Awards & Rewards

There are countless awards and reward systems to motivate both festival companies and festival guests to act more responsibly.

The possibility of receiving awards for special commitment to environmental protection has been available for many years. Such formats include the "Green'n'Clean Award" of the European festival association yourope, the "Green Operations Award" or the "A Greener Festival Award". However, the effect of these awards seems to be rather small, probably also due to the lack of uniformity and clarity of such awards.

Much more promising in this respect is the introduction of rewards for guests by the festival companies. Such incentive systems not only draw attention to the relevance of the topic, but also actively reach those guests who otherwise might never have become involved in this area. Some festivals have already established corresponding options. Far away from electronic festivals, the "Rock im Park" festival in Nuremberg has been awarding the "Environmental Rocky" (Jakob 2017) for several years. Guests are asked to keep their camp as clean as possible and to upload proof photos under the hashtag #umweltrocky. The group must be visible on one picture and post one picture each during the festival and after the dismantling. As a prize the cleanest camp of the festival will receive a trophy and tickets for next year's edition.

In states where no national deposit system is established, recycling formats are alsoavailable. Tomorrowland offers guests, for example, a bracelet as a gift for seven returned bags with (exclusively) plastic bottles or cans. For this purpose a special stand, the "Recycle Clubhouse", is set up every year. To draw attention to the theme, there was a large beverage can sculpture in front of the stand in 2019, into which bottles and cans could be thrown. To visually accompany the recycling theme, there is a 3D printer behind a glass pane directly at the Recycling Clubhouse, which creates colorful seating furniture from the garbage. With this, the festival wants to show what is possible when waste is properly recycled (Love Tomorrow o. D.). In addition, DreamVille regularly issues so-called "recycling kits" - small boxes made from vegetable waste that contain rubbish bags (ibid.).

The Electric Forest festival in Rothbury, Michigan, installed a very direct form of reward, the "Electricology Prize Carts". These are mobile stores that move around the festival site and encourage guests to spontaneously pick up rubbish around them, which can then be given to the prize carts and exchanged for prizes.
Besides the possibility to win posters, T-shirts or other merchandise, visitors can also win "EcoPoints" and thus the chance to win a lifetime ticket for the festival (Mahal 2017)

The DGTL festival in Amsterdam goes one step further and uses the "Eco Coin", a currency that rewards guests for sustainable actions. For example, if a guest attends a workshop, he or she will receive Eco Coins and can later redeem them for rewards such as sustainable food, products, discounts or even access to a secret area of the festival site. The Eco Coin is coordinated using the DGTL app, which includes a simple start guide, an overview of all possible rewards and the places where the Eco Coins can be earned. (DGTL 2017).