22 August 2019
It isn’t Paula’s first festival this summer. She’s not come a long way. She lives in Valencia, but this week is passing through Castelló. She arrived at Rototom Sunsplash by bus to take videos and photos. The first thing she did was buy herself one of the reusable plastic glasses from the festival and fill it up from the water fountains (still or sparkling) that can be found around the venue. She says it’s sure that she’ll deposit the plastic glass in one of the containers before leaving, she she saw at the entrance in support of Greenpeace. She knows the Euro the glass cost is destined for the NGO. It’s not her first festival, but it is the first one where she has encountered reusable plastic glasses, and therefore, not a single plastic glass to be found on the floor.
We found Paula relaxing in the shade, the August sun in Benicàssim is very strong in the first few hours of the afternoon; “It’s the first time that I’ve found a festival with areas so full of trees”, explained Paula. She asked us about our plastic-free practices; all our straws for example, are biodegradable. “Now I can feel better when I drink my mojito”, she joked.
The people who come here are global. So are the problems facing the environment. For this reason that we have our own Greensplash philosophy, which isn’t just applied at the festival, but is also transferred to the people who come here who, like Paula, recieve it with thanks. It’s difficult to think that anyone can’t understand how important Mother Earth is. Stand up for Earth shouts our motto for this 26th edition of Rototom Sunsplash. It’s repeated on the mural that’s taking shape in the Artesano Market. Meanwhile, in the Teen Yard they’ve started making the placards that they’ll use in the Fridays for Future protest. The future is exactly what we’re talking about when the festival decided to eliminate plastic glasses and bottles, reduce energy consumption with LED lighting for the stages, put up solar panels that you can see throughout the festival or rubbish bins for cigarette butts.
Yet it’s not only what can be seen, it’s also everything that can be done. Those who form the Rototom family also learn, share and understand the ways they can promote the way we think about the future of Mother Earth; the only place we have to live. How? Through workshops and conferences; as much for adults as children, because it’s possible to use plastic bottle caps to make hanging mobiles, and in the Artesano Market they know. Also in Magicomundo, the space made to measure for kids, where they can learn to create their own games with reused materials; in Pachamama, the best place to make peace with Mother Earth and know more about reusing plastic; or with Greenpeace. Also we can get closer to to new movements like eco-feminism, together with the anthropologist Yayo Herrero, the journalist Kristin Suleng and the activist Gemma Barricarte from Fridays For Future, the movement which travels around the venue along with the festivalgoers for global warming and climate change.
Asun Pérez (Translated by Finn Darco)