Thailand’s Wonderfruit Festival Goes Green
For its third act, Thailand’s biggest festival makes ‘carbon-neutral’ sound as fun as four days in the park. By JENINNE LEE-ST. JOHN
Published on Oct 28, 2016
AFTER THE ANNUAL RICE HARVEST, farmers in Isaan gather their yield in the village center to build intricate edifices. Blessings and celebrations ensue, then the bundles are beaten, releasing the rice grains to be milled and shared with all. It’s collective, sustainable and fun which also happens to sum up Wonderfruit, the super-green music and arts festival returning to eastern Thailand for its third year next month with such headliners as Liane La Havas and Rudimental. Though hosting avant garde performances, the new Farm Stage will follow those age-old Isaan traditions; it’ll be made of bamboo and organic rice that, post-event, will be distributed to local communities.
“Real positive changes are made when sustainability initiatives are at the core of everything,” says founder Pete Phornprapha, “so that they form the event rather than the other way around.” Other eco-evolutions in the works range from locally hand-made bamboo fencing around the grounds, to rice planting sessions at the on-site farm, to talks by ‘eco heroes’ like the filmmaker of the new Plastics Ocean documentary, debuting at the fest.
But the biggest news is that the entire festival will be carbon-neutral for the first time. Proceeds from ticket sales will go towards offsets to benefit Rimba Raya Biodiversity Reserve in Borneo, a 65,000-hectare peat swamp forest that is Indonesia’s largest private orangutan sanctuary. Wonderfruit is also participating in an innovative, UN-approved bond offering that will enable anyone to invest for profit in protecting Rimba Raya. We’re seeing nothing but green. wonderfruitfestival.com; from Bt3,800 for adult one-day pass.
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