until Roskilde Festival 2015 - 27 June to 4 July
Foto: Roskilde Festival

Environment & Waste

How Roskilde Festival works with environment and waste

Why is Roskilde Festival working with sustainability?
We are a non-profit organisation that care about the outside world. The work with social responsibility is a cornerstone in the festival’s DNA. To us, working with the environment and making the festival sustainable is a central part of this work.

How long has Roskilde Festival worked with the environment?
We have worked strategically with the environment since the beginning of the 90s. Here, we also began compiling an environmental report. It was also in the 90s that we began introducing biodegradable service (incl. our own beer cups), put refund on cups and cans and got our own train station.

Which environmental initiatives does the festival have this year?

FOOD More ecology, less food waste

TRANSPORTATION Our own train station in 1996, electrical cars to transport our artists and minimising petrol driven transportation.

WASTE Waste separation stations, reintroduced refund on non-refundable cans and bottles, 400 extra rings for trash bags at the camping area.

LED lights
Testing of solar cell poles on the camping area. LED lights on the stages.

collaboration with DTU, the Technical University of Denmark, on innovation and sustainable solutions.

Round-trip from Rio to Roskilde - collaboration with CBS, Copenhagen Business School, about social and environmental challenges, and finding solutions using Roskilde Festival as example of a city of 130,000 inhabitants.

Does Roskilde Festival have an environmental policy?

Yes, since the 90s. it is:

  • The use of resources must be reduced at much as possible.
  • Environmentally friendly products must be used where technically and health related possible, and where it is financially realistic.
  • Waste must be separated, ensuring as much recycling as possible.
  • Festival goers’ and volunteers’ conditions for safety and health must be taken into consideration as much as possible.

Does Roskilde Festival have an environmental policy?
Toward this year’s festival we have begun a process of formulating a sustainability strategy, that will become a part of an overall strategy for Roskilde Social Responsibility.

Roskilde Social Responsibility covers the festival’s work with sustainability in the sense of social responsibility and environment. The strategy is about how sustainability can become part of the culture at and around Roskilde Festival.

This must, first and foremost, be done by creating a strong organisation in relation to implementing sustainability at the festival. Next, the sustainable campaign at this year’s festival must be mapped out. This will be done through a thorough analysis of the trash campaign in collaboration with Roskilde Municipality, that will result in a trash plan.


Is it more sustainable being at a festival than being at home?
In a way, yes. In 2008, the consulting engineering company Rambøll produced a CO2 report for Roskilde Festival, showing that a festival goer emits 33 kilograms of CO2 during the festival (transportation, electricity consumption, production of trash is included, but not food).

An average citizen emits about 224 kilograms a week - so the report indicates that you emit less CO2 during the week you spend at Roskilde Festival than a week spent at home.

In 2010, the festival’s environmental group calculated that a festival goer pollutes about 50 percent less, than he or she would have done, had they been at home. The study was based on waste, fuel, electricity and water. 

How do you involve the festival goers in subjects concerning the environment?
We know from our festival goer study, that 76 percent of our guests see themselves as concerned about the environment. That is why we work less with awareness and in stead focus more on giving festival goers the most sustainable festival possible.

Which new initiatives does the environment area have this year?
There is especially focus on trash and food. (see more below)

Which sustainable initiatives are there relating to food?

More ecology!
In 2014, the festival has a goal of going from 25 percent (2013) to 30 percent (2014).

The following organic products are fixed for all stands. Coffee, tea, wine, juice, lemonade in less packaging material, dairy products, onions, carrots, cucumber, lettuce, tinned tomatoes, pasta and rice.

In addition, the new organic beer from Tuborg, with the name, Tuborg RÅ, can be found on tap at the inner festival area.

Food experiences with a sustainable focus
Økokalaset offers among other things a six-course brunch made with organic, locally produced ingredients. All meals are made by the festival goers themselves and are eaten together at a long table. During the warm-up days, local food manufacturers, food experts, chefs and other enthusiasts will visit the festival and talk about the use of local produce and member driven co-ops.

The active soup kitchen FoodJam from Madkulturen give hungry festival goers the chance to make a 100 percent organic meal with help and guidance from culinary guides for 50 Danish kroner.

Juice is on the programme, so come and lovingly squeeze a lot of surplus fruit and vegetables, and talk about how to use the leftover pulp in your cooking. Workshop on food waste by ReGastro.

Focus on food waste
We have introduced a food waste project about the collection of usable leftovers after Roskilde Festival for ready-made meals for shelters and drop-in centres. Many products are organic, and it is a demand that all food stands must offer at least one vegetarian dish.

To reduce food waste the festival collaborates with the Stop Waisting Food Movement Denmark to collect all surplus food from the food stands and make them into satisfying meals for the socially marginalised. The ready-made meals are distributed to about 60 drop-in centres in Denmark in collaboration with DanChurchSocial.

