Posts Tagged ‘A Greener Festival’


Tuesday, October 12th, 2010


A further sixteen UK, North American and European festivals have been named by independent environmental campaign group A Greener Festival as winners of the prestigious Greener Festival Award 2010, making a record breaking total of 47 winners in 2010.

The new winners include Bonnaroo (USA). Lightning in a Bottle (USA), West Beach (USA), Osheaga Festival (Canada), Outside Lands (USA), Shambala Festival (Northants), End of the Road (Wiltshire), Waveform (Norfolk), Bestival (Isle of Wight), Camp Bestival (Lulworth), The Co-operative Cambridge Folk Festival, Hard Rock Calling (London), T-in-the-Park (Scotland), Big Tent (Scotland), Boom (Portugal) and Welcome to the Future (Netherlands).

The previously announced winners of the 2010 Award are fourteen UK festivals: the Isle of Wight Festival, The Big Session Festival (Leicester), Wood Festival (Oxfordshire), Lounge on The Farm (Canterbury), Sonisphere at Knebworth, The Glastonbury Festival, Wireless Festival (Hyde Park), Splendour 2010 (Nottingham), The Bristol Harbour Festival, The Sunrise Celebration (Somerset), The City of London Festival, Standon Calling (Hertfordshire), The Summer Sundae Weekender (Leicester) and the Croissant Neuf Summer Party (Monmouthshire). In addition there are nine European festivals: SOS 4.8 (Spain), OpenAir St Gallen (Switzerland), The Oya Festival (Norway), Malmo Festivalen (Sweden), Grassroots (Jersey), Rock For People (Czech Republic), Open Air Festival (Czech Republic), Hadra Trance Festival (France) and Rototom Reggae Sunsplash (Spain). They joined the nine Australian festivals who have already received the Greener Festival Award in 2010 – Bluesfest, The Falls Festival (on two sites) WOMADelaide, Southbound, Fairbridge, Island Vibe, Blues n Roots and Peats Ridge Festival.

A number of festivals have been named as ‘Outstanding’ including The Isle of Wight Festival, Shambala, Croissant Neuf Summer Party, Big Tent, The Sunrise Summer Celebration and Wood Festival in the UK, Boom and the Oya Festival in Europe, Lightning in a Bottle and OSheaga in North America and Peats Ridge in Australia.

All of the festivals have signed up to support environmentally good practices wherever possible and work with their audiences to reduce the festival’s carbon footprint, particularly from audience travel which often constitutes in excess of 70% of greenhouse gas emissions from rural sites. Festival organisers also have to complete a fifty three question assessment covering travel policies, CO2 emissions, waste and recycling policies, water use, noise pollution, environmental impact and green office policies. Festivals also have to undergo an independent environmental audit by an assessor sent by A Greener Festival.

Ben Challis, co-founder of A Greener Festival said: “We have had a record number of entries in 2010 and have made a record breaking 47 Awards this year (up from 37 festivals in 2009, 32 festivals in 2008 and 16 festivals in 2007 when the Awards scheme began). This is particularly impressive, not least because of the economic downturn but also because year on year we have raised the bar and made our Awards scheme more and more focussed on a meaningful and practical responses to climate change and pollution. We are also delighted that we have had more European and Australian festivals entering, new entrants in the UK and growing interest in the USA, showing that many festivals have a real commitment to environmental good practice and reducing their greenhouse gas emissions.

Max Robertson, Development Manager for Robertson Taylor Insurance said “We have been working with A Greener Festival and their members for a number of years. We continue to offer insurance premium discounts for festivals that adhere to the Greener Festival recommendations and we are delighted to support the Awards. Congratulations to all the Award winners and we look forward to another successful and green festival season in 2011”

The UK Awards will be presented at the UK Festival Awards which will be held on Thursday November 18th at the O2 in London where the overall ‘Greenest Festival’ Award will be made. European Awards will be presented at the European Festival Awards scheduled for January 2011 in Groningen, Netherlands, where winners from European festivals organisation Yourope’s parallel ‘Green n Scheme’ will also be acknowledged.

