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Caribana, a festival committed to wonderful parties and most of all respectful of its public and the environment! The Caribana Festival celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2015. Launched in 1990 by a group of friends, the festival is held every year at the Port of Crans-près-Céligny in the canton of Vaud, near Lake Geneva. Since its beginning it has been entirely run by volunteers, united in a non-profit association. The main goal of the Caribana association is to organize this annual festive event, which focuses on a diversified musical program, a wonderful natural setting and a high quality hospitality.  

The organizing committee consists of a steering committee of 8 people and 30 members working throughout the year that can count on the help of nearly 650 volunteers during the festival. It takes place in early June from Tuesday till Saturday, the last day being resolutely more focused on young people. More than 35.000 festivalgoers participate in the event. The Festival has opened a permanent office in Nyon in 2014. The members of the association are united by their desire to create, year after year, a beautiful festival incorporating strong values that are dear to them.

The quality of hospitality and safety of the festivalgoers

Caribana presents diverse artists from all over the world, and promotes the discoveries of Swiss artists, acting as a platform to launch young local artists. In addition, the festival fights to keep the entrance fees as low as possible in order to perpetuate one of its historical goals by seeking the highest quality at a price affordable for all.

The security of the festivalgoers is an important point on which the festival does not compromise. Volunteers are hired for each event to ensure a smooth running of the party and are supervised by professional partners. An infirmary is installed on the site of the festival and a close collaboration with the firemen of Nyon and the cantonal police guarantees the security of the event.

The festival also makes numerous efforts to allow people with reduced mobility to enjoy the concerts and facilities of the festival. Car parks and special platforms overlooking the crowd are reserved to them and the ground is covered with hard plastic mats facilitating the wheelchair ride. A team of volunteers is put especially at the disposal of this public so that it can have the best possible experience of the festival.

Hearing protection is also one of our concerns. We respect the limitation of 100 db imposed by current regulations. Earplugs are distributed on the grounds and in different booths. A healthy and safe diet is also important for us and we seek to ensure the widest possible variety of offer while focusing on local sourcing and quality. In addition, the festival limits access to alcohol to festivalgoers under the age of 16 and restricts the access to certain bars to young people under 18 years of age.

A festival driven by volunteers

The festival could not take place without the help of the more than 650 volunteers returning each year to Caribana.
In order to reward them for their time and commitment, the festival offers tickets and vouchers for the booths present during the festival. Every year, we organize an evening devoted to the volunteers, where a meal and concerts are offered. During the festival, their schedules are arranged so that they can also enjoy concerts that are important to them. We also pay particular attention to their safety, by developing training courses in their domain of activity or by having them sign behaviour charts (for example regarding the consumption of alcohol and driving).

Executive volunteers also benefit from further training in team management or information systems. Any motivated volunteer is welcome at Caribana. The teams are often multi-generational and bring together people from all regions and backgrounds, united in the spirit of the party.

Environmental protection

Environmental protection is of particular importance to Caribana, because of the beauty of the site and its proximity to the lake. For this reason the festival is investing a lot of effort in order to reduce its environmental impact and protect the land and its surroundings.

Regarding the protection of the site, Caribana covers ever year almost 70% of the soil surface with solid plastic slabs. The result has been hailed by both the authorities and the festivalgoers, as it was found that this method protects the turf from damage caused by the passage of machines and festivalgoers, and facilitates the collection of small debris. It also offers extra comfort to festivalgoers in case of rain and allows better drainage of rainwater. Special measures are taken for the protection of the trees on the grounds.

Waste management is also taken very seriously by the festival and in which it is heavily involved. Locally made sorting bins are scattered around the site and allow good waste separation. The festival sorts the following elements: PET, aluminium, glass, cardboard, paper, batteries, coffee capsules, paint and wood. We also work with local companies to recycle this waste, and ensure that the products used in the cleaning process are labelled as non-harmful to the environment.

We also aim to systematically reduce the amount of waste produced during the festival. In this regard we use since 2007 a system of deposit on our cups, which also have the advantage of offering their reuse after cleaning. In addition, the festival is currently exploring the possibility of using returnable and recyclable cutlery sets.

The festival has also set up some waterless urinals and extended the use of recycled toilet paper. Reusing decoration materials and working with local suppliers also reduces the carbon footprint of the event. Our printing partners guarantee in particular, an FSC certified paper produced in a responsible and ecological way. The festival is moving more and more towards digital communication and aims to considerably reduce its printed output.
In terms of energy, the festival is committed, with the help of its partners, to use only green power.

We thereby guarantee that all electricity used during the festival is produced respecting the environment. We will also expand the use of LED bulbs and ensure a optimal and responsible use of energy consuming devices.
The production of the festival’s clothing line also meet strict ethical criteria. We work with Importexa to develop a 100% organic and environmentally friendly collection.

Soft mobility

The festival encourages soft mobility. Partnership with the Transports Publics Nyonnais (TPN) allows festivalgoers to reach the site of the festival free of charge by public transport.
The festival intends to further develop this aspect and encourage festivalgoers to come by bus and train. A platform promoting carpooling is available on the festival website. The festival is studying the possibility of making the access of the festival by bike easier.
We primarily work with local suppliers, which results in a lower transport-linked carbon footprint. Some of our suppliers already work with electric or hybrid vehicles and this aspect is a selection criterion of our suppliers.

Social commitment

For many years the Caribana festival has committed itself to promoting inclusion and young people.
The association la Licorne, based in Yverdon, is a professional occupational integration structure for adults in social difficulties that constructs part of the festival’s infrastructure.
Encouraging young talents is also part of the DNA of the festival.

The DJ Contest, a competition for budding young DJ’s has revealed several talented young teenagers from the French-speaking part of Switzerland, and their performance in the Sunday final, a day dedicated to teenagers and their parents, offers a real moment of intergenerational exchange. In addition, every year the design of the poster is opened for competition at the art schools of the region of Lake Geneva and an internship (with one of our partners) is offered to the winner. In addition, many students of various polytechnics and universities are invited to collaborate in the context of their studies or diploma projects, theses and surveys.

Moreover the Caribana aims to be a “ local” festival. Companies and sports clubs from the region are integrated into the event, managing for a few days the bars of the festival, which allows them to generate a profit for their activities. Examples are Crans Volley Club, the Ski Club la Dôle, the FC Crans and the Chess club of Nyon.