A Greener Festival: festivals to combat climate change

By benchallis on 10 March 2011

Glastonbury Festival has already announced U2, Coldplay and Beyonce as Pyramid Stage headliners for an amazing weekend of fun  - and have now announced some green travel initiatives for 2011. As one of the world's largest outdoor gatherings, Glastonbury Festival is totally committed to reducing carbon emissions - and to raising awareness of what can be done to help combat climate change. Michael and Emily Eavis have already installed solar panels on the roofs of all of the farm buildings at Worthy Farm, providing enough sustainable power for 40 homes in the village of Pilton, and has also built on-site reservoirs to save on transporting water to the site and has new greener sewage plans on a nearby farm, saving on transporting sewage away. Now as part of the 'Love the farm, leave no trace' message, the Festival wants to reward people for choosing to come to Somerset by public transport or by bicycle. So, this year, for the first time, Glastonbury have put together a Glastonbury Festival Green Traveller package which they hope will provide an extra incentive for you and your friends to "go Green". Ticket holders who arrive at the Festival by public transport or bicycle will be given a Green Traveller lanyard, offering vouchers for discounts on main meals, solar showers, solely provided for Green Travellers, access to beautiful clean compost toilets and a generous discount on a Festival T-shirt. Over 50 per cent of Glastonbury Festival's CO2 total emissions come from how "you" the Festival goers, make your way to the site. Glastonbury says "We understand that public transport can be expensive and we are working on trying to keep the prices fair. And yes, we know that getting on a train or bus isn't necessarily as easy as jumping in a car parked outside your house. But once you have decided to head for your bike, the bus stop or the train station, we'll do our best to make Festival life a little bit easier for you - from the moment you're dropped right by the gate!" Glastonbury will be posting more information on the Green Traveller scheme (and how it will work) soon www.glastonburyfestivals.co.uk
 
Waveform are pushing pedal power for 2011 and hope to run a stage powered by six bikes pedalled by up to 400 volunteers over the festival weekend  - in fact the bikes may be reduced to four or five if the stage gets too loud! The stage will also have pedalled powered LED lights and some spinning heads - and Waveform are also looking at recycled LED light installations and solar and wind power options too.

T In The Park have a host of new and revised green initiatives. Green T is the environmental policy in place at T in the Park.  In 2010 T took the 10:10 pledge to reduce carbon emissions by 10% and adopted the motto is redeem, reduce and recycle and T want to keep the green fields of Balado blooming! All food containers sold at the event are now biodegradable and all food vendors must abide by this in all their products.  They must not use plastic, polystyrene or other non bio-degradable serving trays boxes, cups, cutlery etc and condiments must not be single serving.  Waste bins, wheelie bins and recycling bins are located around the site and vendors are told that cardboard must be flat packed and put in the recycling bins. In order to reduce energy use and emissions T will be measuring this in 2011 to establish the baseline, and it will be measured in accordance with Industry Green: a framework developed especially for music festivals by Julie's Bicycle, a not for profit organisation helping the music industry go green - T is one of the first Scottish events to have signed up to the Industry Green programme. T have also introduced recycling into the campsite: one clear bag for plastic bottles, cans and paper, and a bin bag for all food waste (including all food packaging and cutlery). T Trash Trailers make their daily rounds in the campsite collecting everyone's bin and recycling bags - and all crew catering waste will be composted rather than going to landfill. T in the Park was the first UK festival to introduce cup recycling and there are three strands to this:  REDEEM - when you buy your drinks tokens onsite, there is an additional 10p deposit charged for your cup. When you've finished your drink you take your empty cup to one of the cup recycling points around the festival and we redeem it for a shiny new 10p! REDUCE  we're always trying to find new ways to reduce T's impact on the environment, and that includes reducing the effect litter and waste has on the site too and finally  RECYCLE - every cup collected through the initiative will be fully recycled, reducing the landfill waste which leaves Balado.
 
Grey water is collected from all showers onsite, and this is used for priming toilets after they have been cleaned. With so many toilets being cleaned 3-4 times a day, this saves huge amounts of water, and reduces the tanker miles of water coming to site, & waste water being taken away from site. This reduction in tanker miles makes significant reductions in tanker miles CO2 emissions. As T in the Park takes place within the catchment of Loch Leven, which is a designated 'Site of Special Scientific Interest', T always ensures that all water and waste water issues do not damage the sensitive environment. T's toilet paper and hand towels are made from 100% recycled materials and come from commercial forests not from conservation areas: these managed forests plant three new trees for every one cut down.
 
Finally, T's campsite will be lit with low energy festoon lighting, staff use bicycles to get around the site (it's the quickest and greenest way of getting about!) and T in the Park recognises the important educational role festivals have to play, and has created a dedicated environmental area called The Eco Village situated within Healthy T. The area promotes the green message whilst not losing sight that everyone is there to have fun, and naturally it's solar powered.
 
And talking of JULIES BICYCLE, the UK's cross music initiative on climate change has announced that six green UK venues will be getting the IG mark to reward their environmental efforts. The six venues are Wembley Stadium, Cardiff International Arena, Motorpoint Arena Sheffield, O2 Apollo Manchester, Southampton Guildhall and the Capital FM Arena in Nottingham. Julies Bicycle Director Alison Tickell said "We are delighted to announce the award of IG certificates to six of the UK's most high profile live music venues. All have demonstrated their strong commitment to reducing their environmental impact and join a community of creative industry leaders that are setting the standard for environmentally responsible business practices through their transparency and accountability".
 
Finally, Ben Challis from A Greener Festival, Fruzsina Szep from the Sziget Festival in Hungary, Daniel Barcza from the Moholy-Nagy Arts University and Andras Gross from the Medence Group were all speakers at the 'New Ways and New Trends in Arts Management' held at the British Embassy in Budapest on 3 March looking at sustainable development in arts management.  You can find more at  http://en.artsandbusiness.hu/ and both Ben and Fruzina have written chapters for a book of the same name - but the book is only in Hungarian at the moment.

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