Thinking Inside the Box - Solving The Festival Tent Crisis

Ever thought you’d be sleeping beneath a cardboard roof? Well, cardboard tents are becoming the new range during festival season. They’re cheap, ecological and come ready made, so you don’t need to carry them or even set them up. Isn’t it all time we started thinking inside the box?

Having attended as many music festivals as possible since my mother would allow, one thing that always comes as a surprise is the amount of tents discarded come Monday morning when the weekend’s antics have taken their toll. This year at Glastonbury alone, over 5,000 tents, 6,500 sleeping bags, 3,500 airbeds, 2,200 chairs, 950 rolled mats and 400 gazebos were all left behind creating a massive clean-up operation costing both money and time. How do you combat this? DJBroadcast spoke to three Dutch men who might have the answer.

After constructing a cardboard beach house, Jan Portheine and two of his fellow graduates from TU Delft in the Netherlands came up with an idea. They discovered that every year, 1 in 4 festivalgoers left their tents behind after a weekend of revelry. All of these tents that were designed to have a lifespan of a few years are all of a sudden thrown away after just one use. “From there the idea came to life,” adds Jan.

So How Does It Work?
The KarTent is made from cardboard and will stay waterproof for a guaranteed three days of constant rain. You have the option to print pictures, drawings, text or whatever you like on the side of the tent. This also gives sponsors the possibility of advertising on the side, something highly appealing to companies aiming to target a large youth market. They also provide the option of bringing the tent to the festival for you. And when the festival is over the tent is easily recycled and ‘can go directly to the paper recycling industry so that they can re-use your tent to make schoolbooks, shoe boxes or other romantic things’, according to the website.

You can see the appeal and advantages for both festivals and patrons alike. “We do everything we can now, so we sell tents to festival organisations, sponsors, festival visitors, campsites etc. depending on the situation. This year we sell the tents for EUR 35,- pre-pitched but if they are sponsored they are cheaper”, Jan tells us. The simple and cost effective idea seems to be paying off. “We started in March and we have now been at three festivals (MadNes, FarmFest, Welcome to the Village) and this year we will be going to Pukkelpop, Mysteryland, Appelpop, Festyland and more”.

So next time you are at a festival, don’t be surprised if you see some cardboard alternatives dotted around the site, you may even think about taking the greener option yourself.