Thank you for joining us! See you in 2023 // Werchter Boutique
Thank you for joining us! See you in 2023 // Werchter Boutique

Werchter rocks green

(update: 14.06.2022)

Organising a festival has an environmental impact. We are fully aware of that. We’ve been committed to running festivals in Werchter in a more sustainable way for years. When Yourope, the association for European festivals, launched their Green ’n Clean campaign with guidelines for greener festivals in 2006/2007, Rock Werchter was immediately awarded the corresponding label. Greener enterprise is essential. Greener festivals are possible. We have set ourselves clear objectives. We are signatories of the Green Nation charter. The main objective of this is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 50% by 2030. One step at a time, we’re working towards being more sustainable. There are some new initiatives in 2022. Werchter rocks greener in eight concrete steps:

Action #1: travel smart

by train or bus
​Are you going to Rock Werchter? We are working with NMBS and De Lijn to offer every ticketholder a free train e-ticket to get you to and from Rock Werchter by train or bus. Festivalgoers can take the train to the stations at Leuven or Aarschot. De Lijn shuttle buses then take them on to Werchter. The De Lijn fleet gets greener every year. 

NEW: The Rock Werchter Night Train. If you’re just coming to Rock Werchter for the day, you can now travel there and back using public transport. At the end of each day of the festival, 2 night trains will run from Leuven station. One for Mechelen – Antwerp, and another for Brussels – Ghent Sint Pieters. More info here.

During Werchter Boutique and TW Classic, festivalgoers can use public transport at a low price. The NMBS is putting on night trains after these one-day festivals. 

by bicycle
We encourage festivalgoers, crew and volunteers who live in the surrounding area to get to Werchter by bike. Bikes can be stored safely and for free in one of the KBC bike sheds. Another smart solution: the park & bike car parks within cycling distance of Werchter. Festivalgoers can park their cars there for free. They can bring their own bikes to cover the last stage of the journey to Werchter.

If you really have to come by car, choose the most sociable option and carpool to Werchter! We’re also actively encouraging our crew and volunteers to share vehicles. 

Action #2: reduce waste

produce less waste
This is a collective effort. We serve food on paper plates, and plastic straws have been banned for years. We serve drinks in glasses in our aperitif zones, hospitality areas and backstage. There are water points with cold tap water available for crew, volunteers and artists. Suppliers and sponsors are encouraged to reduce packaging material. Any gadgets that are handed out are recyclable. ​
collect more
Drinks are served in rPET cups and bottles in the Festivalpark. These are not reusable, but they are recyclable. Because we sort our recycling in our own recycling park, there is very little contamination. We work with our beverage partners AB Inbev, Coca-Cola and Spadel to be sustainable and responsible. We complete the circle: rPET cups and bottles are collected and recycled into new rPET to be used by our partners. With such initiatives we aim to comply with the requirements of the Flemish government. They stipulate that event organisers either use reusable cups or collect 95% of their recyclable cups for recycling. ​ 

NEW: For years, the exchange rate has been 20 cups for one drink token. This has been changed. If you take 15 cups and/or bottles to a recycling point you get 1 drink token in exchange. We’re also expanding our eco-team and putting out more and better waste bins. 

recycle more
Paper, rPET cups, all kinds of plastic films and food waste: waste is selectively collected in the Festivalpark. The waste bins on site are highly visible but it goes a lot further than that. Together with SUEZ environment, specialists in sustainable waste management and recycling, we sort and recycle waste. We share a vision in which waste management does not end with simply collection and disposal. The process of sorting for recycling on site is at least as important. It’s a key part of a circular model which gives waste a second life as a secondary resource. In 2019, across all of our festivals and events, we collected a total of 1.6 tonnes of plastic wrap, 9.2 tonnes of beer cups, 15.7 tonnes of recyclable plastic, metal and drinks packaging (mainly PET bottles) and 19.5 tonnes of paper and card. The PP cups, PET bottles, plastic wrap, paper and card were recycled. The residual waste is used as fuel in power stations to provide power to many families. 

focus on camping
It’s no secret that we would love to see our campsites left in a tidy state on the Monday afternoon after Rock Werchter. Every camper is given a general waste and recycling bag on arrival. When full, bags can be dropped off at the various refuse stations. Extra bags are available to anyone who requires them. We are particularly concerned about tents. Every year, tents are left behind. The average tent weighs 3.5 kg and is primarily made of…plastic. Festivalgoers can take positive action and reduce their own carbon footprints by taking their tents home and reusing them. Campers at The Hive can donate unused food to the Food Banks. Each comfort zone has a collection point. In 2019, 3.5 tonnes of food was collected. 

Action #3: more sustainable energy

There is a special focus on power. When the landscaped park was set out, the Festivalpark was fitted with a high-voltage cabin. A large section of the backstage area runs off green energy from the first day of the set-up. We use green energy as much as possible. Although diesel generators have not disappeared altogether, there are fewer than ever before. And they are used more wisely. Combining them into power plants means less power is needed, and fuel consumption is lower. We save even more by setting up high output lighting. Less accessible zones that do not need permanent power are equipped with hybrid solutions. Together with our partner The Powershop, we are constantly looking into more sustainable resources. 

NEW: Rock Werchter’s fourth stage, The Slope, is among those running entirely on locally-generated green energy, in partnership with the Bolt energy platform. ​ Also at our campsite The Hive, we reduce the use of fossil fuels by using solar panels and a renewable energy battery connected to the Bolt platform.

Action #4: be frugal with water

The sanitary facilities were renovated in 2015. The Festivalpark is equipped with vacuum toilets which use just under a litre of water per flush. That’s a lot less than a standard toilet, which uses 5 to 10 litres per flush. The wastewater is pumped into buffer tanks and transported to Aquafin, where it is purified. 

FUN FACT: Aquafin is an energy generator for Bolt. Energy is derived from the slurry that remains after waste water is purified. The slurry is fed through heated fermentation tanks to create biogas. The methane in this gas is converted into green energy and shared through the Bolt platform.

Action #5: buy local and sustainable

We choose sustainable solutions. We choose local when we can. We suggest local alternatives to artists for special requirements on their riders. Catering partner Bevers & Bevers works largely with Belgian suppliers. Crew and volunteers are served with local products where possible. We also try to choose local suppliers for non-food purchases. Our merchandise bears the Fair Wear label.

NEW: Local delicacies feature in our Belgian pop-up kitchen De Smaakfabriek. Using ingredients sourced directly from local farmers, curator Loïc Van Impe creates the most delicious dishes. With the support of VLAM.

Action #6: innovate

We continue to look ahead and are open to new developments in terms of sustainability, waste reduction and energy saving. For example, we will be testing a small biodigester in the Festivalpark this year. 

Action #7: raise awareness

We raise awareness among our crew, suppliers and festivalgoers. We share our Werchter Rocks Green campaign via mailings, social media, the mobile app and on site via screens and noticeboards. We can make a difference together. 

Action #8: report

Knowledge is power. So we will gather data, with our analysis and conclusions then compiled into a report that we will release later this year. We will take the learnings on board and use them as the basis for future plans to increase sustainability further still. 

Go Green, Rock Werchter!

Are we doing well? Yes. ​
​Can we do better? Certainly. ​
​Are we aiming for green, sustainable festivals? Absolutely. ​
​The work goes on. We learn. We research. ​
​Our festivals must and will become more sustainable in the (near) future. ​
​This is our commitment.