ANOTHER PLANET?

polar vortextUNEP and the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) have confirmed that the ozone ‘hole’ in the atmosphere should be closed within 30 years. Going back to the 80s, the use of CFS (Chlroroflurocarbons) had led to quite extensive damage to the thin shield that protects the planet from harmful ultra violet rays. A worldwide ban on the use of CFS in aerosol sprays and fridges in 1987 under the Montreal Protocol has substantially reduced ozone depleting emissions – and by the mid century levels should be back to 1980s benchmarks. Now can we have the same for climate change?

BUT ….. Surging carbon dioxide levels have pushed greenhouse gases to record highs in the atmosphere, the WMO has said. Concentrations of carbon dioxide, the major cause of global warming, increased at their fastest rate for 30 years in 2013, despite warnings from the world’s scientists of the need to cut emissions to halt temperature rises. Experts warned that the world was “running out of time” to reverse rising levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) to tackle climate change. The annual greenhouse gas bulletin from the WMO showed that in 2013 concentrations of CO2 in the atmosphere were 142% of what they were before the Industrial Revolution. Other potent greenhouse gases have also risen significantly, with concentrations of methane now 253% and nitrous oxide 121% of pre-industrial levels.

CLIMATE-MARCH-570

World leaders, including President Obama, are coming to NYC for the United Nation’s summit on the climate crisis. The goal of the PEOPLES CLIMATE MARCH is to draw attention to the climate crisis and urge leaders to find solutions to end climate change. But let’s not forget, we are already seeing and feeling the effects of climate change. Meaningful action is long overdue, which is why it is so important to support the march efforts. The marches are in London, New York, and eight other locations.  Our friend Aylin adds “It’s important that governments know that people do care, that we want change, that we want all this beautiful life on earth, including ourselves, to have a future. So if your in london, join the march this Sunday to make a stand! After all I’m sure we don’t want to be known as the stupid humans that managed to wipe out our own species and most of life on earth because we couldn’t get it together. Could you imagine how embarrassing that would be! All the big decisions that will make a difference to how this will go will happen in your lifetime so join the climate march to be a part of something positive.”

France’s first mega dairy farm is kicking up quite a stink. The farmer, Michel Ramery, has been accused of Americanising French farming with his planned 1000 dairy cow  herd along with 750 heifers and calves – and critics say the farm in the Somme is more about producing effluent to biogas power than producing milk or cheese. opponents blockaded the far last weekend saying milk will be sold off cheaply and destroy other local farms.

China’s water shortage is prompting residents in Beijing to dig their own wells. These illicit efforts in Shuimo came after 10,000 migrant workers moved to the area – putting a strain on the water supply – which dried up and  eventually was suspended for 19 days.

Amazon burningA 1,000 steel tower will soon loom over the Amazon rainforest – allowing scientists to better understand climate change. The move comes as scientists in Brazil have noted that illegal deforestation is crept up by 10% this year after two years of decline – the loss of water vapour released by the rain forest is now having a knock on effect – a drought in Sao Paulo is being directly linked to what was a ;’flying river’ – now much depleted leading to reduced rainfall. The city’s water table is at its lowest level for 70 years. Former environmental activist Maria Silva is hoping to win the forthcoming presidential elections and polls say she is now running neck and neck with President Rousseff.

It seems fracking is NOT always to blame for polluted water. Scientists from five universities in the USA including Duke and Stanford studied eight clusters of contaminated wells near fracking operations in Texas and found that problems were caused by failures in the cement casing  or lining of wells.

