Tag Archives: a greener festival

AGF team up with Manchester Metropolitan University for a sustainable events day

MMUWe have teamed up with Manchester Metropolitan University for a ‘sold out’ one day conference in Manchester on December 2nd for 200 final year event management students and invited industry guests . It’s a packed day, and we are delighted to have the support of campsite waste campaigners Love Your Tent and food salvage experts 8th Plate as well as industry leaders from Powerful Thinking and Firefly Solar to talk about sustainble power. On top of this we have leading experts from The Glastonbury Festival, Kendal Calling, The Hay Literary Festival and Shambala to talk about best practice and new ideas. The conference agenda looks like this:

09.25  Introduction & Welcome    Shaun Litler (MMU)

09.30   Andy Fryers, Hay Literary Festival: Juggling the Four Balls of Sustainability

10.15   Helen Innes, A Greener Festival:  Introducing Sustainability at Events

10.45 – 11.00am Comfort Break

11.00  Ben Challis, Glastonbury Festival / A Greener Festival: Events, The Environment and The Law

11.30  Questions with Andy Hay, Helen Innes and Ben Challis  (chaired by Shaun Litler)

12.00pm – 13.00pm Lunch

a-greener-festival (1)13.00   Rob Scully, Glastonbury Festival & Kendal Calling: Presentation: Glastonbury: Love the Farm, Leave No Trace & The Green Fields of Kendal Calling

13.30   Emma Dyer, 8th Plate, the food waste project: Food for Thought

13.45  Juliet Ross Kelly, Love Your Tent: The Solutions to Campsite Waste

14.00   Chris Johnson, Shambala Festival:  Powerful Thinking – the energy efficient, low carbon and cost effective future for festivals

14.15  Tim Benson, Firefly: Sustainable Power For Your Event

14.35 – 15.00 Break

15.00  Panel: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle: Tackling Waste at Events : Chaired by Shaun Litler with Chris Johnson (Shambala), Rob Scully (Glastonbury Festival), Emma Dyer (8th Plate), Juliet Ross Kelly (Love Your Tent) and Andy Fryers (Hay Literary Festival).

16.00 Closing remarks with Shaun Litler & Ben Challis

Many thanks to all of our friends for the making of what looks like being a very exciting and informative day!

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eotr1Our website hopes to be a real resource on sustainability for event and festival organisers, venues, bands and performers, suppliers, the academic community, and students. Now we are looking for more material for our site. If you have WRITTEN a PAPER or an ARTICLE, conducted RESEARCH, or even have a summary of an undergraduate or postgraduate DISSERTATION that covers any element of sustainability at events we might be interested and we would be happy to look at anything you have written with a view to publishing your work.  You would need to be able to:

– grant us a non-exclusive licence (permission) to use your work on a royalty free basis. If the article or piece is co-written then you must have the agreement of all the authors.

– grant us permission and use  (copyright cleared) of any images you might want to include

– send us text in the English language as a Word document. If you wrote the article in another language we can publish in that language, provided we have the English translation.

– send us any images as jpegs (no more than 1MB per image). See the email link below.

We are looking for papers and articles that cover INNOVATIONS and best practice in event sustainability. These might be on

welovegreen– Waste reduction and waste management including re-use and recycling

– The problem of campsite waste at festivals

– Sustainable power

– Water use and saving water

– Food and food waste – and how to manage this

– Audience transport

– Noise

– Reducing environmental and land damage

– New innovations at venues

– Audience perceptions and behaviour

Solar power at the San Francisco Kingsday Festival stage

What sort of articles?

We would be interested in articles, research, papers and even dissertations from events, event organisers, suppliers, academics and students. These can be unpublished or, if you can permit republication, existing published items. Suppliers would need to ensure their piece is a bona fide article or update which has validity beyond just advertising or promoting that supplier’s services or goods. Events and event organisers can send us ‘case studies‘ but please make sure the are identified as such. Student research and dissertations, both undergraduate or preferably postgraduate can be considered but you must send us a summary rather than the full dissertation. We will maintain editorial control and retain the right to edit, or reject any submissions.  Any submissions which are accepted will be published at www.agreenerfestival.com. You will receive proper credit for your work.

