A Greener Festival Blog #7

By benchallis on 23 August 2010

If you missed it, you can check out a really good report on greener festivals from the BBC as part of the Countryfile programme, which was first shown on Sunday 23rd August and is now up on the BBC iPlayer.

It features contributions from our very own Claire O'Neill, Big Chill production manager Claudia Langmead, Big Chill land owner James Hervey-Bathurst and from Melvin Benn, boss of Festival Republic. John Craven’s report explores the impact of audience travel to festivals on greenhouse gas emissions, recycling and the waste left behind at festivals by the fans and returning the land back to the beautiful countryside it usually is.

The iPlayer link is http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b00tl5fv/Countryfile_22_08_2010/ and John Craven's report starts at about 09.40 minutes in and the second part on the hard work which is the 'clear up' and the positive economic impact of the Big Chill is at about 31.20 minutes in.
Claire also featured on BBC news (fame at last!) where BBC reporter Maddy Savage visited the Oya Festival in Norway – where the four main stages at the festival are powered by 100% sustainable power from hydro-electricity. You can see more here http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-10964307 including another fascinating video.

Oya was a winner of the 2009 Greener Festival Award and overall winner of the ‘Greenest festival in Europe’ award last year, presented at the European Festival Awards. The Croissant Neuf Summer Party, one of our ‘outstanding’ festivals in 2009, received the same title at the UK Festival Awards last year. This year we have had an amazing number of entries for our Greener Festival Awards scheme and we are on track to make nearly 50 Awards – that’s up from 37 in 2009, 32 in 2008 and 16 in 2007 when we started the scheme. And some of the festivals we have been to this year have made really big improvements in making their festivals more environmentally friendly and in reducing their greenhouse gas emissions. We will have an interim list of Award winners on our site at www.agreenerfestival.com soon and a final list of this year’s recipients will be published at the end of September on that site and on this site, with the UK, European and US winners joining the record breaking nine Australian Festivals who have already won our prestigious Award this year.

Our Awards organisers, Helen in the UK and Europe, Lee in the USA and Amie in Australia, have been flat out processing Awards applications and getting independent auditors to all the events who enter our Awards scheme so a big ‘thank you’ to them – but also a big thank you to all of the festival organisers who enter our scheme, or who sign up to the ‘Green n Clean’ scheme in Europe, or who have signed up to the 10:10 campaign to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. 10:10 is an innovative carbon reduction campaign that works with individuals, businesses and organisations ranging from hospitals to councils to schools. Cross music industry initiative on climate change group Julie's Bicycle is working alongside the 10:10 campaign to help festivals identify and reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and festivals who have pledged to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by 10% this year include Lovebox, The Big Chill, Lounge on the Farm, the Isle of Wight Festival, Latitude, Bestival, T-in-the-Park, Reading and Leeds, many of whom are leading contenders for the Greener Festival Award as well.

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