. Vegetarian or vegan food can be selected based on taste, price or carbon footprint, and water bottles can be filled at stations around the site. A clever layout allows toilet facilities to be flipped for campsite or festival use, and every year, Paradise City introduces further front-end or back-end measures to reduce their impact further. In 2023, higher-capacity batteries were introduced to reduce generator hours, the recycling park was expanded, and children from local schools were invited to help in a water conservation project on-site. We look forward to more innovation in 2024!"

This certification reflects our extraordinary efforts in significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions, implementing excellent travel, transport, food, and waste management programs, protecting the environment, minimizing water use, and effectively communicating these efforts to the public.

Sustainability Results of Paradise City 2023

Solar-powered Contrast Stage

At the heart of Paradise City's green efforts is the Contrast Stage, which was 99.22% powered by solar energy. This remarkable achievement is credited to the Eneco Solar Island, seamlessly blending music, a chill-out zone, and renewable energy. In total, we ramped up the total surface of solar panels on-site to an impressive 435m2, of which more than half were used to power the Contrast Stage. Another big chunk of the total solar energy share was primarily used for the production zone. The large 170m2 solar panel near the Castle Stage was plugged into the festival’s power grid.

An entirely meat-free food court

Since offering meat does not align with our green philosophy, the 2023 edition was the first Paradise City with a completely vegetarian food offer (in 2022, there was one food truck that served fish). As a result, we managed to lower the average carbon emissions of each dish sold to 0.42 kgCO2 - all of which was transparently communicated to visitors through our CO2 calculator at our food court. With this information, hungry dancers could easily see how much emissions each available dish represented. Taken together, the total emissions from food represent a significant reduction from the previous year's 0.55 kgCO2 and successfully achieve our goal of staying below 0.50 kgCO2, as outlined in our Green Deal.

10,000 train rides

As previously identified, visitor car transport is by far the most significant source of carbon emissions related to our event (and most festivals in general). This is why we focused on promoting alternative transport options. Thousands of attendees chose eco-friendly train journeys to and from Vilvoorde station, which had an electric shuttle connection with the festival site provided by Brussels Airport. Our other partner, Bombay Sapphire, provided two party trains - complete with DJs and a bar - further promoting alternative transport. This conscious choice reduces individual carbon footprints and aligns with our commitment to responsible event management. In the future, we will continue working towards improving train transport options.

Pedalling to Paradise

A noteworthy trend in our visitors' behaviour is the increasing number of visitors opting for two-wheeled travel to the festival. The surge in cyclists signifies a positive shift towards sustainable transportation choices. In response to this growing trend, we promise an expanded and enhanced bike park for the upcoming year, ensuring that the eco-friendly influx of attendees is met with ample and secure parking spaces.

In conclusion

There are still some data to be assessed and processed, like water and waste figures. However, we are confident that these will return positive. Paradise City Festival has orchestrated an impressive symphony of sustainability, demonstrating that passion for music and environmental responsibility can coexist harmoniously. From trying out new things to transparently sharing our findings, we aim to set a precedent for other music festivals, proving that enjoying a good day out on the dance floor doesn't need to come at the expense of our environment. We dream big - and we can't wait to show you what we have in store for 2024.