Having created an Award trophy out of recycled plastic bottles, CDs and remoulded Wellington Boots in 2009, this year’s award is made out of a recycled wine bottles specially re-labelled by the Award organisers. The Awards scheme is sponsored by specialist music industry insurance brokers Robertson Taylor

A Greener Festival Ltd. is a not-for-profit company committed to help music and arts events and festivals around the world adopt environmentally efficient practices through providing information, by providing education resources and by swapping ideas. The organisation’s website provides information about how environmentally efficient methods are currently employed at music and arts festivals and provides a forum for discussion about how the impact of festivals on the environment can be reduced and how the impact can be limited at future events by by providing information on the best ideas from greener festivals from around the world.

Apart from the Greener Festival Awards scheme, other initiatives include the annual ‘Great Big Green Ideas’ competition run in association with the Big Issue and to encourage members of the public to suggest new ideas for festivals to ‘get greener’, a new environmental project called Festival Wood which will be a new wood planted by donations from festival goers, a certificate in sustainable event management offered by Buckinghamshire New University and pan-European research into trends and developments in environmental good practice. A Greener Festival recently released the ‘Festival Harvest’ double CD and download album, featuring some of the best new talent to be found at festivals in 2010 asnd packaged in environmentally friendly recyclable card and produced by Greener Festival supporter Disc Manufacturing Services.

The three co-founders of A Greener Festival are Ben Challis, Claire O’Neill and Luke Westbury and they all work in the entertainment sector in the UK. They are supported by three Awards co-ordinators in the USA, UK/Europe and Australia and team of volunteer environmental assessors from music industry and scientific backgrounds who independently audit festivals for the Awards scheme across the globe. The group receive no public money of any nature. The Awards scheme is kindly supported by Robertson Taylor, specialists in insurance for music and live events.

Outstanding Big Tent (Scotland) Croissant Neuf Summer Party (England) Boom (Portugal) Isle of Wight Festival (England) Lightning in a Bottle (USA) Osheaga (Canada) Oya Festival (Norway) Peats Ridge (Australia) Shambala (England) Sunrise Summer Celebration (England) Wood  Festival (England)  

Commended (and *Highly Commended) Bestival*  (England) Big Session Weekend (England) Bonnaroo* (USA) Bristol Harbour Festival (England) Camp Bestival (England) Co-operative Cambridge Folk Festival (England) Falls Festival # (Australia) The Glastonbury Festival* (England) Grassroots* (Jersey) Hard Rock Calling (England) Hadra Trance Festival (France) Island Vibe (Australia) Lounge on the Farm (England) Malmo Festivalen* (Sweden) Open Air Festival (Czech Republic) OpenAir St Gallen (Switzerland) Outside Lands* (USA) Rototom Sunsplash (Spain) SOS 4:8*  (Spain) Southbound (Australia) Summer Sundae Weekender T-in-the-Park* (Scotland) Waveform* (England) Womadelaide (Australia) Wireless (England) West Beach (USA)

Improving Byron Bay Blues + (Australia) City of London Festival (England) End of the Road (England) Fairbridge (Australia) Rock For People (Czech Republic) Sonisphere (England) Splendour Festival (England) Standon Calling (England) Westcoast Blues (Australia) Welcome to the Future (Netherlands)


Tuesday, July 13th, 2010

Contributing Writer : Rashon A. Massey []

Brandon Merritt, Christine Clark, Megan Magill and Anna Borofsky

Brandon Merritt, Christine Clark, Megan Magill and Anna Borofsky

Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival (Manchester, TN) just wrapped up the 9th year anniversary, and the event still stands as an American triumph of music festivals.  Bonnaroo is the only festival where the average person will lose ten pounds from sweat, dehydration and exhaustion throughout the course of the events duration; moreover, by the end, you can place a Las Vegas bet that someone will be dead.