Skyscrapers will help fight climate change: That’s the conclusion of a study comparing the urban sprawl of Atlanta (population 5.25 million) with the similarly sized Spanish city of Barcelona (5.33 million). The Global Commission on the Economy and Climate says residents in Atlanta produce 7.5 tonnes of CO2 from public and private transport – residents in Barcelona just 0.7 tonnes of CO2. Atlanta covers 26 times the area of Barcelona, and is in places over 20km wide, with residents widely dependent on cars. The Commission recommends the use of ‘road users charges’, high density developments and cycle sharing schemes to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and also urges a cessation of forest destruction – currently producing 11% of the world’s greenhouse gases/

 

 

ANOTHER PLANET?

cyclesuperhighwayFull proposals for the world’s longest segregated urban cycle route  have been unveiled as Mayor Boris Johnson increases his efforts to improve rider safety in the capital. The 18-mile east-west superhighway will stretch from Barking to Acton and give protection to cyclists along some of central London’s busiest roads.Riders will have a dedicated, two-way kerb-segregated track on major thoroughfares including the Victoria Embankment, Parliament Square and the Westway flyover. Extra space will be made for cyclists by removing road lanes, parking and loading bays. “Island” strips along the Embankment and other routes will separate cyclists from vehicles and double as drop-off points for taxis, buses and coaches. TfL also plan to rip-up dangerous junctions at Tower Hill, Blackfriars, Parliament Square and Lancaster Gate, as well improving the number of ‘Quietways’, quieter routes along back streets, to link up with the Superhighways in the City and West End. Work on the Tower Hill to Paddington section will start early next year and the superhighway is due to be completed shortly before the mayor leaves office in spring 2016. A new north-south route from Elephant & Castle to King’s Cross will be completed at the same time, forming a crossroads with the east-west route at Blackfriars. Ashok Sinha, London Cycling Campaign chief executive, said he congratulated Mr Johnson on ‘finally taking such a big step towards delivering’ on his promise to follow the Dutch model of cycle infrastructure. More in the London Evening Standard. Picture: Greater London Authority.

The Mayor of London has also announced a further investment of £12m to expand his programme to retrofit buildings across the capital, making them more energy efficient and reducing carbon emissions. The new funds will extend London’s existing retrofit work, which has improved the sustainability credentials of more than 400,000 homes and 350 public buildings, to more buildings across the capital.

windturbines_300The British summer may be over but it has ended on a high for the renewables sector, with new records set and wind generation levels exceeding both nuclear and coal. According to official National Grid statistics, wind overtook coal-fired power plants for generation on five separate occasions in August – the first time this has ever happened.  And global wind, solar and hydro energy grew at its fastest ever pace last year, equating to almost 22% of global power generation, according to a new report from the International Energy Agency (IEA). The Paris-based organisation’s third annual Medium-Term Renewable Energy Market Report estimates that global renewable energy generation will rise by another 45% to make up nearly 26% of global electricity generation by 2020. But it also warns that annual growth in renewable power will begin to slow after 2014, as policy and market risks threaten to slow deployment.

In the USA a ban on single-use plastic bags in California is expected to be signed into law after the states senate passed a bill barring single-use plastic bags from retailers from next July. The California Senate recently voted 22-15 to ban single-use plastic bags, making it the first state in the US to approve such a measure.

Coffeehouse giant Costa has announced that it has joined a paper cup recycling scheme called Simply Cups. By participating in the scheme, Costa hopes that it will be able to address the burgeoning issue of how to recycle paper cups within its concession outlets located at corporate offices, universities and transport hubs.

Edie.net reports that UK venture capital firm Scottish Equity Partners (SEP) has announced it has raised £135m for a new infrastructure fund to invest in a diversified portfolio of UK-based clean energy projects. The Environmental Capital Fund (ECF) will be used to support small-scale hydro power, energy efficiency, heat pump and district heating projects in a bid to meet an increased demand for capital from the UK’s rapidly growing clean energy market. And the World’s largest private bank UBS is urging investors to join the renewables revolution: UBS predicts that large-scale power stations will soon make way for electric cars and new solar technologies.   Big power stations in Europe could be redundant within 10-20 years as electric cars, cheaper batteries and new solar technologies transform the way electricity is generated, stored and distributed say analysts.

Lib DemsIn the UK, the Liberal Democrat manifesto will include plans for five new laws to protect the environment and improve air and water quality, reduce waste, end to polluting coal power stations and an ambitious decarbonisation target for the electricity sector. The five green laws proposed by the Lib Dems are:

·A Nature Bill: key measures include legal targets for biodiversity, clean air, clean water and access to green space, extending the ‘Right to Roam’ and establishing new marine and coastal reserves.

