The Lazarus effect and research at festivals

  Me and my hoodie

Me and my hoodie

I’m not the kind of person that twirls an illuminated baton. I’m not the kind of person that has picked up hula hooping as a hobby yet. I’m also not the kind of person that walks around with an LED integrated system into my furry hat. But despite all of that I’m really enjoying myself at festivals. I guess to most festival attendees I dress quite boring: practicality over extravaganza so to speak. Blue shorts and a plain t-shirt. And in the evening when the temperature dropped? Well more layers of sweaters, a hoodie and a body warmer.

Last weekend I, in my blue shorts and t-shirt, was at Lightning in a Bottle and it really was an amazing experience! The creativity on display is absolutely amazing. From teapots in which you can relax to the stage structures, it all looked really impressive. None of the tents had walls, everything was open and yet, it felt as though you were ‘inside’. The best stage was the Woogie stage: a stage wrapped around a tree with the tree lit up. Mesmerizing! Okay it sounds like I used some herbal stuff but it’s tricky to explain if you weren’t there. But I promise you it was very well thought through. Loved it!

I was at the festival to conduct a research study. “Ah”, I hear you think, “that explains the blues shorts and the boring t-shirt”. I guess it does. The research study was aimed at the festival audience and the main purpose of the survey was to find out how ‘green’ they thought the festival was. 191 people participated in this survey. It has probably been the most receptive crowd ever. My guess is that only 3 people told me they didn’t want to participate in this study. People really took their time to answer all the questions, started talking to me about initiatives at other festivals, and even thanked me for doing such a survey. It’ll take me a while to analyse all the data but it will be interesting stuff!

  waste collection station

waste collection station

Over the years Lightning in a Bottle has won awards from A Greener Festival for doing above and beyond their sustainability efforts. This year, walking around the festival ground at midnight it was amazing how clean the site is. On Sunday night a girl was picking up trash and brought it to the recycling bins. I mean that’s pretty impressive considering she could be dancing to any of the many DJs on stages throughout the festival site. We need more people like her!

At the festival I also met Lazarus. Well, he didn’t tell me his name but he did explain to me that he had died the night before. This was a conversation that took place just outside the porta-potties so somehow I could relate to his experience. Another guy who joined the conversation told Lazarus that he hadn’t died but because he had experienced this someone else must have died instead. “Just Google who died last night” he said when he walked off. In a world of 7 billion people I’m pretty sure someone must have kicked the bucket that night. I assume Lazarus has experienced the ultimate recycling stage!

The online survey is going great as well although I need a lot more Americans to participate. (this survey is no longer available)

Next festival is Bonnaroo. Can’t wait.

Jarno