Monthly Archives: June 2010

Bestival goes environMENTAL

Bestival has signed up to the 10:10 campaign and has commited to reduce the festival’s carbon emissions this year by 10%.  Bestival were one of the worthy recipients of the ‘Outstanding’ Greener Festival Award in 2009, one of only 13 festivals worldwide to achieve this top level award. Not content to rest on their laurels, this year Bestival are pulling out all the stops to make Bestival an even greener and more environmentally friendly event than it already is. As part of the green masterplan they have signed up to the 10:10 campaign making a firm commitment to reduce their carbon footprint by 10% starting in 2010. 10:10 is an ambitious project to unite every sector of society behind one simple idea: cutting our emissions by 10% in 2010. We think it’s a fantastic campaign to get involved with, which is why Bestival have signed up to it and you can too. It’s quick and easy to do, just click here.

Bestival, with the support of environment specialists Julie’s Bicycle – set a carbon output benchmark in 2009 and they are already putting in place measures to reduce this by 10% at this year’s event by reducing carbon emissions from onsite energy use, waste and water consumption.

There are lots of amazing initiatives happening across the site which include the Plugged In Bandstand stage which will be totally solar-powered once again this year, all with help from green-minded friends at Southern Electric. What’s more, the whole surrounding area, (previously called The Village), will become Bestival’s version of Tomorrow’s World – envisaging an inspired, sustainable, green and fun future. Plus all the other power generators in the Tomorrow’s World area, that power the WI Tent, Farmer’s Market and Sushi Yurt will be run on local Wight Made Biodiesel – made from the 1,600 litres of used cooking oil collected from the all the food stalls at Bestival 2009.

Over half the waste at Bestival 2009 was recycled which was great but with your help Bestival want to do much better this year, so Bestival have been redesigning our campsites to make it easier for the waste teams and, crucially, you to get waste into the correct bins so it can be recycled properly. Bestival also REALLY need you all to take your tents etc home with you. Tents are tricky devils to recycle due to their mixture of components… and even worse, once they get mixed up with items that could have been recycled they often make the whole jumbled lot utterly unrecyclable which means it all gets sent to landfill, which is a big fat no-no. So if you’re reading this and you usually leave stuff behind, please please don’t.  NB: if you’re going to Glastonbury this weekend please check out their Please Take It Home campaign –

Lots of you will be pleased to hear that there will be even more composting toilets at Bestival this year too. Not only are they cleaner and less stinky, they also don’t need water or nasty chemicals to work.

One big area where Bestival are looking to reduce the carbon footprint is Travel. Coach or Train are easily the best ways of getting to Bestival. And they are also the cheapest. Southern Vectis are offering some great value door-to-door Coach Travel packages. Their coaches will pick you up from 25 towns and cities in the UK and take you direct to the Bestival site (& back), including ferry travel – so no changes and no extra travel costs. Head over to for more info and to book. And South West Trains operate fast services to Portsmouth Harbour and Southampton to connect with the ferries to the island… simple. We’ve also created a new onsite bus and coach station, so those of you that do come by public transport will have a much shorter distance to walk with all your stuff.

If you really must drive, please check out our Car Sharing service – – and fill your car up with people, thus splitting the carbon emissions between more people.

 The Bestival Green Team – a select troupe of top-hat-sporting eco-minded volunteers – will return for their 4th year. They will be handing out recycling bags and free cigarette butt bins to help you to do your bit to Keep Bestival Tidy.

 And We Are What We Do, the social movement behind the ‘I’m not a Plastic Bag’ shopper and Historypin, will unleash their latest creation onto Bestival this summer: A massive, fantastical, trash-guzzling creature, with a penchant for recyclable waste. Part monster, part foodie snob, he will be roaming the festival munching cigarette butts, paper plates, plastic cups and tin cans out of the hands of festival partiers. And as a sign of his appreciation he will be leaving his bitemark on anyone that feeds him their trash. Bestival are not responsible for any limbs lost.