·A Heating and Energy Efficiency Bill:

·A Zero Waste Britain Bill with binding targets and a clear action plan to reduce waste and end biodegradable landfill.

·A Zero Carbon Britain Bill: key measures include introducing a decarbonisation target for electricity generation, expanding the powers of the Green Investment Bank and banning electricity generated from coal.

·A Green Transport Bill: key measures include establishing a full network of charging points for electric cars, only allowing low emission vehicles on the roads from 2040 and reforming planning law to ensure new developments are designed around walking, cycling and public transport.

henryJames Dyson has suggested that Britain should leave the EU, over a dispute about vacuum cleaner energy efficiency regulations. A new law banning vacuum cleaners rated above 1,600 watts came into effect on September 1, as part of the European Commission’s plans to meet targets on energy efficiency – to much criticism in the UK press and reported panic buying or more powerful models. Dyson was not affected by the changes, as none of its vacuum cleaners are rated above 1,400 watts. However, the company’s founder claims the legislation is too crude and does not go far enough. The Mail Online thinks that banning vacuum cleaners isn’t about saving the planet – it’s about Brussels grabbing even more power. More on the Telegraph’s website here and the Guardian here who say despite what the tabloid papers think, it’s actually about getting designers to come up with energy-efficient appliances

How to Shop for Sustainable Sites and Vendors - by Kirsti Sanders on the CVent Event Planning website is well worth a read! Thanks to our environmental assessor Penny Mellor for spotting this and its a useful checklist for event planners.

world water weekWorld Water Week: Top 10 tips to reduce your consumption. Water is becoming an increasingly scarce resource and there has never been a better time for businesses to help raise the profile of today’s most pressing water challenges and take extra steps to tackle the issues of water security and quality. ‘Quick fixes’ such as fitting aerated showerheads in staff showers, using low-flow taps in sinks and adding controls on urinals often have a payback of less than three months. Reducing water costs reduces your energy costs – and also your production costs. Water is five times more difficult to heat than granite, so hot water is very expensive, likewise water is heavy to pump around. Saving water will make a big dent in your energy bill, and optimising your water use will also optimise your other operations and lead to savings in production or improved performance. 

Britons should brace themselves for more extreme winters as weather conditions become more volatile, scientists have warned. A study of seasonal records dating back to 1899 found that while most seasons have not changed dramatically, winter has become much more unpredictable. The results suggest the idea of a typical British winter is increasingly becoming a myth, with wide swings from mild but stormy conditions like those which hit the UK this year to extremely cold temperatures and snow in another year becoming more common. Researchers from the University of East Anglia (UEA), University of Sheffield and the Met Office found that seven out of the 10 most extreme winter conditions over the last 115 years have occurred in the last decade. Professor Phil Jones, from the University of East Anglia’s climatic research unit, said: “This indicates that British winters have become increasingly unsettled. If this trend continues, we can expect more volatile UK winter weather in decades to come.” More on the Huffington Post here.

Brazil is the most dangerous place in the world to be an environmentalist. It accounts for about half of all recorded killings of environmental advocates. That incredibly dangerous environment makes what photographer Lunae Parracho documented even more incredible. Parracho  followed the Ka’apor tribe, an indigenous community in Brazil, as they fought back against illegal loggers. some amazing photos here http://www.filmsforaction.org/articles/13-incredible-photos-of-amazon-tribe-fighting-back-against-illegal-loggers/

The amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere reached a record high in 2013, propelled by a surge in levels of carbon dioxide which experts think the planet may struggle to deal with according to the World Meteorological Organisations’ (WMO) annual Greenhouse Gas Bulletin which called for “concentrated international action against accelerating and potentially devastating climate change.”  The report also said that C02 levels increased at the quickest rate since 1984, suggesting the while emissions are rising; the earth’s ability to absorb the gas may also be declining.

