Festival going sustainable
Soundsplash Festival is returning to Raglan following an eight-year hiatus.
With the second line-up announcement having just been released, the three-day ecofriendly event looks to make a spectacular comeback in January.
On the top of the bill are renowned local artists Tiki Taane, Hollie Smith, Six60, Little Bushman and State of Mind, to a name but a few on a solid list of more than 30 acts, including overseas performers and DJs.
Soundsplash organiser Naomi Ruawai said the event used to be called Soundsplash Eco Reggae Festival, with an “eco zone” set out to run workshops about sustainability practices, how to look after the environment as a community and as an individual.
“We now incorporate the sustainability within all areas of the festival the best we can, solar power for charging devices, biodegradable packaging with all vendors, bamboo structures, and composting our waste,” said Ruawai.
Having been to various concerts, festivals, cultural or sporting events where she saw rubbish scattered widely on the ground, Ruawai wanted to see Soundsplash take a further step up in sustainability.
Her children attended Whaingaroa Kohanga Reo, where she was kaitiaki or parent help. She learned about recycling through the systems that were in place there, and started to buy products in packaging that could either be recycled or reduced.
“This is where Imet my friends Rick Thorpe and Liz Stanway from Xtreme Zero Waste, who taught me a lot about reducing waste,” said Ruawai.
“Many years on, it has led to the last festival waste being converted into compost by Liz.”
The team effort between Soundsplash and Xtreme Zero Waste has enabled the creation of a zero waste plan.
“For me, it starts with the vendors— what is their packaging, what is it made of, and how could the festival minimise waste packaging and not create more unnecessary waste?” said Ruawai. “I found that many products are sold with no regard to what packaging is used. Those products won’t be sold by vendors at the festival. All vendors must have biodegradable packaging.”
Xtreme Zero Waste is providing clearly marked bins for recycling, compost and landfill, with volunteers stationed at the bin sites to guide the waste into the correct ones.
We now incorporate the sustainability within all areas of the festival the best we can
Naomi Ruawai Soundsplash Festival owner
Attendees at Soundsplash will be encouraged to minimise waste. Those camping will be given bio bags to dispose of organic materials, and times will be set for them to put their bio bags out for collection during the three-day festival.
“There is always learning to be gained, especially if products keep getting packaged to effect the environment and communities,” said Ruawai. “Next festival we are introducing plastic bag-free, to reduce the plastic bags onsite. We will have workshops including wellbeing and eco practices, giving attendees tools to go home with and create or add to their own awareness with sustainable practices.”
Soundsplash returns to Raglan in January.