This is a newsletter from the fabulous BOOM festival and looks at the ecological commitment at Boom and gives some further explanations about this year’s festival to fellow Boomers – and AGF readers.

Photo 1
Perspective of The Drop

Reuse, Recycle and Reduce: For the second time we did a partnership with one huge festival in Portugal – Rock In Rio Lisbon – to recycle their rubbish and materials.
We went there to get timber, flooring, metals, plastics and some other materials.

Boom reused 86,475kg of materials thus avoiding overconsumption of resources for the construction of our festival. According to the tool IWM -2 (Integrated Waste Management Model 2), developed by the Lisbon University IST, we avoided the emission of 254,000 kg of CO2 with this initiative.

Some other facts: 90% of the Healing Area, for instance, was done with reused materials. 80% of Groovy Beach was made of recycled pallets. 100% of Golden Shack Pagoda and Gamelatron was done with recycling of rubbish. 100% of restaurants cover made of recycled lycra.

Here is the table of materials we reused from that event only:

  • Iron: 195kg
  • Wood: 46,700kg
  • Synthetic grass and flooring: 39,310kg
  • Linoleum: 100kg
  • Vinyl: 100kg
  • Acrylic: 70 kg

Bioconstruction: Dow Tow was done with local resources: cane and clay. Dance Temple and The Drop was built with bamboo taken from forests monitored under sustainable standards (both in Portugal and abroad). The Communitarian Kitchen was done by volunteers (thanks guys!) using super adobe and clay.

Ferrocement: We built both the water treatment unit ‘STAR’ with the social technology ferrocement and a water tank of 240,000 lt. Ferrocement is an economical technique based on cement, sand, water and chicken wire.

Photo 2
Golden Shack Pagoda and Gamelatron – Made entirely with recycled rubbish


In 2008, Boom Environmental Program launched “Your Oil Is Music” (we collected waste vegetable oil for generators). This year we went further on the realm of energy and we founded the Boom Lab.

Boom Lab Facts: 

  • We built 3 small mobile photovoltaic stations with 6 panels of 80 watts each. They were used for the offices of areas such as production, Sacred Fire, Healing Area and Ambient Paradise. They generated 2.4 kilowatts/hour per day.
  • The 4th solar station produced at Boom Lab had an output of 3.2 kilowatts/hour per day from solar energy.

Boom Lab also developed a bigger station that was placed near the logistics and main workshops. Two mobile trackers were based on 12 panels each and followed the tilt of the sun producing 13 kilowatts/hour per day.

More facts about energy and Boom:

  • Boom’s vehicles (one truck, two vans) run on waste vegetable oil.
  • We have one generator that runs on waste vegetable oil.
  • We used 15,000lt of waste vegetable oil.

Download here the “Our Ecommitment” feature published on Boom’s journal “Dharma Dragon” in PDF format.

Photo 3
Boom Lab’s Solar Tracker Station


Water was the theme of Boom 2010 and we developed a system for water treatment onsite, showcasing technologies that are useful for human communities.

  • All grey water from restaurants and showers was treated onsite and recycled for irrigation.
  • We built a water treatment unit we called ‘STAR’. The system was based on bio-remediation and evapotranspiration. With this unit we achieved the goal of treating 100% of all waste water at Boom.
  • Total waste water generated: Restaurants – 300 mil litres. Showers 2,5 million litres.
  • Total water treated and recycled at the festival: 100% of waste water.
  • One kilometre of infiltrating channels were constructed for the shower´s water. This track is part of an integrated system designed to restore the natural hydrology cycle of the area.
  • Free Water: All participants were encouraged to use the fountains providing treated free water. This also reduced the amount of waste generated.
  • Educational signs and the “Dharma Dragon” encouraged the public to be responsible in their water use.

Objectives for 2012: Eliminate 100% of water bottles during construction period. Improve shower and water point facilities at the caravan park.

Photo 4
Compost toilets


For the first time, 98% of toilets at Boom were composting.

  • 159 Composting (no water) toilets were constructed.
  • 15 permanent composting (no water) toilets were constructed.
  • No black water was generated.
  • In comparison with normal households this means that 50% of the water that normally would be used to flush toilets was saved.

The biological filter used in all toilets meant that 70,000 lt of organic high quality liquid fertilizer was generated. This is stored for agriculture production.


We know that Boom is still not a fully sustainable festival. In spite of that we’ve been taking all the possible steps and commitments to reduce the trace of this event for the Sacred Earth. There is still a long way to go and huge improvements to be done. We acknowledge the space to evolve and the ecological pathway is an imperative for us, so we’ll keep researching the ways to reduce our footprint and give back to the Sacred Earth what a gathering of more than 20,000 people does to the environment. We Are All One.

Photo 5
Land Art at Boom 2010

Ashtrays: 20,000 pocket ashtrays delivered at the welcome point, Boom Bus station and Info Stand thus reducing the trace of cigarette butts onsite.

Recycling: Although we reduced, recycled and reduced in many aspects as you read above, recycling at Boom was a big issue. We took a step back regarding recycling at Boom when city council told us they couldn’t carry it out properly. Not only was the amount of plastic outrageous during both the construction period and Boom itself, the public system for recycling was not running at all.

They didn’t grant us recycle bins nor the transport for the plastic/metal/paper into recycling stations. Without local recycling units we couldn’t find any service that could rid us of this rubbish properly.

For next year priority goes for recycling bins and finding a way to partner with an NGO that can channel all the plastic properly.

Photo 6
Live painting at Dance Temple


We spend dozens of hours online and we read everything about Boom carefully. We love to read feedback about what went well and not so well.

One major point of negative feedback refers to some of the music played in the afternoons. We agree with this and we’ll change the format as we wrote already in our Letter for the Boomers Part I. But we need to underline that in no case will Boom clash with the creative freedom of DJs.

Another bit of negative feedback regards distances. We agree and as we wrote in the previous volume of this letter, we’ll change the whole design of the site to make it easier and with better conditions (for instance, showers and more water points at the caravan park).

Positive feedback goes to: the vibe of the festival; the art installations, the bamboo and cane constructions; the cultural diversity of Boom with music, performing arts, theatre, videoart, to name just a few; the new location; the intercultural atmosphere of a gathering of the tribes – we had people from 70 countries.

By the way, where is the feedback on the Theatroom and the Liminal Zone?

Many thanks for your words, you can keep writing, posting, twitting, blogging or you can simply email us to: info@boomfestival.org.

Photo 7
Ambient Paradise goes Cosmic!


The next edition of Boom will take place between the last week of July and the first days of August 2012 – in sync with the first full Moon of August.

Exact dates, theme and ticket sales will be available in a few weeks time.

Photo 8

Video Art at Boom 2010

BOOM 2010 Photo Gallery – Part II   Check the pictures and magic moments that we spent together. Click here!

By |2016-11-01T15:05:45+00:00September 17th, 2010|AGF Blog|