UK Energy and Climate Secretary Ed Davey has insisted that economic growth and carbon reduction can go hand in hand as the has set out the UK Government’s vision for a legally binding global climate deal in Paris next year. ‘Paris 2015: Securing Our Prosperity Through a Global Climate Change Agreement’ is a new document which argues that action on climate change is needed ‘on a coordinated global scale from every country in the world’. And Prime Minister David Cameron is being urged to push for a global countdown to zero emissions ahead of his expected attendance at the New York climate summit later this month. A coalition of five leading environmental groups – Greenpeace, Christian Aid, Green Alliance, RSPB and WWF – have set out their hopes and expectations for a successful climate package to be delivered by the end of next year, with other global leaders including Barack Obama confirmed to attend the major international climate talks on 23 September.

downloadJapanese electronics and ceramics manufacturer Kyocera has announced that it is beginning work on what will be the world’s largest floating solar installation. The 2.9MW project comprises two separate floating arrays in the Nishira and Higashihira reservoirs in Kato City. The electricity generated will provide the equivalent power for roughly 920 typical households and will be sold to the local utility through Japan’s feed-in-tariff system. And the UK is leading the way when it comes to offshore wind power, with a 52% share of the international market last year, according to new figures.  GlobalData has released a new report which reveals that the UK’s cumulative offshore wind power installed capacity increased from 0.3GW in 2006 to 3.7GW in 2013 – a 42.9% increase. The research firm puts this increase down to aggressive renewable targets, policy backing and a shift towards a greener climate,

Our friends at eco-clothing brand Rapanui have come up with a novel solution to the problem of ‘throwaway fashion’ by offering store credit to customers who return last season’s clothes. Customers’ old clothes will be recycled properly, with Rapanui building on a reputation of sustainability; making it’s t-shirts, tops and sweats from 100% certified organic cotton in a wind-powered factory.  “Our customers look forward to each new season but it seems a shame that our products end up unused in the wardrobe after six months,” said designer Martin Drake-Knight.”It means there’s a conflict between fashion and the environment. We want to heal that and find a way for people to enjoy shopping, and fashion, without creating mountains of waste.”

Edie.net reports that the USA’s first commercial-scale biofuel plant is now open and will eventually produce more than 110 million litres of fuel a year from corn waste. The £167m plant, named ‘Project Liberty’, is situated in Emmetsburg, Iowa and converts baled corn cobs, leaves and stalks into renewable fuel. Its development was supported by more than £60m in grants from the US Department of Energy and Agriculture (DOE).  America’s Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack believes the Project Liberty opening is proof that the country is ready for advanced renewable energy production.

Energy efficiency has become the world’s ‘hidden fuel’ and has the potential to stimulate massive economic growth, according to a new report from the International Energy Agency (IEA). Entitled ‘Capturing the multiple benefits of efficient energy’, the report ramps up the pressure on the European Council of Ministers, which will decide upon its 2030 energy saving target in the next few weeks.

Big brands such as Coca-Cola Enterprises, Nestlé and retailer Marks & Spencer have partnered up to launch a new plastics recycling campaign called Pledge 4 Plastics. The new Government-backed cross industry partnership is led by plastics recycling body Recoup. It aims to increase the collection of plastic packaging for recycling. The initiative has been formulated in response to challenging packaging recycling targets set by the Government for the period 2013-17. Plastic packaging recycling levels need to double over this five year period.

Sheringham_Shoal_Wind_Farm_2012The renewable energy industry has united to launch a series of ‘key tests’ for the UK political parties ahead of the next General Election. Leading renewable energy trade bodies including the Anaerobic Digestion and Biogas Association (ADBA), the British Hydropower Association (BHA), the Renewable Energy Association (REA), the British Photovoltaic Association (BPVA), RenewableUK, Scottish Renewables and the Solar Trade Association (STA), have launched a renewables manifesto statement and campaign hosted on the Action for Renewables website. The six key tests laid out by the grouping are:
1. Support the Climate Change Act to keep us on course to meet our carbon commitments and back global efforts to tackle climate change.
2. Set a new renewables target for 2030 of 30% of UK energy.
3. Back the Independent Committee on Climate Change’s recommendation to set a binding target for low carbon electricity by 2030.
4. Fund the Renewable Heat Incentive for new applications after 2016.
5. Boost the UK’s Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation to reach the 10% renewable energy target for transport by 2020.
6. Reform the EU Emissions Trading Scheme to ensure the market takes account of all sectors’ polluting cost of carbon emissions.