What is Roskilde Festival’s focus when it comes to trash?
We know that festival goers and volunteers alike wish to keep the festival clean and to clean up after themselves when they go home. With the waste campaign 2014 we want to meet this desire to take responsibility for cleaning up and handling trash. That is why this year’s waste campaign is about visualising and informing about how festival goers can easily take part in the communal task it is to make the festival a nice and clean place to be.

Which sustainable initiatives are there relating to waste?

Waste separation stations at the camping area
At the camping area there are waste separation stations in all areas. That makes 15 stations in total. Here, festival goers can hand over their trash and help utilise the trash as a resource by sorting it, with the aid from separation guides.

At the stations it is possible to sort batteries and electrical waste, cans and glass and metals , the rest is put in the container for small combustible. The stations will be centrally located and recognisable from the waste loge. They will be manned daily between 9am and 4pm.

Refund is reintroduced on German cans.
Refund on non-refundable cans are reintroduced in 2014. That means, that if you collect five non-refundable cans and hand them in at the refund stand you get 1 Danish kroner.

This year, it is also possible to hand over your refund money in 30 new refund boxes, installed at the camping area. All boxes are painted with the recognisable turquoise colour.

This year, it is possible to hand over your licqour and wine bottles, equal to donating 1 Danish kroner. The refund donated in the boxes become part of the festival’s donations, that are distributed to non-profit projects for children and youths. 

How do festival goers get involved in keeping the festival clear?

Clean Out Loud
Clean Out Loud is a collaboration between  Roskilde Festival Folk High School and Vallekilde Folk High School, that is about creating a mental change when it comes to the festival goers.

This year, Clean Out Loud engage 4000 participants and is located in Area E. All camps in Clean Out Loud have applied to participate and must live up to a number of demands about keeping the area clean.

This year, Clean Out Loud focuses on making recycling trash visible and actively support Roskilde Festival’s waste campaign, making sure that as much as possible of the Clean Out Loud area’s trash is recycled. The target area is primarily folk high school students, boarding school students and students from youth education programmes.

Clean Hour
Clean Hour is a new initiative building on making the clean-up campaign visible, fun and a communal activity. Clean Hour is a large group of volunteers, who will turn up in selected areas at the camping area, with need for special attention.

Here, the group will make people especially aware of the effort that is made at the festival in terms of keeping it clean. Clean Hour will try to involve all participants: volunteers and festival goers in the areas where they turn up.

Camp Aid
As something new this year, festival goers can donate their clothing, shoes and unopened tinned foods to the campaign Camp Aid throughout the week. The items can be handed in at selected Trash Stations at the camping area. 60 volunteer group employees and 20 volunteers from the clubs and unions work in collaboration with 18 organisations to collect, separate and package the gear and ship it to different countries. Denmark and the rest of Scandinavia. But also to Senegal, Kenya, Ghana, Uganda, Zimbabwe, Gambia, Somalia, Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania. Sleeping bags, sleeping matts, tents, blankets, folding chairs, pillows and more are collected) Clothing, shoes, rubber boots, toys, buckets, plastic bottles and the like, that are NOT broken. Unopened tinned food.

What initiatives has Roskilde Festival made when it comes to saving electricity?
Priess has entered into an experiment where they have set up five TOUCHE solar cell poles in areas previously illuminated with electricity from generators.

Using these stand alone solar cell poles, with integrated light operation, we reduce pollution as well as the cost of installation when cabling. In addition to LED reducing CO2 emissions into nature it is extremely energy saving, thereby reducing energy consumption greatly at Roskilde Festival.

Facts about the environmental area:

We use about 413,152 kWh during the festival (numbers from Roskilde Festival 2013)


  • Stages only use a small part of the total consumption, stands use the most.
  • We have about 20 generators, primarily on the camping area, where cables are not run.
  • We got our own train station in 1996 - about 60 percent of festival goers arrive by train.
  • We use about 10,400 cubic metre water (numbers from Roskilde Festival 2012) primarily for baths, trade and toilets - that amounts to a significantly lower consumption than what 130,000 people would use had they been at home.
  • in 2013, Roskilde Festival took part in developing an organic food label - a state controlled labelling of organic catering to events.
  • Our disposable tableware (beer cups, cutlery, plates) are biodegradable.
  • In 2014, 400 new rings for holding trash bags have been bought. As a result, more than 3200 trash cans are placed around the entire festival.
  • In 2013 we had 1495 tonnes of waste.
  • 91 percent of the waste is small combustible waste that is sent to an incineration plant. 9 percent of our waste was separated in 2013. Most of this was metal, wood and organic waste.
  • According to Roskilde Festival’s own festival goer survey, 94 percent of festival goers think that it is (very) important that RF is concerned with sustainability. 76 percent see themselves as being concerned with the environment. 73 percent see themselves as being considerate of the environment in their daily lives, while 42 percent think they are considerate of the environment when they are at a festival.





Download the lists of selected daily events at RF14:
Thurday 3 July
Friday 4 July
Saturday 5 July
Sunday 6 July 

Festival Guide 2014

Download and read the guide book. 132 pages about RF14.
Download her (pdf)

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