Bestival are in the process of finalising even more environmental initiatives for this year’s Bestival… watch this space! In the meantime, please sign up to 10:10 yourself; and then get your work, school, friends, parents et al to do the same – – we need to work together to achieve a 10% cut in the UK’s carbon emissions in 2010.



Crisis – what crisis … oh yes, THIS crisis …

As 18 people tragically died in the South of France after torrential summer rainfall exceeded 35cm (14 inches) in some parts of the Var Department in just a few hours, 1.4 million people have been displaced in China due to extreme flooding, the North West of England conversely is having its driest spring for at least forty years after last years extraordinary floods and the Gulf Oil debacle continues to pour thousands and thousands of gallons of oil misery into the Gulf of Mexico every day, research from Imperial College in London shows that there is still a high level of sceptisim and indifference amongst Britons to Climate Change and the ongoing damage humans are causing to the environment. Less than a third of Britons believe the issue to be ”serious and urgent” and “requires radical steps”.  A silimar number doubt that climate change is happenig at all. The scepticism contributed t0 the 2.1 tonnes of CO2 generated by each household each year – the highest of all the ten countries examined by Imperial College. A little more than a half of Britons are “quite” or “very” concerned about climate change – in Spain over three quarters of the population were (at least) “quite” worried. However nine out of ten people in the UK said they would make changes if there was some financial support.

Glastonbury aims high with solar plan

The Times has reported on Michael Eavis’s plans to install 1,100 solar panels on the roofs of his cow barns at Worthy Farm, home of the legendary Glastonbury Festival, making it Britain’s biggest privately owned solar farm capable of generating 200 Kikowatts of power – enough to meet the electricity needs of 40 homes.  Michael told the Times “I’ve been planning this for a long time but the Gulf of Mexico oil spill has brought home just how urgent it is that we move to renewable energy”. The Festival already runs the weekend event (next weekend, June 25-27) on biodiesel generators but the new ‘feed in tariffs’  will allow Michael to sell the energy he generates to the National Greed – meaning that solar power is green, clean and economically attractive too.  The solar panels, covering 1500 sq metres of ‘Mootel’ roof, will cost £550,000 to install but could produce revenues of £45,000 per annum, as well as reducing the Farm’s electricty bill, and should take six years to recoup the outlay, and then Michael says he will reinvest profits into more solar generating capacity.


The much anticipated research from cross music industry climate change initiative Julies Bicycle on the environmental impact of touring has been launched at a breakfast meeing at the Royal Albert Hall in London today (17th June 2010) introduced by JB Chair Tony Wadsworth.  The research, Moving Arts, covers bands, orchestras and theatre touring.  The reseach looked to quantify the current level of greenhouse gas emissions from touring and the offers practical solutions and actions for the music indstry. The report concludes that although there are concerns about the environmet these are not yet (with some exceptions) reflected in touring practces. This is partially because financial decisions and constraints alongside artistic considerations are the main drivers dictating touring and therefor these will override environmental concerns. There is also a perception that ‘going green’ will cost more. However the Repirt shows that artists have, for theatre and arena tours, a high degree of influence and at the club level promoters and especially venue operators have a strong influence on the supply chain. Maximising opportunities for reducing GHG emissions requires consideration of the environment at a very early stage when th artist, manager, agent and promoter are booking a tour as decisions taken at the stage will have ramifications on the overall environmental impact of the tour.

Catherine Bottrill, JB’s Director of Research, outlined the Report’s findings into bands which looked at 32 tours – 11 in the UK, 10 in Europe and 11 in the rest of the World. In total for 2009 it is estimated that 85,000 tonnes of C02 were generated from UK bands playing in clubs, theatre arenas and stadia in the UK and around the World, with the UK impact being about 20,000 tonnes. Unsurprisingly, flying artists, crew and equipment around the world constituted a major contribution to UK artist’s greenhouse gas emissions and the Report gives clear detail of  where greenhouse gas emissions come from.

