Clean intentions – clear results


We have been part of many festivals before the idea of The Psyclean Crew ever came up. Some of our friends organized great open-air events, while also big, international gatherings like OZORA or Aurora Festival caught our attention. The peaceful, tribal vibe, mind moving music and the overall care everybody took in their actions where pulling us like magnets to such happenings, most of which were hosted in beautiful nature. Being caring towards the environment ourselves, we were overjoyed witnessing the conscious behaviour of the party crowd back then. Garbage was disposed in the proper places; people were using the toilets or wandering off into the forest with a shovel on their back. Many places served food on reusable plates, while others mostly used paper and other biodegradable means. We saw people putting their cigarette butts into their pockets, which they then emptied into a trash bin – often accompanied by a series of hilarious moves.

We were celebrating ...

... the smell of incense would come with the breeze, the music would surround us in this pristine and gentle environment; a place of wonder, far away from the reality we have all come from. This is what it always was for us: an island of magic. A place where we are allowed to detach ourselves from the worries of the outside world and grant our thoughts and emotions new terms of existence, so they may go to places otherwise hidden from them by the worries of everyday life. And because this paradise was so dear to us, we saw to it ourselves, that it stays clean and inviting.

Back in the days...

... when we stumbled upon the existence of psytrance music, the subculture was relatively small. On the first OZORA festival we visited in 2005 there were some 300 0 visitors. Everybody knew each other by Friday and we would party together as one big band of freaks, elves, trolls ... a crazy tribe, celebrating life. It was inconceivable to litter anywhere on the festival, especially nowhere near the main dance-floor, the centerpiece of such an event, the sacred dancing grounds. If somebody still forgot a bottle somewhere or dropped a tissue by accident, any member of the tribe was willing to quickly dispose of it. The organizers were maintaining the infrastructure with little effort, since there wasn’t much garbage to deal with in the first place. However, this was more than a decade ago...

Our initiative started in 2013

The few years before that we have been visiting festivals less and less, having no desire to enter a place, that is trying to be magical very hard, but yet ends up being a dump for plastic waste and wasted people. The fall came somewhere around 2010, when big festivals were drawing more new people, than old ones and the rules of engagement suddenly changed. Instead of making it cosy and keeping it clean, the new theme was making it massive and worry about consequences later – or not at all. Decoration and sound got better, the standard in infrastructure rose and now you could even get cocktails at the bar. However, all this had bitter consequences, one of which is garbage. By garbage we mean industrial amounts, weighing tons in the 2-digit realm. And since people who were new to the vibe have never known the old customs, to them it was just like any open-air event, so all those new forms of packaging quickly landed in a pile next to the main pillar of the dance temple.

When your favourite way of spending your holidays is threatened, you either look for a new hobby or you do something about it. We chose to do the later and The PsyClean Crew was born.

Working method and tools

The Psyclean Crew is an outsourcing project. When hired by a festival we aim to complete any and all tasks connected to waste management. This starts with the recruitment and selection of volunteers. The recruitment is done entirely by us while festivals are assisting the effort by publishing our project on their website and Facebook page.
We arrive to all events a few days early. This time is spent getting acquainted with the team, the venue and setting up camp. Our van serves as a base for the volunteer camp, from here we provide solar electricity, WIFI and small cooking possibilities to the volunteers. Also equipping our helpers is our job. Besides the obvious garbage picking tools, gloves and uniforms we can also provide several head lamps, drinking bottles, tents and other festival gear they might have forgotten.

Similar to the volunteers, the visitors also get geared- up...

... for the event to come. Together with the festival we distribute pocket ashtrays and garbage bags at the entrance and urge people to rent portable trash-pouches. It is important to point out: we are only working with festivals who are willing to give free pocket ashtrays to the visitors. They can be obtained from us or other sources after consulting with us regarding their size and amount. Please see more about the pocket ash trays (POASH) here.

Also the festival will receive an extra touch...

... through our presence, mostly in form of stationary bamboo ashtrays and – if required – our bamboo garbage bins. Both are nicely painted and appropriately signed for easy use. Festivals are not liable for any damage to our equipment! Volunteers are handled with lots of love and care, but we also make sure that everybody understands the importance of their contribution.

As project leaders it’s our priority to ensure good conditions for volunteers and on the other hand to minimize risks to festival organizers as much as possible.