A duo from the Netherlands assume they’ve the answer to Eire’s festival-season tent-trashing behavior, writes Ellie O’Byrne.
Jan Portheine had by no means been to a music pageant when a pal confirmed him an image of the notorious Glastonbury clean-up: A sea of low-cost, discarded tents, stretching so far as the attention can see.
Shocked, he researched additional and found that in his native Netherlands, 25% of punters deserted their tent on the finish of a weekend at a pageant.
Issues aren’t any totally different in Eire: The previous two years, footage of campsites plagued by deserted tents following Eire’s greatest music pageant, Electrical Picnic, have induced outcry and calls to make festivals extra sustainable. (After Glastonbury final weekend, Emily Eavis mentioned 99.three% of the tents introduced by punters have been taken dwelling.)
A skilled architect, Portheine met industrial designer Wout Kommer at Cleantech Problem, an progressive sustainable design competitors on the College of Delft. Collectively, they got here up with a stunning answer to tent-trashing: Cardboard.
Their firm, Kartent, now sells recyclable cardboard tents that sleep two and can be utilized for 3 days, even, apparently, in a usually wet Irish summer season. They’re energetic at festivals within the US, Australia, and the EU — together with Eire.
Kartents are delivered to taking part festivals, the place they’re pre-pitched. Punters are then inspired to embellish their tent with the help of paints, crayons, and different artwork supplies, to make their weekend dwelling stand out from the group.
Waste left behind at a pageant
After the celebration’s over, the Kartents are dismantled and shipped to the Netherlands for recycling. They aren’t instantly pulped; as a substitute, in a much more emission-efficient system, the intact cardboard is lower to patterns and transformed to furnishings or bins for a house removals agency earlier than the residual cuttings are pulped.
“The merchandise we make from the outdated tents are very nice as a result of they’ve paint and crayons on them,” Portheine says. “While you lower them, you don’t see full drawings, however they’re vibrant.”
Whereas many commentators heap disgrace on festival-goers for ditching tents, Portheine says punters have causes aside from hungover laziness for abandoning their short-term lodging.
“The rationale younger folks go away these tents behind just isn’t solely as a result of they’re lazy, however as a result of they’re on a low finances,” he says. “Low-cost tents break actually simply as a result of they’re designed to.”
With that in thoughts, cardboard is an affordable materials that may provide an answer for a comparable value to forking out for a so-called “pageant tent”, like these offered by Irish retailers over the summer season.
The Glastonbury clear up in 2017
It’s light-weight, surprisingly sturdy, and celebration folks would possibly admire that the inside of a cardboard tent stays blessedly darkish and funky within the morning when that hangover makes its ungodly presence felt.
However the backside line is all the time going to be cash, Portheine says, particularly for greater festivals. “We have now been attempting to get our tents into Electrical Picnic for 4 years straight as a result of we really feel we will convey a very massive profit,” he says.
However we’re having hassle with greater festivals as a result of the margin they earn on pre-pitch lodging is rather more than with us. So we’re a much less attention-grabbing possibility for them in the intervening time. Smaller unbiased festivals are actually extra prepared to interact with our answer.
Tents might be made out of a mixture of various supplies together with nylon, plastics, and metals of various grades, and are troublesome to recycle, though there have been a few vogue start-ups manufacturing moist gear from disposed-of tents.
Reuse is preferable to recycling within the perfect waste hierarchy, Portheine acknowledges: “In the event you purchased an costly tent to make use of your entire life, that will be higher than for the setting than our system, after all. However in the way in which that festivals and the enterprise of tents goes, we’re not seeing that being carried out in the intervening time.”
Folks can beautify their cardboard tent with paints, crayons, and different artwork supplies, to make their weekend dwelling stand out from the group.
As a result of their massive measurement, Kartents are solely out there as a pre-pitch possibility; in Eire that’s carried out by pageant provides supply firm Pamper The Camper.
The following Irish pageant to function Kartents is that this weekend’s Eternally Younger, the brand new ’80s-themed pageant which debuts this 12 months with a powerful ecological focus and a line-up together with the Human League and Kim Wilde.
The entrepreneurial firm are at present engaged on a prototype for a structurally dependable Kartent that matches in a backpack, which might be out there for retail. After that, Portheine hopes, the way forward for pageant tenting may very well be very corrugated certainly.
Kartents will probably be out there at Eire’s first ’80s pageant, Eternally Younger Pageant in Palmerstown Home, Naas, this weekend, July 5-7. For more information, go to foreveryoungfestival.ie