The study found that in general touring bands, orchestras and theatre have not systemically embedded environmental considerations into touring practices. They are at the start of the process of engaging, measuring, reducing and communicating their efforts to improve the environmental performance of touring. JB found that industry professionals WERE willing to take action but needed help, advice and guidance to take proper and effective actions. The Report concludes by saying that the industry currently lacks capacity, resources and tools for an informed response to reducing GHG emissions, but the will to take action is increasingly evident. 

Alison Tickell, JB’s Director, outlined JB’s recommendations which include

–   Environmental sustainability needs to be embedded into touring

–  GHG emissions need to be scoped when planning a tour

–  GHG emissions need to be measured during a tour

–  Venues need to embed sustainability into  the operational and investment plans

–  Suppliers need to invest in and offer goods and services that have strong environmental credentials

You can download the full report at Its free but you do need to register with JB.


The entries are in – the judges have judged – and in the end after much deliberation we have one clear winner, Natalie Porter, and two most excellent runners up, Gearoid Maher and Ben Harris. We had so many good ideas we thought we should mention some of them here and  we would also like to point out that all of these ideas will be looked at carefully by lots of festivals and so when it gets to the next festival season, some of these ideas might well be actually happening at events  – making them greener and cleaner – thanks to you!

Natalie’s idea was very simple – and clearly could be very effective in preventing food waste at festivals.  Natalie works at Glastonbury and she helps to run a large backstage catering facility.  She said “every year we have to order food before the festival, and as the weather is inherently unpredictable, so are our sales! Any perishable food left over, such as bread and vegetables, that isn’t worth taking away is donated to the welfare groups catering for clean-up crew and their families. It would be great if festivals could encourage this on a larger scale, as so many food outlets must have leftover stock that would otherwise be binned”. Simple, neat and an idea that our judges Claire, Lucy and Catherine felt sure many festivals will be looking at.

Gearoid’s idea was equally simple but effective – and believe it or not is to do with tyre pressure on cars. Both Catherine and Claire liked this idea and Claire pointed out that it goes way beyond just festival travel. Pointing out that transport is a major source of CO2 emissions at festivals, Gearoid proposed an solution called “Reduction by Inflation”, focussing on reducing emissions from private cars, by offering a free tyre check and inflation service to all vehicles queuing to enter festival car parks. Users of the service will have their tyres inflated to proper pressure, and will receive tyre safety fact sheet to keep in their car. Its a neat solution – as Gearoid points out, under-inflation needlessly increases rolling resistance of tyres, forcing engines to burn more fuel, increasing fuel consumption by 10-15%.  By inflating festival goers’ tyres to proper pressure, a festival can cut CO2 emissions and increase the fuel efficiency of attending cars. What a result!

Ben’s idea can be best be described  “putting the ‘pee’ back into power”. Ben pointed out that toilets could use the dead aim of festival goers to power simple electric generators. “A turbine placed inside the catchment area of a urinal would prove to be an irresistible target. These could be installed in the men’s urinals and the women’s she-pees giving a light-hearted fun edge to the one part of festival life that people often speak badly of” adding “Energy produced from these toilets would go to an adjacent charging station where phones, PDAS or cameras could be left charging while watching a band. Money made on this stall could be used to further off set the festivals carbon footprint by going towards a green policy already in place”.

