Top green teams pick up their gongs at the UK Festival Awards
A Greener Festival at the UK Festival Awards hands out their awards
We had a fab time at this year’s UK Festival Awards and we are very proud that so many of our award winners could get along to pick up their much deserved Greener Festival Awards. In fact we were so proud we even organised a photo shoot at the drinks reception organised by our Awards sponsor Robertson Taylor. Claire from AGF and Sangita from RT handed out the gongs to winners from Bestival, Camp Bestival, The Cambridge Folk Festival, the Croissant Neuf Summer Party, Download, Hard Rock Calling, Isle of Wight, Standon Calling and Wireless with our photographer Sarah Moore busy snapping away and Ben and Luke tying to round up all of our winners in a very large and busy room and hand out our lovely trophies, designed by Sade Goddard from Keswick School and made from recycled plastic bottles, crushed CDs and remoulded Wellington boots! We never found the teams from T-in-the-Park or Sonisphere but well done to them too!
The Croissant Neuf Summer Party green team picked up their outstanding award from Ben and Sangita - and then went on to win the overall Greener Festival Award 2009. It has to be said that it was a tough battle for the ultimate ‘Greener Festival’ Award for 2009. We assessed 37 festivals this year and there were some really excellent entries – with six outstanding awards in the UK and seven outside the UK. Very close to the top in the UK were the Isle of Wight Festival, Workhouse, Bestival, Big Tent and Waveform but the ultimate gong went to the Croissant Neuf, a festival that that really goes back to the rootsy feel of days gone by yet remains modern and fresh. All of the power used on site is provided by renewable energy – either wind or solar power, driving one of the most eclectic music line-ups of the year. All caterers use fair trade and organic produce where available, locally brewed beers are prioritised and the organisers of Croissant Neuf positively encourage people to use public transport to get to and from the event – and if they can’t do that, the festival promotes car sharing to reduce fan’s carbon footprints. For good measure the festival decided to plant three trees on the estate where the event is held for ever car that comes to the festival and the organisers do as much as they can to maximise the recycling and minimise the waste produced on site to provide a low impact, friendly and fun festival.
As well as the Awards themselves, there was a very good conference at the 02 in the day and thanks to everyone for turning up. It was a great evening and special thanks to Virtual Festivals, the event organising team, and especially Chris, Steve and Dan for making all of this all happen.
This is sort of the 'end' of the UK Festival Season for our team now but we are already gearing up for 2010 - and our friends in Australia are about to launch their new festival season very soon! Alongside this of course is the ongoing fight against climate change - and perhaps one of the most important meetings of politicians there ever has been. In early December the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen (called "Cop 15") is going to try and set some legally binding targets for all the countries in the world to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. It’s all been looking a bit grim recently with a number of countries, particularly the USA, reluctant to agree to significant cuts in emissions especially in the time of a recession when economics seems more important than climate change and long term environmental disaster. But there has been some recent better news with President Obama now apparently thinking of trying to drag America to agree to some cuts in emissions (although probably not enough). We only has to look at headlines explaining that Cumbria has just suffered a "one-in-a-thousand-year deluge" or that the polar ice caps and glaciers are melting, or the forest fires in Greece and California, or the droughts in Australia, or look at the vast tracks of new desert that have developed around the globe to realise that our weather is changing and possibly changing permanently. But we CAN all do our bit to help the environment - and music, music fans, music events and musicians play a vital role in championing the fight against climate change and protecting our beautiful planet. If you are out there and care, then keep that very sensible mantra of 'reduce, reuse and recycle' at the back of your mind, get your family and friends involved, and let’s try and all work together for greener festivals, a greener society and a greener planet. Onwards and upwards, and Ciao xxx
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