So please get submitting! Please email anything you want considered as a Word document to agreenerfestival@aol.com with ‘ARTICLE’ in the subject box and please include contact details.


Thank you Robertson Taylor

RT_EntIns_Hi-Res-Stack 2014Our friends at Robertson Taylor W&P Longreach, who provide entertainment insurance worldwide, have agreed to sponsor A Greener Festival for 2015 – 2016. Robertson Taylor have been sponsors of our Awards scheme for seven years now, but with the scheme taking ‘a year off’ they have kindly agreed to sponsor our website this year.

A Greener Festival co-founder Ben Challis said “Robertson Taylor have been fantastic supporters of our environmental work with live events over the years and their generosity in funding the running costs of our website this year is truly appreciated by the whole team at A Greener Festival. We also plan to keep on working with a range of strong campaigns we have already committed too including Powerful Thinking – the not-for-profit industry think-do tank working towards an energy efficient, low carbon and cost effective future for festivals; Love Your Tent – the campsite waste campaign created by Eco-action Partnership in association with A Greener Festival and designed to bond people with their portable homes; and our new project 8th Plate – a partnership with FareShare SouthWest and the Nationwide Caterers Association – it’s a food waste project which aims to reduce the amount of food waste at events and develop systems to salvage food and redistribute food – before it goes off – and builds our work with Sustain who publish the ‘ Good Food for Festivals Guide‘ and the ‘ Good Food Guide for Festival and Street-food Caterers‘. We also plan to keep supporting the GO Group (Green Operations Europe); we now have a partnership with the ILMC to present our annual conference, Green Events & Innovations in 2016. On top of this we plan to keep planting trees in Festival Wood! Robertson Taylor’s support will make all of this possible – so it’s a big ‘thank you’ from us!”

John Silcock, CEO at RT, added, “The environment is and will always be an important issue. As part of our community programme, we are delighted to support A Greener Festival’s work and to support festivals that are reducing their environmental impact.”

For more information about RT please visit http://rtworldwide.com/music-event-insurance/


tn_IMG_7303A new survey from Buckinghamshire New University and music industry  campaign group A Greener Festival of nearly TWO THOUSAND THREE HUNDRED festival fans from around the World shows that the public is increasingly concerned about the environmental impact of events – but – when it came down to it, they would prioritise getting to see their favourite band over environmental issues. The research, supported by the Association of Independent Festivals (AIF) in the UK and Yourope, the eighty eight strong European festival association, asked festival fans fifteen questions on green issues. Fans responded from 32 countries worldwide. Top responding countries for the 2281 fans included the UK (40%), Slovakia (27%) and Germany (13%) and the home nations of other fans responding included other European countries, the USA, Canada, China, Russia, India and Turkey. The top responding festivals were the Pohoda Festival (Slovakia, capacity 30,000), Melt! Festival (Germany, capacity 20,000), The Glastonbury Festival (UK, capacity 177,000), Open Air St Gallen (Switzerland, daily capacity 30,000), The Cambridge Folk Festival (UK, capacity 20,000), Illosaarirock (Finland, capacity 21,000) and the Oya Festival (Norway, daily capacity 16,000). The research findings were launched today (11 January 2013) at a special panel titled Green Events – What The Audience Said at the EuroSonic Noorderslag conference in Groningen, Netherlands, by Teresa Moore, Head of Event and Music Management Programmes at Bucks University, and Ben Challis, co-founder of A Greener Festival and a visiting professor at Bucks.

2013-1Question: Where do you think festival’s have a negative environmental impact?