GOOD NEWS !

whale hunt

 

FESTIVAL NEWS

FLASHBACKVirtualfestivals.com reports that three outdoor events due to take place at Hylands Park in Essex this month have been cancelled as the organisers claim the site isn’t “acceptable”. Last Night of the Proms, which was due to take place this Sunday, September 7, and feature Aled Jones and the Philharmonic Orchestra, has been cancelled by the event producers (UK Events & Production) today.  The same production company have cancelled two more Hylands Park events this month: Flashback Festival on September 13 and Wet Wet Wet on September 14. Flashback Festival was to feature some of the top selling acts of the eighties, including headliner Billy Ocean, Marc Almond, ABC, Hue and Cry, Go West, From the Jam, and The Doctor (of Dr & The Medics). In a statement, UK Events and Production indicated that the V Festival, held on the same site (16-17 August) was contributing factor in the decision to cancel the concerts saying “The site was recently used for the V Festival and after a recent site visit we do not feel that the area within the park we are using is acceptable to put on our concerts.”

Clapham_CommonAnd residents in Clapham, London, are voicing concerns about the number of festivals on Clapham Comon afre recent rainfall  hit the end of an event and turned areas of the park into a ‘quagmire’.  The Evening Standard reports that South West Four (SW4) attracted 50,000 party-goers on the August bank holiday weekend and starred DJs Deadmau5, Eric Prydz and Pete Tong. Heavy rain hit the clean-up, with lorries churning up turf and creating vast patches of mud as they picked up equipment. Campaigners are urging local authority Lambeth to introduce a cap on the number of major events, as Westminster did at Hyde Park last year. They also want a 20,000-a-day limit on the number of revellers. Similar complaints have been made about Finsbury Park after it hosted three-day Wireless Festival in July – which saw rappers Kanye West, Pharrell Williams and Rudimental perform – just six weeks after band Arctic Monkeys rocked the green for two days.

bunkAlJazeera America hosts an interstung article on Adam Auctor, the founder of the Bunk Police, an organization that travels to summer music events in the USA to help test the purity of festival goers’ drugs. His business came about amid a unique set of circumstances over the last decade: a 2003 law that held club owners and music festival promoters criminally responsible for knowledge of any drug use at their events, the revitalized big business of music festivals, the rise of electronic dance music and the ascendance of the drug Molly. ….. more here. Bunk Police website here.

bestival ballBestival’s magnificent disco ball has set a new GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS title! Topping the tape at 10.33 metres, the dazzling disco beauty is as high as a three storey building, is covered in 2,500 mirrored tiles that would stretch out for a kilometre if you laid them end to end, and is filled with 350 cubic metres of air; equivalent to one thousand beach balls! Verified by Mark McKinley from GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS, the Disco Ball was measured by surveyor Ollie Salter at midday on Sunday (7th September), before clinching the record when it was raised and spun, with a suitably disco-tastic light show, at the start of Chic featuring Nile Rodgers’ epic finale set on the Disco themed Bestival Sunday evening. And Bestival now holds the GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS title for the Largest Disco Ball.

guilfest2014_zpsd3994798The company behind Guilfest 2014 has gone into insolvency, Blaming, primarily, a lack of time to organise this year’s event resulting in low ticket sales, and a forecast of bad weather (whIch didn’t transpire). Organiser Tony Scott also confirmed that certain artists on the 2014 bill, which featured headliners in The Boomtown Rats, Jedward, Kool & The Gang, Fun Lovin Criminals and The Human League, have yet to be paid. First established in 1992, Guilfest ran every year till 2012, when it went into administration due disappointing ticket sales), with its parent company Scotty Events facing debts of over £300,000. Live Nation staged an event in the town in 2013, but Scott regained the use of Stoke Park after a social media campaign, and his new company Trowfest Ltd was, back in February, given the green light by Guildford Borough Council. Interviewed by Get Surrey this week, Scott said despite this year’s event being “fantastic”, Trowfest Ltd had needed to sell a couple of thousand more tickets to cover its costs. He told the site: “Unfortunately we didn’t get enough ticket sales to pay all the bills we have got to pay. One of the reasons was that we were a bit short of time to do it all in. We have never done a festival in three-and-a-half months before”.

