► You can now eat the plates and cutlery along with your pizza – but what if it wasn’t unhealthy, god-knows-where-the-meat-came-from pizza? Progressing from edible cutlery to clean eating, the Glastonbury Festival in England gives priority to vendors who use local, organic and fair-trade produce. Others, like Shambhala in Canada, have removed meat from the menu entirely. The vegans stalking these grounds would certainly be pleased.
What was the idea behind an “ecologically crafted” music festival?
Living in Bengaluru, we’re exposed to the rapid erosion of natural resources. So it’s the need of the hour to wake up and start creating a responsible ecosystem. Music is universal, and we decided to use it as a platform to spread the message of a more ecoaware way of life.
How did Echoes of Earth come together?
Every touchpoint of the festival goes through a filter of reuse, recycle and reduce. About four months prior to the festival, our production team, along with artists, scout junkyards to collect material to work with, that’s then used to build all our stages, art installations, signages, etc.
Each of the four Echoes stages is designed to complement a genre, or a few similar styles of music. In 2017, our theme was bugs of the ecosystem: So the Dragonfly and Spider stages were made from metal waste, while our Channapatna stage had a 55-foot-tall doll that was 100 per cent organically built with bamboo, wood, paper, rice glue and natural dyes, and integrated a junked Columbus ship.
The entire festival was a no-plastic zone, with only biodegradable cutlery and crockery allowed on-site. To discourage the use of disposable water bottles, we placed RO filters everywhere. We also conducted a sapling drive after the festival, where more than 2,000 were planted in and around Bengaluru.
How do the festival attendees respond?
People carry their own water bottles and dispose of their trash responsibly. Despite having twice the amount of people, compared to our first year, the waste generated at the 2017 edition was greatly reduced. There was also no damage done to the festival grounds: 150 acres of a horse-riding school. Every last piece of metal was picked up on-site to prevent injuries to the horses.
What’s this year’s theme?
The ocean. We’ve tied up with NGOs to help us put together the concept, which will possibly see a panel discussion on marine conservation, along with exhibits, workshops and even sessions on waste management. And we’ve planned for two stages to be solar-powered, along with more production coming from recyclable materials.
The vision of Echoes is twofold. The first is to produce and showcase a responsible large-scale event. The second and larger vision is to spread awareness among a socially conscious audience, which is where we see scope for engagement every year.
Echoes of Earth takes place in Bengaluru on December 1-2 ■