Bonnaroo is no joke.

2009 marked my 5th go at the Roo Rodeo, and I must admit that seeing the beast each year with 10-hour waiting lines for vehicles, a never-changing layout, scorching sun and those handfuls of lackluster sanitation stations are something of nostalgia; on the flipside, even the rodeo clown gets old.  My complaint about Roo prior to arriving was that nothing EVER changes, which meant finding new joy and wonderment in the event would be a little harder.

This year, being an official GREEN AUDITOR on behalf of A Greener Festival (, I was elated to explore Bonnaroo from a new perspective.  Assuming this role would allow me to investigate and interrogate those responsible for the greening initiatives and communities that not only orchestrate but blossom from the Roo.  This was my dream, momentous experience to branch out and begin finding new friends and exploring terra incognita within an experience I was developing a bad taste towards.

Alongside Derek Singleton, a suave, fedora-sporting young man who just completed an exciting, 82-page report taking a look into music festivals and their sustainability programs, we would examine the greening efforts together.  Both veterans of the event, I was excited to meet up with a new friend and discuss the potential and environmental impact a festival of this magnitude could produce.  The duty and jobs to be performed by Derek and I were to work with the Bonnaroo Sustainability Coordinator, Laura Sohn, and complete an overall, comprehensive walk-through while asking questions, exchanging information and documenting through photo and video the onsite highlights of the greening efforts.

The festival spans a full weekend, yet Derek and I didn’t meet with Laura until noon on the final day of the event.  With her brightly-humorous and enjoyable spirit, Laura greeted us in the backstage media compound on Sunday, and with cameras, pens and paper, Derek and I boarded her gas-powered golf cart (although they do have electric carts as well!) and began the onsite greening tour.

The first thing Laura explained were words that still resonate within me: “Although Bonnaroo takes steps every year to get better, our greening initiatives are far from perfect.  Each year is a lesson of success and failures.”  Well shared words from a woman who has assumed this part-time, year round position since 2007.

Talk numbers, shall we?  Good.

In 2009, 329-tons of landfill trash were collected, and 33 percent of all waste by weight was separated into recycling and compost.  30-tons of organic waste was composted which totaled three times as much as 2008, and Laura attributes the improvement of numbers to the implementation of the onsite “Trash Talker” program.  A work exchange system, “Trash Talker” rewards those attendees that can commit three, six-hour shifts next to waste stations (while wearing blue-gloves) in aim to aid the festival patrons with the disposing of trash, recyclables and compost in the proper receptacles.  For their tireless work and oftentimes on the spot sorting, they receive a free pass to the four-day festival.  A fair deal since ticket prices were about $240 or $275 at the gate/box office.

The first stop on our greening tour brought us to the onsite compost sorting area, which surprisingly did not STINK!  Welcomed by a mound of sorted and ready to go compost, a well-developed system of trash drop off, identification, sorting and separation takes place.  In a tented pavilion, more blue-gloved volunteers extensively do the work that most people would dread.  Like a well-oiled machine, the rotational groups of fifteen riffle through bags of trash, acting as the first line of defense to protecting our landfills and festival community ecosystem.

Something worth noting, vendors are rewarded for using compostable utensils and plates, and even if you brought enough food not to purchase goodies within Centeroo (the main area where music and activities take place), you are sure to use or see the biodegradable cups for lemonade, beer and assorted other beverages.  Produced by NatureWorks LLC, the cup is made of Ingeo biopolymer, a corn-based material, which allows the product to be sorted into the compost receptacles with other wasted food.  Although more expensive than your normal grocery store party cups, Bonnaroo continues to work with the company after six years because in just over a year, “the cups pretty much break down with the other stuff in the compost pile,” according to Sohn.  Beware – according to an article at, “the cups are not, however, officially “biodegradable” as designated by the United States Federal Trade Commission since Ingeo does not break down in nature in a “reasonably short time,” as per the FTC Green Guide’s specifications.”