CSM2014Another group of students have graduated with degrees and foundation degrees in Crowd Safety Management from Bucks New University, celebrating their big day at a ceremony at the Swan Theatre in High Wycome and then at the University’s campus. Pictures are 2014 graduates in front of Buck’s Gateway Building with staff members Stuart Kirk, Emma Parkinson and Ben Challis.

The Season is almost over – why not plan ahead and get ready for the 2015 Season….

RT_EntIns_Hi-Res-StackThe Festival Season is almost over – which means it’s time to start thinking about next year’s line-up  – and we don’t just mean which acts are performing. There is no better time to plan ahead and get the vital (but far less exciting) components such as Insurance sorted, and off the list for the new season.

We are really pleased to have teamed up for another year with our friends at Robertson Taylor W&P Longreach (RT) to offer discounts on the cost of insurance for festivals that adopt green initiatives.

This is such an important issue and RT are very pleased that insurers recognise the efforts of festival organisers, to introduce green initiatives so that they can pass on the benefits to their clients.  RT have negotiated special discounts for any festival organisers who are striving to make their festivals greener that implement at least 5 of the 16 green initiatives that have been suggested by agreenerfestival.com.

For more information on this or any aspect of music and event insurance please do not hesitate to contact RT’s Bev Hewes on 0207 510 1234 or via Beverley.Hewes@wandp-longreach.com or visit www.rtworldwide.com

Robertson Taylor W&P Longreach are the key sponsor of the Greener Festival Awards scheme and a key supporter of the work of A Greener Festival.

To qualify for a ‘Green’ discount, you need confirm you have adopted at least five measures from the list below. 

  • eotr1We have an environmental policy which extends to waste and recycling, energy use, water, environmental protection and transport which extends to both on-site and offsite activities – and which all senior management are aware of and
  • We have compost toilets on-site.
  • We encourage festival goers to minimise water wastage by using taps which turn off automatically when not in use, e.g. pump powered taps or similar systems.
  • We minimise water use by providing toilets which re-use grey water to flush toilets.
  • We ensure traders use only eco-friendly cleaning products.
  • We promote recycling on-site and actively promote the recycling of paper, card, plastics, metals and glass   .
  • All caterers on site are required to use bio-degradable and / or reusable food utensils and containers?  This extends to traders, crew catering, hospitality & sponsors and non recyclable disposables are banned.
  • We provide a waste management facility that separates waste for recycling.
  • We give all organic waste to local farm(s) to convert to compost, or provide an on-site composting or anaerobic digestion area.
  • We measure greenhouse gas emissions from our event and seek to reduce our carbon footprint year on year.
  • We ensure that at least 25% of the power used at the festival is supplied by bio diesel and/or solar power.
  • We have adopted environmentally friendly practices for audience transport including the provision and/or promotion of public transport and car pooling.
  • We apply car park charges or a charge per vehicle brought to the festival.
  • We ensure that the use of electricity and power is minimised, and that energy saving equipment and lighting is used on site.
  • We use one or more sustainable power sources for 25% of our on-site needs (sun, wind, water, human and sustainable bio-fuels)             .
  • We actively campaign to promote good environmental practice (for example by banning plastic water bottles or sauce sachets, by supporting local wildlife or tree planting schemes, by eliminating no recyclable disposables, by inviting environmental groups to the festival, by promoting local foods, drinks and suppliers).

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Sustainability Leaders Awards – shortlist out

SLAThe shortlist has been announced for the 2014 Sustainability Leaders Awards. To see who made the cut and who you could be joining at this year’s ceremony click here. The winners will be announced in front of more than 400 guests at the annual gala dinner in the beautiful Grand Connaught Rooms, London, on the 19th November.

