A Greener Festival have announced the first Greener Festival Awards for 2012, with twenty one European, American and United Kingdom Festivals winning the coveted badge alongside seven events in Australia. A final list of Awards with more winners will be made in early November before the UK Festival Awards. Winners in the ‘Outstanding’ category included The Oya Festival in Norway, The Croissant Neuf Summer Party, The Sunrise Celebration and Shambala Festival in the UK, We Love Green in France, Ilosaarirock in Finland and Boom Festival in Portugal.

Among the Highly Commended awards were the Cambridge Folk Festival in The UK, Bonnaroo in the US, Welcome to the Future in the Netherlands, Malmöfestivalen in Sweden, Primavera Sound, SOS 4:8 and Día de la Música on Spain, and the Falls Festival, Island Vibe and Splendour In The Grass, all in Australia. The full list of winners so far are:

The Open’er Festival (Czech Republic, Commended)
The Radio 1 Hackney Weekend (UK, Improving))
Larmer Tree Garden Festival (UK, Improving)
Planet Madrid (Spain, Improving)
Universo Parallelo (Brazil, Commended)
Manchester Christmas Markets (UK, Commended)
Deici Giorni Suonati (Italy, Commended)
Bonnaroo (USA, Highly Commended)
Primavera Sound (Spain, Highly Commended)
Día de la Música (Highly Commended, Spain)
Shambala (Outstanding, UK)
Cambridge Folk Festival (Highly Commended, UK)
Ilosaarirock (Outstanding, Finland)
We Love Green (Outstanding, France)
Welcome To The Future (Highly Commended, Netherlands)
Malmöfestivalen (Highly Commended, Sweden)
SOS 4:8 (Highly Commended, Spain)
Boom (Outstanding, Portugal)
Oya Festival (Outstanding, Norway)
Sunrise Celebration (Outstanding, UK)
Croissant Neuf Summer Party (Outstanding, UK)

In Australia, where a carbon tax was introduced in July 2012, seven festivals won the Award, all previously winners in earlier years:

Bluesfest (NSW, Commended),
Fairbridge Folk Festival (WA, Improving),
Woodford Folk Festival (QLD, Commended),
Splendor In The Grass (QLD, Highly Commended),
The Falls Music & Arts Festival (VIC, Highly Commended),
Island Vibe Festival (QLD, Highly Commended)
WOMADelaide (SA, Commended).

The overall winner of Australia’s Greener Festival Award 2012 will be announced at the ‘Are festivals getting greener, or meaner?’ forum at the Eclipse 2012 Festival on Tuesday 13th November 2012. The overall winner of the UK’s Greener Festival Award will be made at the UK Festival Awards on December 3rd at the London Roundhouse.

A Greener Festival’s Co Founder Ben Challis said “It has been a challenging year for festivals – in the UK the number of events applying dropped off slightly, with a number of high profile cancellations including previous Greener Festival Award winners such as  Sonisphere and the Big Chill. Other events were seriously affected by the terrible British summer, meaning they felt unable to apply, and poor ticket sales affected other events. But elsewhere here was good news and we had our first South American and first South African entrants, and strong interest in Europe, although the recession again took its toll.”

Amie Green, AGF’s Australian Award Director said: “What amazes me is that even though every festival is different, having differing motives,  ranging in size  from 1,000 attendees to 100,000, in differet locations as diverse as city centres or parkland, they all tend to incorporate environmental sustainability in similar ways. For example, all our festivals recycle in some way, they all promote public transport and they all take measures to make their electricity use more efficient, and it is becoming common for festivals to find a use for their organic materials, previously thought of as waste. The festivals that win our awards and use our kitemark invariably incorporate environmental charities into the array of market stalls they have on site.”

The Greener Festival Awards are sponsored by Robertson Taylor Insurance Brokers. CEO John Silcock said: “With over 700 music festivals in the UK it is estimated to contribute in excess of £1 billion to the UK economy alone. In order to maintain an industry of this size it is important that organisers learn to adopt more environmentally efficient methods to help limit the impact of festivals at future events and beyond. As the leading insurance broker to the music industry, Robertson Taylor are proud to support AGF Awards as well as promoting The Greener Festival Insurance Discount which we offer to qualifying Festival Organisers and Promoters”.

AGF have also announced the final ten nominations for new special awards for Green Inspiration nominated by their team of volunteer green auditors. The nominations are for green innovations at festivals and events around Europe which inspired the AGF team:

  • Shambala Festival for its Surplus Supper Club food recycling project
  • Africa Express for their UK tour, on board their own train
  • Planeta Madrid (Spain) for their on-site bicycle eco-tours
  • We Love Green in Paris (France) for their ‘immaculate’ and site wide compost toilets
  • Boom Festival (Portugal) for their on-site STAR waste water recycling scheme
  • Sunrise Celebration for their ‘thought provoking’ multi stream recycling stations
  • Dieci Giorni Sounati (Italy) for their inspired holistic green planning
  • Food and farming alliance Sustain’s Good Food Guide for Festivals
  • Eco Action Partnership for the ‘Love Your Tent’ Campaign to reduce campsite waste
  • Open’er (Czech Republic) for their on-site bio-digesters