Rhythm and Alps music festival goes eco-friendly

Source: 1News

Thousands of music fans are settling in for a three-day party at the Rhythm and Alps festival near Wanaka.

While most are pitching tents at the site in the Cardrona Valley, some are taking advantage of a new eco-friendly approach to camping. 

Festival-goers have been lining up for one of the biggest gigs of the summer, budget tents in hand.

But the short-term accommodation solution brings its own problems.

"They'll go into The Warehouse or Bunnings and buy a cheap tent for $15, $20. After three days it's stuffed. And they leave it behind," Jeremy Bisson of Wanaka Wastebusters told 1 NEWS.

Now festival organisers are offering a more sustainable option - tents made out of cardboard.

"The 'Kartents' arrive flatpacked, and they're really quick to build," Fiona McMartin of Rhythm and Alps said.

The tents are popular in Europe, but it's the first time they've featured at a Kiwi festival.

They're set up in advance for campers, and while the cardboard has got a waterproof coating, it is recyclable.

"Festivals indeed do produce a lot of waste, huge amounts. So any step you can take to divert, or educate or have a better impact is really crucial and important," Ms McMartin said.

Each tent adds $70 to the ticket cost, with airbeds and sleeping bags extra. 

This year Rhythm and Alps is also getting rid of single-use cups. Instead festival goers will use plastic cups. They'll pay a one-off $3 fee, and when they bring the cup back they'll get a new one.

Ms McMartin said it's about "really lessening that impact and making sure that people are responsible for what's in their hand and what's not going on the ground as well".

Mr Bisson said the eco-friendly approach means the festival is cleaner, "but also you get this attitudinal change in people".

Taking the green approach means festival-goers can party with a conscience.