Again – as Laura stated, Bonnaroo is not perfect, but it is trying to get there.

The next stop on our green adventure lead us to Anna Borofsky , owner of Clean Vibes (the company maintaining the recycling efforts at several major music festivals) at the mega recycling station.  A colorful, glittering heap of containers, bottles, cans and other recyclable products proudly congregate together and await delivery to nearby recycling facilities where further sorting will take place.  To crunch numbers again, in 2009 nearly 81-tons of plastic was delivered to Tennessee recycling plants by Clean Vibes, “…a fraction of the 130-tons of total gathered recyclable materials including scrap metal, corrugated cardboard, boxes and vendor cooking oil,” says Borofsky.  “By the looks of this pile, we already have more recyclables than last year.”

Laura took us past waste management, greening information stations and shared specific goals she would like to see addressed in the development and execution of Bonnaroo’s 2011 music festival.  Just like the budding projects for the desolate, rundown areas of Detroit, MI, Sohn hopes to begin community gardens around the town of Manchester to be tended and used by locals.  Not only a possible source that would provide fresh produce and fruit, but a cultivated idea which also opens the door for employment opportunities to stimulate economic revenue.   The Bonnaroo team would then be able to access and use these foods during the festival, guaranteeing organic food and residual profits for the locals.

At the end of the tour, I also was able to take my duties as a GREEN AUDITOR to a special place in Centeroo themed “Planet Roo.”  Adorned with vendors, non-profits, organizations, café, a solar-powered stage and small lounge showcasing eco-conscious films and open discussion forums, Planet Roo is an area that Bonnaroo improves every year.  Whether you’re looking for more information from an organization aiding the cleanup efforts of BP’s latest oil catastrophe, or interested in reaching out to the worldwide OxFam cause to end poverty and hunger, resources abound are available to activate, encourage and bring awareness to giving back to not only our planet, but your home-based community.

While Derek and I hope to see the planning and execution of renewable energy sources (how much electricity did Jay-Z’s massive set use?), Bonnaroo is on the right path and strives for improvement.  Many do not receive the opportunity to interact and witness the 24/7 energy and persons it takes to keep the four-day festival moving, and for that, I am incredibly grateful I received the privilege.

I left Bonnaroo 2010 with a perspective and acquired experience that trumps any prior reservations I once felt towards the music festival.  Being able to elevate the experience beyond the headlining acts and my year after year complaints reminded me that sometimes new adventures are happening all around us.  Even the Bonnaroo experience changes, but it is up to each of us to allow our view and focus to be broadened and opened to our surrounding environment.

Just as Laura stated, nothing is perfect, but it is the quest to better ourselves and the land around us that matters, learning through each success and failure.


Monday, June 8th, 2009

For our Wakarusa 2009 post coverage, we are introducing many new faces and friends contributing to the collective work that is

Andrew “Disco Santa” Wyatt – Contributing Writer/ Photographer
“G’ Love” Garrett – Contributing Writer
Klean Kanteen - Sponsor

Did you get your photograph taken by Rashon A. Massey?  If so – is beginning a special post called “Rah’s Memorable People/Moments,” a tribute to the images that captured the memories.

Check back in the coming days for the ongoing Wakarusa 2009 archive updates and maybe you (and your friends) get featured as part of “Rah’s Memorable People/Moments”.

Until then – join the FORUM and begin sharing your favorite memories about this years festival.