Recycling was high on many people’s agendas – particularly cup and beer glass deposit schemes and left behind tents. Its already good to see a number of festivals like the Cambridge Folk Festival and Latitude running successful souvenir beer mug initiatives, but many of you suggested this should be widespread – reducing waste and keeping festivals green and clean. With tents, Kevin Deely pointed out that the thousands of tents that get left behind at festivals are often brand new or in good condition and that whilst many festivals have tried to persuade people to take the home them or find another solution – they have met with  little success. So Kevin says “why not have a simple sign that can be universally agreed which means “I have left my tent, you can have it. Maybe a sticker, or cheap flag or something?” And with the sticker affixed, either organisers or indeed other festival goers can take the tent home. We liked this as a positive grass roots idea that lets people take the initiative – and coupled be an ‘anti prankster device’ to stop your idiot mates sticking a sticker on a wanted tent, this is a really good idea – thanks Kevin! Paul Barker’s idea would be to collect up all the tents and camping equipment left behind, have volunteers sort clean and repack the equipment up into bags and sell it on the official festival websites – and the money raised could be split between charities and organisations linked to festivals such as  WaterAid and Greenpeace. Paul points out “this would save the equipment going into general rubbish waste and would save fellow festival goers hours of hunting around on the internet looking for the best deals, as we could come directly to you for second hand equipment that would also benefit others”.  Ed Gawne came up with a couple of corking ideas and we really liked the idea of priority tickets at a future festivals for those who support the environment.  Festival goers would need to  check in with attendants when they have set up their camp and state they want to take part in an opt-in scheme. This means people can’t claim to have cleaned an area they haven’t actually camped in. They have to go back to attendants and have their site checked when they leave, and/or could contribute a couple hours to clearing other sites. Their wristband number is recorded, and traced back to whom they are. “Priority ticketing are exactly the kind of loyalty thing done by mobile phone companies, where it works well. Tickets obviously go like hot cakes, so allowing people a ‘day beforehand’ to buy if they opt into “love the farm, leave no trace” ticketing would make a real difference. If there are concerns too many people would sign up, this could be done under a quota”.

We had simply masses of ideas about kinetic energy , and Claire really liked Theo Miller’s point that as “Every person at the festival has to go through the turnstiles at the entrance” this could be “turned into power”. Martyn Hill was one of a number of people who suggested turning all indoor dance floors into pressure pads so that energy is collected and stored for use elsewhere,or just to offset those tents saying “Add them just randomly around the site with a booth and a (solar powered) stereo and people will just dance on them regardless of what time of day or night…that’s just what we do :)”. Nice idea Martyn, as was the suggestion as the Kids Field “surely has high levels of energy that can be captured. Kids love doing things, and middle class parents love saving the world even more!” Casey Shaw suggested that the heat that is given off by the lighting on the stages could be transferred back to heat water for use in showers saying that this technology was already being used at the TV studio she worked at (well done ITV!). Our judge Catherine thought that the best and most elaborate of the many kinetic energy ideas (which judge Lucy thought was practical and efficient too) was simply to put kinetic energy convertors under walkways at festivals. Phil Shuttleworth said “With the paths being the main walkways and very busy especially at night I am sure you would create enough power to run some of the festival as well as run the lights.  If you also have the paths locked together in the fields in from of the stages, (not the whole  field) then when music is playing and the crowd jump up and down as they do at the front this will also create energy. The more excited the crowd is the more energy created. This would particularly work well in the dance village.  It just seems that at a festival there is so much kinetic energy spent this should be harvested. And with these boards platforms if you will being portable there could be money made transferring them from festival to festival”. Thank you Phil.

Matthew Arnold sent us a really detailed set of opportunities open to festivals that would assist in reducing the environmental impact including using anaerobic digesters are used to create biogas from faeces before turning it into biomethane for central heating and gas appliances saying “biomethane gas can also be used to drive a gas engine to produce electricity for the festival”. Matthew also highlighted the Hatsudenyuka Floor,  “a technology that features elements capable of generating piezoelectricity. The piezo elements convert the pressure and vibration of footsteps into electricity, used to power electrical equipment. Piezoelectricity applications have been trialled in train stations and dance floors, and while large-scale systems are yet to be launched, roll out of the technology is being planned”. Thank you Matthew.