Noise                           76.5%

Waste                          87.4%

CO2                            56.1%

Waster Wastage         55.3%

Traffic                         81.4%

Land damage              65.5%

Teresa Moore, Head of Music & Events at Buckinghamshire New University said “awareness of the environmental impact of festivals remains high – although not much has changed from 2008 when we surveyed 1,407 festival fans in Europe. In the 2008 survey, 80% considered noise at festivals had a negative environmental impact, 82% thought waste had a negative impact, 56% thought festivals had a negative carbon footprint, 60% were worried about water waste, 84% thought travel and transport had a negative environmental and 53% were concerned with land damage. But its encouraging that most fans remain aware of both their own and the event’s impact”.

2013-5Question: Who should be responsible for minimising the environmental impact of festivals?

Despite fan travel being by far the biggest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions (usually nearly three quarters of an events total footprint at an out of town site) and therefore within the audience’s control, most fans thought it was organisers who should be responsible for minimising an event’s environmental impact:

Festival organiser        90.0%

Local authority             30.3%

Festival goers                79.7%

However, there has been a significant rise in fans saying they should take personal responsibility for the impact, up from 56% in 2008 to 79.7% in 2012. Teresa Moore noted that “this represents a significant shift in audience attitudes since the last survey was conducted, and whilst very encouraging, it should be recognised that attitudes do not always translate into changes in behaviour.”

2013-2Question: Recycling – “I separate my rubbish at festivals where separate recycling bins are provided”

Strongly agree                        50.8%

Agree                          35.8%

Not sure                        7.2%

Disagree                        4.9%

Strongly disagree          1.3%

PinkLOVEYOURTENT_logo (1)There was another significant increase in fan’s green awareness with recycling with 86.6% of fans saying they will recycle in 2012 – up from 62% in 2008. But whilst fans seemingly support recycling initiatives, practices vary from festival to festival.  Claire O’Neill, General Secretary of the Association of Independent Festivals said “whilst 86.6% of fans say they will recycle – we know that a substantial minority – probably one in five – leave tents and other camping gear behind at festivals which causes a huge headache for organisers – and the environment” adding “2012 saw the launch of the ‘Love Your Tent’ campaign aimed at reducing left behind tents and camping gear as well as the London 2012 inspired Zero Waste Events” which we hope may make a difference. 68.5% of fans supported the use of re-usable cups, plates and glasses. This number was actually a drop from 2008 when 78% of fans supported re-usable utensils. 65.5% of festival goers would be happy to pay a deposit on reusable cups and glasses although 17.7% would not.

A whopping 86% supported the composting of food waste. The results give ammunition to event organisers, on-site catering teams, bars and stall holders to implement environmentally friendly practices, which a large majority of the audience actually want.

Question: Travel – “I would travel by public transport if it was provided as part of the ticket price”

Strongly agree                        44.1%

Agree                          25.4%

Not sure                      17.5%

Disagree                        9.5%

Strongly disagree          3.5%

big lemon busThis figure of 69.5% is almost the same as 2008 when 71% of fans agreed with the question saying they would use public transport of included in the ticket price. Ben Challis co-founder of A Greener Festival commented – this is a more encouraging response than we had expected in the recession – better train services  in continental  Europe and much better coach travel with companies like Big Green Coach in the UK are continuing to shift audience views – but, and it’s a big but, car travel, particularly in the UK , is still central to many festival’s and fans travel plans “ adding “so there remains a role for car pooling and lift sharing in car centric societies – something event organisers can actively support”.

Paying for environmental initiatives: When it came to paying for green events,49.8% of festival goers would pay an increased ticket price to reduce the festival’s environmental impact (up from 41.5% in 2008)  but 18.8% would not accept any rise.

28.1% of festival fans said they did consider a festival’s environmental impact when choosing to go to an event (up from 21.8% in 2008) but the majority of did not with 25.4% not sure. However overall this is a substantial drop from similar research in 2009 and 2008 (59.4% and 36% would consider those), and reflects opinions in 2006 when 27% of fans though the issues were important, with 46.4% then saying that an event’s environmental record was not of interest.

When asked if they would go to an event if their favourite band was playing – even of the event had no green policies – 86.5% of fans said that they would still go.