Current Greener Festival Ideas Competition

Roving Festival Writer | A Greener Festival | Current
Roving Festival Writer has partnered with Current and A Greener Festival to bring you the Current Greener Festival Ideas competition. The competition poses the question :

“How can you and festival organizers work towards making your favorite festival(s) more eco-conscious?”
Have you ever attended a music festival and thought that with just a few improvements, the event could become something a little bit greener by providing and/or implementing services and actions that better the eco-conscious efforts for everyone? Well – your ideas and thoughts deserve to be heard by the people who orchestrate your favorite music festivals. Whether it is finding condiment distributors who use biodegradable packaging or a more efficient way to recycle, we want to hear what you have to say about making your experiences that much greener.
Prizes included are an exclusive Backstage Musician Swag Bag stuffed full of t-shirts, CDs, magazines, toys and other fun stuff by the leading partners and sponsors of Roving Festival Writer.
We accept email and video submissions.
EMAIL your suggestions to

Submit a VIDEO response via – [Simply create an account (Don’t worry, it’s free!) and/or login-in at and visit our profile at : . Click on a 2009 festival video and submit a video response below. That’s it! That easy!]

The best suggestions will be published on both and websites. Contest winners will be announced via video upload to by the creators of Roving Festival Writer |
DEADLINES – MORE THAN ONE! Just make sure your entry is submitted in a timely manner in the window prior to an approaching deadline.
July 05, 2009 at 11:59p EDT
August 05, 2009 at 11:59p EDT
September 05 2009 at 11:59p EDT
For more information, contact .

A Greener Festival | aiding festivals adopt environmentally efficient practices

Wednesday, April 1st, 2009

Contributing Author: Rashon A. Massey

In the years of festivals past, an era rang loud where tickets were only $25 and a promise for a brighter future was just a sugar cube away. These days, the gatherings are far more expensive and the outlets to expand your mind are probably filtered through the same methods; however, the experience might be growing into something far more rich.

In today’s market in order to thrive as a successful music festival, your alliance needs to have a star-studded lineup of musicians hooked by a fantastic relationship with booking agencies, a publicity firm who works and knows the best and a direct working with the space and local community in which the experience (festival) takes place – And that big detail of location has become the platform for the growth and change that is beginning to occur at the gatherings.

Festivals are on a rise of interest not only as a source of music enjoyment but a hub for knowledge. Season after season, promoters, marketers and sponsors are finding the benefits of directly working with the demographic spread of attendees, as well as latching their brand and name with structural matters of importance with each festival. With an environment that is suffering a great deal from our harmful behaviors, no surprise is found that many festivals are now turning a new green leaf.

Finding strength in numbers, festival organizers have begun to look past the responsibility of providing a safe and fruitful location for music and interaction; moreover, many have begun to take seriously the power of the cohesiveness that can result in bringing such a large number of people together. Taking notice of numerous successful music festival events in the UK, Americans are finding that in order for the festival to stay of interest in the hearts of fans and financial backers, they must rise above music billings and create an eco-friendly, conscious agenda at whatever location they claim home. This way, by creating a cycle where not only are we sharing but giving back, festivals can grow to become the go-to spot for finding your inner human being – in the best way possible.

A Greener Festival is just one of several emerging figures in the music industry that are part of the rewarded efforts to those festivals who rise above and beyond. A not-for-profit company that remains ‘committed to helping music and arts events and festivals around the world adopt environmentally efficient practices through providing information, by providing education resources and by swapping ideas.’ A mighty ambition for just a couple of dedicated persons, A Greener Festival is gaining much attention and working alongside many of the successful festivals to date including Glastonbury, Rothbury, Bonnaroo and Boom. Understanding that not every festival can adopt ideas of change and implement them as quickly, A Greener Festival is merely providing an open forum for the event organizers to begin working together. To make a worldwide interest of music gatherings evolve to a place of shared growth that is rooted within the development of positive environmental practices is a place to start – and with the combined core of three that is Ben, Luke and Claire, A Greener Festival hopes to be that catalyst.

For more information on the expansion of A Greener Festival or to find out how your festival can get involved, visit A Greener Festivals newly designed website.

A Greener Festival