Monthly Archives: March 2011


Are you switching off for Earth Hour tonight? Its at 20.30 (8.30pm) – show you care about tackling climate change and protecting the natural world.

people in a record 134 countries and territories across the globe will switch off their lights for an hour in a unified show of support for action towards a sustainable future for our planet.

Hundreds of landmarks in thousands of cities will go dark at 8:30pm Saturday local time, as hundreds of millions of people take part in the world’s largest voluntary action for the environment. And with individuals, organisations and governments this year pledging to take their Earth Hour commitment beyond the hour, it won’t end when the lights come back on. Its all supported by the WWF – the Panda made them do it!



Event Expo Live says Green is Good!

The Event Live Expo in the USA will be tackling sustainability in the live music industry on April 14th with a panel session titled GREEN IS GOOD – the Green Factor and how to maximise the environmental opportunity. The session takes place between 10.45 and 12.15 at the Los Angeles Convention Centre. You can see more at . You can register FOR FREE here 

Synopsis: The panel will discuss how owners, producers and promoters can make their events greener and more sustainable while exploring the commercial benefits from doing so. Topics for discussion will include developing stronger brand/audience loyalty as a result of being green/sustainable, communicating that through branding and promotion, plus real cost savings, potential tax breaks and government support for green initiatives.

Moderator: Greg Roberts – Producer, Greg Roberts Productions/Green Festival/Mother Earth News Fair/Sunday Streets
Greg Roberts has produced public, business and trade events throughout the US for 20 years. He developed the structure and format for Green Festival and launched this seminal event to great success in 2002. Green Festival is now in five cities nationwide and attracts nearly 200,000 attendees annually. Greg has served as producer of Green Festival from 2002-2011

Brian Allenby – General Manager, Reverb
Brian Allenby is general manager of Reverb.  From day-to-day management of Reverb’s operations, including tours, events and industry relations, to overseeing print and web media, Brian enjoys a busy, dynamic role at Reverb. Prior to joining Reverb, Brian worked in the music and environmental fields.

Sarah Haynes – Founder & CEO, The Spitfire Agency
Sarah Haynes is the founder and CEO of the Spitfire Agency, a full service production, promotion and marketing agency dedicated to non-profits, responsible businesses, progressive programs and other cause-related ventures. Spitfire produced the first-ever truly zero-waste major concert festival in 2002, called We The Planet.

Ashley Capps – President, AC Entertainment
A passion for music and performance led Ashley Capps to begin promoting concerts independently in the late 1970s. Now recognized as one of the foremost independent promoters in the United States, Ashley and his company, AC Entertainment, create, produce, book, and present hundreds of concerts and events every year from coast to coast.

Sean O’Rourke – Vice President Operations & Sales, Road Show Services Inc
No doubt aided by his degree in American Literature from San Francisco State University, Sean O’Rourke has spent nearly 15 years in the live event trucking business. Rock and roll trucking, a niche market of the long-haul motor freight industry, is challenged by many of the same issues we are working through presently as a country: namely sustainable industry

Georgia Malki- President, Seven-Star Inc
Co-Founder and President of Seven-Star Georgia Malki oversees its daily management. Since 1999, Seven-Star has focused on providing services to companies and organizations that are dedicated to being environmentally responsible and socially respectable (eR/sR). Seven-Star is the only event company to earn the EPA’s prestigious Waste Wise Award for solid waste recycling in the Public Venue Recycling category.

Another Planet

The UK Government have finally accepted that they are perhaps not the greenest ever – and also seemed to have noticed that instability in the Middle East seriously affects the price of oil and oil supplies – and all of a sudden Chris Huhne, the Energy Secretary, says the Government will speed up efforts to move away from a dependency on oil, saying “Getting off the oil hook is made all the more urgent by the crisis in the Middle East. We cannot afford to go on relying on such a volatile source of energy when we have green, clean and secure energy from low carbon sources. Philip Hammond,  The Transport Secretary, has been told he needs to have a nationwide strategy to roll out an infrastructure for electric cars in place by June.  It is also expected that new deadlines will be set for the building of low carbon homes and that September 2012 will be the starting date for the new ‘green’ investment bank in the UK. Its funny they have just noticed really, its not just ‘ethical’ to be green – it makes sound economic sense as well – just perhaps showing how much power and influence  the oil, gas and coal companies still have in persuading politicians that fossil fuels are STILL the future. They are not.

