A Greener Festival Blog #1

By benchallis on 03 June 2010

The first winners of the Greener Festival Award 2010 have been announced – and we have a record breaking eight Australian festivals getting our prestigious Award, topped by Peats Ridge Festival whose team win our outstanding Award for 2010. These eight brilliant festivals made the grade in Australia (nearly double the number who won last year) and they are all a testament to the real efforts Australian festivals are making to get green and clean, and lead the fight against climate change. The winners are Bluesfest, The Falls Festival (on two sites) WOMADelaide, Southbound, Fairbridge, Island Vibe, Blues n Roots and Peats Ridge.

Our Awards Organiser in Australia, Amie, adds this: “Due to Australia’s magnificent size, five new assessors put their eco-credentials to good use in the 2009/2010 festival season here, helping us to collect data from states around the vast continent. Our motley crew is female dominated, not because we have anything against the boys but that’s the just the way it has turned out. With a steady increase of participating festivals, up to 8 from 5 last season, and with festivals from 6 states covering distances of over 5,000kms (around 3,000 miles) the sheer magnitude of assessing events over this kind of space without flying or otherwise pumping out carbon emissions is our biggest challenge. That’s where my girls come into it. The process usually starts pretty quickly after a festival has contacted me with a desire to be involved and assessors are usually found through friends of friends. All of our assessors have a passion for the environment and most have had some experience with the workings of the music industry. But the key recruiting factor is a desire to get involved. Once contact has been made training on what is expected of the assessors and how they might go about this takes place. Access to a help-sheet, which details practical advice for the first-time assessor as well as looking over some previous assessments to gain an understanding of what level of detail is needed. It is at this point that assessors are asked to clarify key words so they are clear in their meaning in this context. Please bear in mind that all of the above goes ahead via email or occasionally phone. In fact I couldn’t actually tell you what two of my assessors even look like. We’ve never met face to face. But despite that I can tell you they’re dedicated and professional and carpooled to get to each festival they attended. And their smiles look like this - :D” Way to go Australia, Amie and her team!
And thank you to all the Virtualfestival.com readers who entered our Great Big Green Ideas competition – we had a massive number of entries and the judges (Catherine from Julies Bicycle, Claire from the Association of Independent Festivals and Lucy from the Glastonbury Festival) are going through them now. Loads of you suggested ‘people power’ - turning human energy into electricity to power lights for example through kinetic energy and ‘piezoelectricity’, there were some great ideas on transport improvements especially on lift-sharing and car pooling,  clever ideas to improve coach access and coach travel , lots of ideas for better recycling onsite at festivals, some really good suggestions to instigate and improve deposit schemes on glasses and cups, some, errrm,  very imaginative uses of human waste (“putting the ‘p’ back into power” was one’ ) and plans to build solar and wind generating facilities at festivals. Sadly Dan’s idea to “make U2 play acoustically at Glastonbury with no lights or microphones on” can’t be tested in 2010! The results will be out soon – watch for the next blog! Many thanks to the Big Issue for supporting this competition – the results will be announced in a couple of weeks right here and two clever funsters will each get a goodie bag stuffed full of festival – well – stuff, including CDs, DVDs, exclusive crew T-shirts and lots of other, well, stuff!
And finally – do you want to win a FREE copy of our brand new FESTIVALS HARVEST album???!!! We have one hundred free – yes FREE – downloads to give away of this great new album which features twenty eights great new bands picked by organisers at some of our best British festivals including T-in-the-Park, Glastonbury, Solfest, Isle of Wight, the City Showcase and Kendal Calling.  All you have to go is to go to www.agreenerfestival.com/blog and find the keyword on there (hint – it’s nice to share a car and greener too) and just email that keyword to agreenerfestival@aol.com.

If you are selected as a winner you will be emailed back with a special link - and twenty eight hot sizzling tracks will be yours – free! Bands featured include Glastonbury’s Emerging Talent Competition winners Ellen & The Escapades, the hotly tipped Mirrors, UK Festival Awards critic nominees Yearner Babies, The Orkid, the outstanding four piece girl band from Plymouth, Lykez, the brilliant and innovative urban act from London, Doncaster’s hot new talent The Beaus, the beauty of Faded Cadence, Tom Williams & The Boat, already a firm festival favourite, and outstanding contributions from Mayhew, Mopp and A Band Called Quinn, all from Scotland.

ENTER NOW TO HAVE A CHANCE OF WINNING! proceeds from the album, released on June 7th, go to help our work in helping festivals get greener.

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