2013-6Perhaps more encouragingly, 43.1% of fans said that they had changed their behaviour as a result of green initiatives or ideas they had discovered at festivals with Claire O’Neill, General Secretary of the Association of Independent Festivals (AIF) saying “festivals remain a great place to engage with music fans on environmental issues” adding “it’s clear that most fans want to go to green events – and are prepared to listen and learn. But not all do, and event organisers have to be aware of mixed audience opinions with a small percentage quite opposed to change”

The Survey conducted between April and September 2012 by Buckinghamshire New University. The above is an abridged edition of a research paper by Moore, T (2013) published as FANS CONCERNS ABOUT THE ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT OF LIVE EVENTS  at www.crowdsafetymangement.co.uk


christmas 2012To those of our readers who celebrate Christmas, can we wish you a very very happy Christmas, and can we wish everyone a happy, fulfilling and contended 2013.

In 2013 we will be launching our new audience research, which sampled the opinions of nearly 2300 music fans, and Ben and Teresa Moore from Bucks New University will present the findings at a special GO Europe Green Events panel at the EuroSonic Conference in Groningen, Netherlands on January 11th.

We are busy planning our Green Events and Innovations conference set for March 7th 2013 (in Climate Week in the UK) at the International Live Music Conference in London with some really excellent panels, workshops and speakers and the theme “saving by reducing”.

We are hoping to plant hundreds more trees in ‘Festival Wood’ in Dundreggan in Scotland – 10,000 acres of wild land near Loch Ness which will be part of the new Caledonian Forest. We already have over 600 trees planted, and we had great support this year from festivals including Deer Shed, Bestival, Belladrum Tartan Heart, Glastonbury and End of the Road, and our  friends at Big Green Coach, ID&C, Stack Cup and Peppermint Bars. and look forward to lots more planting next year!

And of course we will be running our Greener Festival Awards scheme for the seventh year, again supported by Robertson Taylor Insurance Brokers and the UK Festival Awards.

As ever, here’s to a greener 2013!

Amie, Ben, Claire, Helen and Luke, and all of our wonderful volunteers

An Independent take on green festivals

There is a  really nice article on the Independent website which looks at what we do and profiles two festivals – the Isle of Wight in the UK and Lightning in a Bottle in the USA – with details of some of their 2011 green innovations. Its well worth a quick read at http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/isle-of-wight-lightning-in-a-bottle–green-initiatives-at-summer-festivals-2287987.html


The Morning encompasses a training session with presentations and workshops on sustainable events management. The Afternoon will be a full conference for everyone interested in key innovations for sustainable events and greener festivals. The course is aimed at Event Managers and Organisers,  Environmental Mangers working in the Events and Festival Industry, Green suppliers and Students who wish to learn more about Sustainable Event Management. Register at:

at  https://store.bucks.ac.uk/browse/extra_info.asp?compid=1&modid=2&prodid=39&deptid=154&catid=8 .

The Agenda

10.00   Introduction Ben Challis (AGreenerFestival) & Teresa Moore (Bucks New University)

10.15   The Greener Festival AuditHelen Wright (AGreenerFestival)

11.00   Sustainable waste managementAndy Willcott (Network Recycling)

12.00   Measuring Greenhouse Gas emissions at festivals  – Helen Heathfield (Julies Bicycle)

13.00   Lunch

14.00   KEYNOTE: the role of the arts in climate change    Ben Challis

14.30   PANEL: Sustainable power solutions  Chair: Claire O’Neill (AIF) with  Andy Mead (Firefly Solar), Helen Heathfield (Julies Bicycle), Juliet Ross Kelly (Eco Action Partnership/Isle of Wight Festival) , Sam Jenner (Eco-Charge Technology)

15.30   PANEL and debate:  Travel solutions for music festivalsChair: Teresa Moore, with  Danny Newby (Big Green Coach),  Lucy Brooking Clark (Glastonbury Festival)

17.15   Drinks Reception (supported by Robertson Taylor)

18.30   Closes

Buckinghamshire New University, Alexandra Road, High Wycombe HP11 1JZ. Trains from Marylebone and Birmingham to High Wycombe