UK coastral regions have been told to ‘prepare now’  for rising sea levels. The Impact of Climate Change on Disadvantaged UK Coastal Communities Report says that someone of the worst affected areas including the coastline in South Wales, Norfolk, Suffolk and the Western Isles in Scotland have seen coastline retreat happening in front of their eyes and the report says that coastal erosion and rising sea levels will have a ‘severe impact’ on much of the UK’s coastline.

Friends of the Earth have said that plans to cut Europes carbon emissions by 80% by 2050 are ‘totally inadequate’ – despite the fact that the EU has announced tougher CO2 emission targets for countries in Europe.  Goverments are alreday committed to a 20% reduction by 2020 based on 1990 levels – and this has been raised to 25% – and now the EU also wants 2050 emissions to be cut by 95%.  But Friends of the Earth say that despite this, the planet could warm by 3C and that a minimum 40% cut in greenhouse gas emissions is needed by 2020 to keep rises under 2C – the maximum scientists say the planet can take.

The dreadful images from Japan after the 4th worst recorded earthquaque ever and the frightening tsunami in the wake of the 9.0 magnitude quake have brought up some painful debates about clean power. Is nuclear green? At all?  As the Fukushima nuclear power plant suffers its third explosion amid fears of a meltdown and widespread radiation poisoning,  Greenpeace stuck to the line that nuclear was wrong saying “its important for Europeans to realise that you don’t need a big earthquake to cause a nuclear catastrophe. Its time we moved away from dangerous and expensive nuclear and embraced renewable power”. But many commentators said that the shut down in nuclear capacity would just prompt a return to burning fossil fuels to generate power – unsustainable, polluting and major contributors to greenhouse gas emissions. The price of natural gas has already risen 2.8% on the world market in response to market pressure although interestingly oil has dropped 4.5% amid speculation that Japan’s economy will falter pushing down overall demand. The price of uranium has dropped 9% as markets feared nuclear power plants will be shut down or shuttered.  But many said that nuclear energy was essential to replace the harmful effects of burning coal, gas and oil to generate electricty and that there are no viable ‘green’ alternatives to nuclear as yet with limited capacity for hydroelectric,  wind and solar power. Britain now faces a nuclear plant safety review into the country’s ten somewhat aging plants which provide 18% of the UK’s electrical energy.  Germany has already shut seven older reactors and countries across Europea are now conducting safety tests into the effect of potential natural disasters such as earthquakes on plants – as well as design issues and back-up systems. EU Energy commissioner Gunther Oettnger said that he was planning for a EU standard for nuclear power plant safety tests.

Green festivals get big insurance discounts!

We are really pleased to have teamed up with our friends at Robertson Taylor to offer discounts on the cost of insurance for festivals that adopt green initiatives. 

This is such an important issue and Robertson Taylor are very pleased that insurers recognise the efforts of festival organisers, to introduce green initiatives.  RT have negotiated special discounts of up to 12.5% for any festival organisers who are striving to make their festivals greener that implement at least 5 of the 16 green initiatives that are suggested by

For more information on this or any aspect of music and event insurance  please do not hesitate to contact Robertson Taylor – email  or call 07850 708287

And see

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

The guidelines AGF have endorsed are these – and you need to sign up to AT LEAST 5:

