Way Out West is a vegetarian festival – which applies for all visitors, workers and artists (yep, there have been a few discussions over the years). Nowadays that fact may be viewed as uncontroversial, but when we announced the news in 2012 it caused quite a stir and a big social debate. The meat and dairy industry accounts for 14,5% of the greenhouse gas emissions globally*, which exceeds the emissions from the transport sector (cars, boats, trains, planes, others). By becoming vegetarian we lowered our emissions by 40% – and 15% of the festival’s visitors say they eat more veggie food after they’ve been to Way Out West. Yay!
During 2019 year’s festival, the carbon footprint from an average meal was 0,38 kg CO2e, which is below WWF’s One Planet Plate recommendation of 0,5 kg CO2e.
To us, working with sustainability means working with all aspects of sustainability – not least the social parts. We don’t tolerate any form of discrimination at Way Out West. Everyone is welcome at the festival and we strive hard to make sure all employees, visitors, suppliers, partners and artists, feel good at Way Out West.
Gender equality is a priority for Way Out West and to us, having a 50/50 gender split line-up is something that goes without saying. Since 2017, Way Out West has worked closely together with West Pride in order to stand up for human rights and join forces for a more inclusive society, free from prejudice and discrimination – starting with an LGBT certifying of the festival. In cooperation with the anti-drug initiative Let’s Hear it from the Crowd and other concert and festival organisers, we take all the necessary steps to prevent people from being in touch with narcotics at live music events. In the project Dare to Care we work closely with RFSU and Svensk Live to create a safe environment without sexual harassment and assault within the live music world – and society at large. People come to Way Out West to relax and have fun, no one should ever be afraid.
In 2023 Way Out West and Stadsmissionen joined forces to make our festival merchandise circular. The merchandise collection consisted of second hand garments collected by Stadsmissionens second hand, and was printed with unique prints ahead of and during the festival. The profit from the merchandise sales was donated Stadsmissionens second hand and their important work for a more humane, inclusive and sustainable society.
Even though there are numerous initiatives aimed at encouraging more people to choose second-hand and prolonging the lifespan of clothing and textiles, progress is slow. Through this collaboration, we aim to reduce our own emissions associated with merchandise, while also challenging the traditional perception of what festival merchandise can look like.
For two year’s straight, companies, public actors and civil society have gathered at the climate conference Greentopia. The climate conference, taking place in Gothenburg during Way Out West, has its aim to explore the transformational power of festivals and events. On stage; world-leading researchers, young activists, disruptive artists, opinion leaders, as well as pioneers from both the cultural and sports sectors.
Starting in 2019, we removed single-use plastic plates, cutlery and straws from the festival. In the long term, we want to remove all single-use plastic items in our business, reduce the use of plastics in general and strive for increased recycling.