Apparently this summer’s festival season is set to have a much greener footprint. The Isle of Wight festival, which kicks off the season this weekend, has revealed that it cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 22% last year, while July’s Lovebox in London slashed 38% from its environmental impact.
They will be joined this year by many of the biggest festivals in aiming to add a clear conscience to the party experience. Reading, Leeds, the Big Chill, T in the Park and Bestival have all signed up to the 10:10 climate campaign and pledged to cut their carbon.
Some of the methods used to reduce the carbon footprint are obvious and straightforward – others somewhat off the wall;
Pedal-powered phone chargers, generators run on chip fat are some of the quirkier initiatives but festival organisers are taking on the big issues of energy and transport too.
At Glastonbury the cow sheds have been covered in solar panels which then charge mobile battery units used across the vast site. At Lovebox the stars are lit up by super-efficent LED lighting rigs.
Recyling is already well established due to very steep landfill tax charges.
But the festival-goers’ journeys to the festivals that take place each summer remains the toughest issue. The 5 million ticket holders overwhelmingly choose car travel, except in city centres, and this makes up 68% of the festival industry’s footprint. More people are using public transport, but the rise is slow and festival audiences are getting bigger every year, adding to the problem.
Leeds festival has discounted joint coach-festival tickets to encourage take-up, while the Big Chill and Latitude promote car sharing via the GoCarShare website. But some organisers are thinking of going further by adding perks such as backstage passes and VIP performances for those arriving by public transport, and perhaps even providing music on the journey itself.
I am not sure how Tim is getting to the Isle of Wight – but the only ‘public transport’ is likely to be the ferry!