  1. Undertake a carbon / greenhouse gas audit and measure greenhouse gas emissions annually and reduce greenhouse gas emissions 10% each and every year, year on year. AGF and RT can recommend the tools provided at
  2. Encourage festival goers to minimise water wastage by using taps which turn off automatically when not in use and provide waste water control so that contaminated water is not poured onto the ground/floor.
  3. Provide composting toilets wherever possible and practical, but at least 25% of all toilets should be composting
  4. Minimise water use by providing toilets which re-use grey water to flush toilets
  5. Minimise water use by providing water tankers that use organic dust settling agents to spray roads reducing the need for constant re-spraying of the affected roads
  6. Ensure traders use only eco-friendly cleaning products and encourage festival fans to bring environmentally friendly products
  7. Provide standard, recycling and biodegradable bin bags for traders so that food waste, paper, glass, metals and paper/card can be recycled
  8. Allow use of only biodegradable disposables or re-usable cups and plates on stalls. Polystyrene and similar non bio-degradable materials must be banned
  9. Provide clear signage for recycling and encouraging recycling
  10. Provide separate bins for the recycling of paper, glass and food waste (compost) as a minimum and Provide a waste management facility that separates waste for recycling
  11. Supply festival goers with recycling bin bags and offer to festival goers either a returnable rubbish tax or reward incentives
  12. Give all organic waste to local farms for use as compost, or provide an on-site composting area.
  13. Provide a container return system such as re-useable beer mugs
  14. Ensure that at least 25% of the power used at the festival is supplied by sustainable power such as sustainable bio diesel and/or solar power and/or wind power
  15. Adopt environmentally friendly practices for festival traffic including the provision of public transport, car park charges, the encouragement of car shares or a charge per vehicle brought to the festival, the proceeds of which are used to subsidise cheap public transport
  16. Ensure that at least 25% of the festival vehicles on the festival site use sustainable bio diesel.


A Greener Festival is launching its annual competition for GREAT BIG GREEN IDEAS

The competition is open to all festival fans to suggest new ideas to promote environmental friendliness at festivals and get events greener.  Some of the very best ideas that improve festivals come from the people that go to them and we want to ask YOU how you want to get greener. Abandoned tents and personal carbon footprints to and from festivals are just two of the things we want fans to think about.

Sometimes really simple ideas are the best so any ideas on reducing waste, recycling and preventing pollution would be really welcome as well. Last years entries including the winning entry from Natalie Porter which developed a scheme to reduce food waste at festivals, and runners up were a very clever idea from Gearoid Maher called “Reduction by Inflation”, focusing on reducing emissions from private cars, by offering a free tyre check and inflation service to all vehicles queuing to enter festival car parks and Ben Harris’s plans to convert human waste into free energy – by  “putting the ‘pee’ back into power”.

Great Big Green Ideas 2011 should be emailed to . Please put ‘GREAT BIG GREEN IDEA’ in the subject box.  They need to be in English or with an English translation and should be no more than 100 words long and received by midnight on April 30th 2011. The judges decision will be final and the best ideas will be published on this website and on

The top entries will be put into a draw for one winning and two runners up festival goodie bags each of which will include various music CDs and DVDs and other festival swag including an exclusive Glastonbury Festival crew T-shirt, AND the winner and first runner up will both receive two return coach tickets to any UK festival serviced by our friends at the Music Travel Company Big Green Coach (and there are lots including Creamfields, V, Sonisphhere, End of the Road, Wakestock and Kendal Calling!) so you can travel greenly and cleanly and freely! Great Big Green Ideas is supported by

For more information about coach travel see


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 makes 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

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 is 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.

The CROISSANT NEUF SUMMER PARTY have won the PEA AWARD for arts and music – the award honours individuals who have used any form of the arts to raise awareness on environmental issues. It is also for those that have adopted sustainable or ethical practices in producing their art.

And talking of JULIES BICYCLE, the UK’s cross music initiative on climate change has announced that six UK venues will be getting the IG mark to reward their green 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 March 3rd looking at sustainable development in arts management.  You can see more at Both Ben and Fruzsina have contributed chapters to a just published Hungarian book of the same name.