The Awards, organised by edie.net and its sister brand Sustainable Business, celebrate the very best in sustainable business; recognising true leadership and innovation among companies and organisations that are making genuine progress in embedding sustainability throughout their operations.  Entry-level hit an all-time high for 2014, with the final shortlist whittled down to 74 entrants. The finalists include multi-national corporations, retailers, manufacturers, luxury brands, SMEs, public sector organisations, universities and more. 

The 14 categories this year range from Carbon Management and Energy Efficiency through to Sustainable Transport & Travel, Sustainable Packaging, Waste & Resource Management, Stakeholder Engagement and the prestigious Sustainability Leader Award. With the exception of the Sustainability Leader: Consultancy award, all of the categories are judged by an expert panel which includes the Carbon Trust’s chief operating officer Michael Rea, BRE’s chief executive Peter Bonfield and Forum for the Future’s chief executive Sally Uren.

 

FESTIVAL NEWS

BURNING2The Times reports that the Burning Man Festival in Nevada has attracted an influx of Silicon Valley millionaires and billionaires who are altering the festival’s unique dynamic, flying to the event in private jets and sleeping in air conditioned yurts and winnebegos, somewhat undermining the Burning Man ethos. The first day of the desert event was cancelled …. after heavy rain! The festival,  which draws tens of thousands of festival-goers known as “burners” to the Black Rock Desert, was slated to open at 10 a.m. Monday, but those who were not inside were being turned around at the entrance after “rainstorms that left standing water on the playa, leaving it un-drivable”. Those heading to the festival from Reno were asked to stay put until the rain let up.

The Electric Zoo festival in New York was also cut short because of extreme weather conditions. The third day of last year’s EDM event was cancelled last year after two festival-goers died and four others were taken ill, all in drug-related incidents.

standoncallingFestival Insights reports that Hertfordshire’s Standon Calling has announced its intention to improve three key areas of the event for 2015 in response to customer feefback, Firstly and the allowance of alcohol for each individual has been raised to either 12 cans beer/lager/cider, 75cl of spirits or one box of wine (which seems very low still!) Secondly the site’s water system will undergo a complete overhaul following a failure of its bore hole compression system during this year’s proceedings. Organisers also plan to invest in better technology after problems with mobile phone connectivity put the mobile card machines out of commission and many were forced to use the on-site ATMs, which incurred a charge. 

A US-based ‘ticketing search engine’ called SeatGeek has announced it has raised $35 million in investment, in a funding round led by Accel Partners which has been backed by a number of investors, including some from the technology and sporting sectors. The new monies will be used to fund expansion and marketing. In a statement the company’s founder Jack Groetzinger said: “SeatGeek is a technology company, not a ticket company. We spent our first four years focused exclusively on building a great product. A year ago we began to try our hand at marketing, and were blown away by the results. So for us, this is a natural opportunity for us to get more aggressive in marketing. Still, we weren’t looking to raise money, but when we met Accel, we knew it was a great fit”.

budmadeinusaPolice at the Budweiser Made in America Music Festival made several arrests, and 6 were for felony narcotics. The two site event was first held at the Benjamin Franklin Parkway in Philadelphia in 2012 and in 2014 it was decided that the festival would be held simultaneously in Los Angeles as well where the arrests were made.  Rita Ora and Iggy Azalea took the stage in sweltering heat to an enthusiastic crowd – over 34,000 people attended.

ultrafrestannounce_thumbThe Ultra Music Festival in Miami has announced that it will introduce a minimum age limit of 18 for its 2015 edition, and that it has hired a new head of security. The festival struggled to gain a licence for 2015, following an incident in 2014 which saw a security guard seriously injured when part of the fence surrounding the festival was pushed down. Miami city officials had been critical of Ultra promoters, claiming that the authorities had warned organisers about the issues with the particular area of fencing where the incident took place. Although a licence for 2015 was ultimately granted, the city’s mayor Tomas Regalado had said that he is opposed to the event. In a statement Ultra’s organisers said: “While we sincerely value the incredible ongoing support from our younger fans, we ultimately believe that Ultra Music Festival is a premium event geared towards adults. This decision has been made to reinforce and promote the safety of all Ultra Music Festival fans and to ensure the overall enjoyment of all future attendees”. They added: “We are extremely grateful for all the support we have received from our younger fan base to date and we encourage them to attend the festival once they reach the appropriate age. Until then, our free YouTube stream ‘Ultra Live’ is available worldwide for everyone, all ages to enjoy and to share in the Ultra experience”.

