First Greener Festival Award winners announced

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First Greener Festival Award winners announced

AGF_Award_GENERIC_outlines-ver336 festivals from around the World have been awarded the Greener Festival Award by the environmental campaign and advice group A Greener Festival. The Award scheme, supported by Robertson Taylor W&P Longreach Insurance Brokers, acknowledges that festivals do have an impact simply by taking place, but aims to encourage festival organisers to make the best decisions to minimise their event’s environmental impact, to monitor, identify and correct negative effects, and to share the message of caring for the environment with their audiences so that festivals can have a positive impact beyond the event itself. The Awards asks festival organisers to respond to the challenges that staging temporary events can have on the environment and local inhabitants including humans. This year A Greener Festival say they have witnessed incredible initiatives, designs, developments and commitment to reducing the impact of live events – demonstrating that festivals can be sustainable, save money, be responsible, and still have fun by becoming a ‘Greener Festival’

At the highly commended Bonnaroo (US), A Greener Festival’s independent environmental assessor commented that the festival’s “investment in long term energy from their solar panels is second to none”. At the commended DGTL festival in Amsterdam, organisers used significant efforts to raise environmental awareness and brought in a design-focussed environmental coordinator, undertaking a pre-festival study to understand their own, and their neighbours’ priorities. This led to a key design feature of an on-site “recycling factory” which turned waste plastic bottles and containers into recycled plastic bins during the festival in front of the audience’s eyes. At another commended festival, Planeta Madrid in Spain, the City Council has instigated a plan called Madrid Compensa which allows trees to be planted to offset the CO2 emissions from the festival – and PlanetaMadrid also has a free bicycle workshop not just to learn about cycling – festival goers can take their bikes to be fixed as well!  At the Shambala Festival in the UK, rated ‘outstanding by A Greener Festival,  organisers achieved 100% renewable power and a ‘zero to landfill’ unrecycled waste target – as waste streams were diverted from landfill to a MBT (mechanical biological treatment) plant whilst a plastic water bottle ban was a continued success – as were the  ever popular Thunderbox compost toilets.

agf BonaNit_19julio_-1At the commended Body and Soul Festival in Ireland, the environmental assessors were very impressed by imaginative use of the spaces, including woodland groves, saying that the site and stages were beautifully decorated with recycled materials. The highly commended Northside Festival in Denmark encourages people to travel to the event using low carbon methods of transport – Northside offers bike stands for more than 10,000 bikes and organises festival buses – as well as the “Camino” – a decorative pathway through a park from the town of Aarhus to the festival site, encouraging visitors to walk or cycle from the town centre to the festival. The highly commended Malmo Festivalen in Sweden was praised for its efforts to demonstrate social inclusion, well being, environmental consideration and wider sustainability, whilst the commended Calgary Folk Music festival has emerged as a leader and model for public events in Calgary in terms of its waste management and recycling, with a water bottle ban and the encouragement of reusable/recyclable materials in vending.

So far 15 festivals have received the ‘commended’ award, 12 have received ‘highly commended’ and 9 have been rated ‘outstanding’ by A Greener Festival. More winners of the awards will be announced in November with a total of nearly 50 awards expected, a new record for the Awards scheme, with the first ever recipients in Denmark, Austria and New Zealand.  Winners of the Awards can pick up their certificates  at the Green Events Europe conference in Bonn, Germany (3rd November), at the UK FestivalAwards in London (1st December 1), at the International Music Festival Conference in Austin, Texas (6-7 December) and at the European Festival Awards in Groningen (14th January 14).


Beloved (US)
Body and Soul (Ireland)
Bluesfest  (Australia)
Calgary Folk Music Festival (Canada)
Canmore Folk Festival (Canada)
DGTL Festival (Netherlands)
Extrema Outdoor (Netherlands)
Maifeld Derby (Germany)
Northern Nights Music Festival (USA)
Nozstock The Hidden Valley (UK)
Planeta Madrid  (Spain)
Plissken (Greece)
Sled Island   (Canada)
SOS 4:8  (Spain)
T in the Park  (SCO)



Bonnaroo (USA)
Bona Nit  Barcelona  (Spain)
DAS FEST  (Germany)
The Falls Music and Arts Festival, Lorne (Australia)
Freifeld Festivalt(Germany)
Global 2000 Tomorrow Festival (Austria)
Malmo Festivalen (Sweden)
Mysteryland (Netherlands)
Northside  (Denmark)
Splendour in the Grass (Australia)
Splore  (New Zealand)
Wood (UK)



Cambridge Folk  Festival (UK)
The Falls Music and Arts Festival, Marion Bay (Australia)
Ilosaarirock Festival  (Finland)
Island Vibe 2013  (Australia)
Lightning In A Bottle (USA)
Oyafestivalen (Norway)
Shambala Festival (UK)
We Love Green (France)
Welcome to the Future (Netherlands)


Wood, Shambala and Nozstock collected their awards at the AIF Festival Congress in Cardiff and DGTL, Welcome to the Future,  Extrema Outdoors and Mysteryland collected their awards in Amsterdam at ADE Dance.


Nozstock pick up their award

Shambala collect their Greener Festival Award

Shambala collect their Greener Festival Award

A Greener Festival co-founder Ben Challis said

This year has been an encouraging year for environmentally aware events and a record year for our Awards scheme, with more festivals than ever before taking part. Rising fuel costs prove the good sense in reducing power use, and the ever increasing costs in disposing of waste prove the importance of managing waste and having sensible recycling policies. Problems remain of course – from England to Australia, one of the biggest problems is the appalling sight of acres of left behind tents and camping gear at festivals, and we will be prioritising this again in 2015. On a positive front, many of our participating events have raised the bar yet again –  and we are seeing some amazing initiatives, incredible commitment and  festivals reaching out to spread the green message in a friendly, practical and effective way”


By |2016-11-01T15:04:05+00:00October 19th, 2014|AGF Award, AGF Blog|