David Minch was one of a number of you with ideas about waste – human waste – saying that the proceeds of one Glastonbury should fund a main sewer network and on site processing plant. The long term aim should be biogas production to be stored for use on the farm and if possible and economically viable it could also produce fertilizer adding “this is a chance to create a centre of excellence in poo processing” – love it David!

Finally, Travel is a major concern for festivals and we had lots of good ideas here. Audience travel to out of town sites really does form a major part of all greenhouse gas emissions, and  Gearoid’s idea on inflating tyres is already a winner. Catherine really liked Samuel Walter’s idea that festivals should make travel a part of the festival experience saying “Host a folk club and music on certain bus and train services (the Sheffield to Edale folk train is an existing monthly folk club in which folk performers perform on public transport on the way to a venue in the middle of the peak district.) If this model can be organized on a major scale to a festival, getting the festival goers to partake as-well as professionals then it makes the public transport travel more appealing to the public, you will miss out if you don’t do it. Travelling should be made a part of the festival”. We know our friends at the Big Green Coach Company are already doing this and Beach Break Live set up their eco-race competition for low carbon travel solutions – so things are getting better! John Milburn said “For me a great way for the festival to get greener would be for the coach companies to genuinely subsidise entry to the site as at the moment it is not attractive enough to get people out of their cars. John said “The coach companies could offer a better rebate against the cost of the tickets and / or provide better services for customers – showers on the coach for the return trip? A good idea John.

There were some amazing entries and we will make sure the best ones get to festival organisers. A big “Thank you” to our judges Catherine (Julies Bicycle), Claire (Association of Independent Festivals/AGF) and Lucy (The Glastonbury Festival).  Natalie’s winning goodie bag is fabulous and  includes CDs from The Verve, Orbital and the Futureheads, DVDs and CDs from The Glastonbury Festival, a very exclusive Nirvana T-shirt from their last ever ‘In Utero’ tour, A Lattitude Festival  mug, a Glastonbury Crew T-shirt, BRITS memorabilia, our new Festival Harvest CD featuring the best of new British talent and lots of other other goodies. The runners up bags for Gearoid and Ben will be almost as good. Promise! Special thanks for the prizes to Glastonbury, EMI, Big Life Management, BPI, Darren & FaceAche and DMS. We would also like to give special thanks to our media partners, Virtual Festivals and The Big Issue who made this all happen.

BBC news – Festivals put green issues higher up the bill

A new BBC Business News article on greening festivals with quotes from Festival Republic boss Melvin Benn, Alison Tickell from Julies Bicycle, Benedict Addis from Standon Calling, and our very own Claire O’Neill!

Shangri-La Pallet Palaces!

Here is a link to the weird and wondrful world of pallet shacks, designed by members for the public for Shangri La at this year’s Glastonbury Festival. Ranging from Water Shortage, a  home made from pallets and recycled water containers to The Temple of the B-Movie Cult made from discarded VHS tapes to the ‘House of the Obsessive Reclaimer’. We also loved Slumtons “Shangri-La’s Number 1 Estate Agency” who say” With thousands of slums for sale and to let worldwide, we give you a unique insight into the ever changing slums market. Our café-style offices have revolutionised the selling of slums, making the dream of slum living accessible to all.  The eye-catching design of our offices was created to provide a better service and a more one to one experience. Enjoy some delicious (almost clear) muddy water from the local spring whilst perusing the best selection of with and without running sewage slums – available to suit all budgets” !

Festival-goers were invited to respond to Shangri-La’s narrative and design brief, and build their own homes on site. The overall theme of the field is about a fight for resources and the Shacks form a crucial part – they are the tiny homes erected by the desperate on the outskirts of the alleys. Whilst the Shacks are part of the overall visual aesthetic of the field, there is a more serious aspect to the project – this is about a fight for survival when resources become scarce and resourcefulness becomes the name of the game.    In all 19 pallet palaces will be coming to Shangri La. Go find them!