Saturday, October 31, 2009

 
posted by Jason @ 4:43 PM
The new awards go to festivals worldwide, including US Festivals Rothbury and California's West Beach Music & Arts Festival which join first-round winners Bonnaroo and the Atlanta Jazz Festival. International winners in 2009 include Glastonbury, and Australia's Peats Ridge.

The award is awarded in three categories: "improving," "outstanding," and the standard "Greener Festival" award which falls between the two. The organizers of the award, UK non-profit A Greener Festival, said that they were particularly pleased that 12 festivals had won the "outstanding" award in 2009, including repeat winners Rothbury and Bonnaroo in the US. The Award is based on a 56 part questionnaire which covers office management, greenhouse gas emissions, supporting green initiatives, travel and transport, waste and recycling, water management, environmental protection and noise reduction.Almost all the festivals were visited by an independent auditor to assess their green efforts.

Auditors were pleased this year by Bonnaroo, which also won an "outstanding" award in 2008. The festival auditor noted that in 2009, Bonnaroo concentrated on a "Buy Local" message, and improved their energy footprint by installing new electrical capabilities. This allowed them to plug directly into the local power grid and reduced their energy consumption in the process. Other on site features include permanent water wells, a composting pad and the newly planted Bonnaroo Victory Vegetable Garden. Bonnaroo's many areas of education include the necessity of carbon reduction, the need for composting, reducing bottle water usage, viable uses of solar energy, recycling everything possible, and reducing the use of unnecessary items.


Not to be outdone, Michigan's Rothbury Festival, also a 2008 "outstanding" award winner, scooped up the same award in 2009. The festival, which heavily promotes its green credentials, impressed its auditor with its effective promotion of alternatives to bottled water, impressive rates of composting and recycling, and a commitment to sourcing products locally that stretched all the way to the stages, where several local bands were given the chance to play to new audiences. According to Sarah Haynes, President of the Spitfire Agency, Rothbury's greening consultant, "Rothbury works hard to have the minimum impact on the planet while having the maximum impact on its people. We always 'green' with transparency in the hopes that others will take notice and join us in this most important mission."

Two other US festivals won the award for the first time in 2009. California's West Beach event, held on the beach in Santa Barbara, joined the Atlanta Jazz Fest in garnering the awards.

All winning festivals will receive a special trophy designed by Sade Goddard from Keswick School in Cumbria, England. Goddard designed the award as part of a competition among UK school children. Her winning design features a Red Kite motif and is made from recycled plastic bottles, crushed CDs and remolded "Wellington" boots, a necessity at the perennially muddy Glastonbury festival.

The winner of the overall Greener Festival Award 2009 will be announced at the UK Festival Awards which will be held at the O2 Arena in London on November 19th 2009.

A Greener Festival co-founder Ben Challis said “We were worried that in a year when the recession bit hard we might see Festivals shying away from their ongoing commitment to green issues, but we have been generally pleased with the efforts of festivals around the world to keep sustainability high on their own agenda and to promote environmental awareness to fans. We had more ‘outstanding’ winners in 2009 and a 20% rise in applications from 2008, with more international applications than ever including five winners from Australia, four from the USA and four from mainland Europe.

The Greener Festival Awards are supported by insurance brokers Robertson Taylor.

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