74d5391b-cbbb-41e6-8b40-765344df149dThe Association Of Independent Festivals has announced more details about its Festival Congress, which will take place in Cardiff on 17 and 18 Oct. Confirmed to speak are Southbank Centre Artistic Director Jude Kelly, Welsh minister Edwina Hart, and a number of festival reps, including Rob da Bank (Bestival), Martin Elbourne (Glastonbury/The Great Escape) and Ivan Millivojev (Exit Festival). Commenting on all that, da Bank, as both panellist and AIF co-founder, told reporters: “As the hour rapidly approaches, all at AIF are absolutely buzzing about the Congress. These latest announcements show that we’re bringing the cream of the independent festival world together in Cardiff. The stage is set for an excellent conference and we’ll be celebrating a big season that has seen more sold-out AIF festivals than ever before”.

Nasty – how NOT to behave at a festival. Any festival: Anywhere:  “Drunk festival girl destroys tent and falls in her own piss / Синька зло! – See more at: http://viralvideos.prochan.com/WTF/t/ecc_1397390902

City of Guthrie Receives Fertile Soil from Gentlemen of the Road Composting Program

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In June this year, Minick Materials, of Oklahoma City, delivered 25 yards of fertile soil to the City of Guthrie, a testament to the old phrase “one person’s trash is another person’s treasure”. Why you might ask? Well the September 2013 weekend concert, Gentlemen of the Road, attracted an audience that peaked with over 30,000 music-goers whose post-consumer food waste and paper products were  all composted. After decomposing for over 6 months, the material has broken down into fertile soil that will be offered to residents of the City for home gardening use and in designated parks. Guthrie is planning to educate the public about the origin of the soil to be used in various parks that will commemorate the event.

“As recent headlines in the news may indicate, the growing of local food is vital to the future of our cultures’ health. Before you can have local food, you need to find opportunities to build the soil and composting represents that opportunity,” said Master Gardener, and Mayor of Guthrie, Mark Spradlin who has helped to lead the Guthrie Community Garden. Mayor Spradlin added, “Due to the local composition of our dirt and the amount of clay it contains, it often makes for better cement than garden soil. Using an event like Gentlemen of the Road to stimulate the theory and practice of composting benefits the entire community, and future generations.”

mumford-sons-logo (1)Gentleman of the Road was recognized by The Metropolitan Environmental Trust, of Tulsa, as the 2013 Oklahoma Recycling & Composting Event of the Year. The festival recycled over 18.5 tons and composted over 5.5 tons of post consumer food waste and compostable paper products. The Festival of the Arts, an annual occurrence for Arts Council of Oklahoma City, now in its 48th year, has been working on a strategy to bring their operations towards a lighter impact. Initiating a compost plan for the 6-day event that draws over half a million people was the largest and final hurdle in the 5-year process. “The planners and implementers of Gentleman of the Road set an important and much needed precedent for events in Oklahoma. As we continue to attract large-scale concerts, conventions, and festivals, we must incorporate eco-friendly practices in order to protect and preserve our local environment ” said Angela Cozby, Director for the Festival of the Arts.

Not only is it good for the environment, composting is good for economics too. As composting draws broader mainstream awareness, Lynn Malley, an Extension Specialist with a focus on solid waste at Oklahoma State University’s Department of Agriculture Economics applauds the push by Gentlemen of the Road and the City of Guthrie to both recycle and compost. “The planning that went into the event that resulted in diverting 24 tons of waste from the landfill was amazing and multi-faceted. Diversion like this has to become routine as it is in many other cities. With the Festival of the Arts in OKC doing the same and with the opening of a new composting facility recently in Tulsa, Oklahoma is recognizing the opportunity and moving in that direction,” said Malley.