Green Gathering wins top 2017 UK Festival Award

Green Gathering wins top 2017 UK Festival Award

At the UK Festival Awards in London on November 30, the Green Gathering’s team was presented with The Greener Festival Award 2017 for outstanding commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and creating positive social impact.

It’s a bloody great festival too, with the The Green Gathering festival showcasing live music, spoken word, debates and skillshares at a solar powered four day event every August near Chepstow in Wales.

Green Gathering 2016 in photos. Night scenes: camp fires, upside down performers, bands and DJs, Chepstow, Wales, August 2016

Described as ‘a festival beyond hedonism,’ the festival aims to educate as it entertains.

It was the first festival to recognise glitter as microplastic pollution, so now the organisers insist that the glitter used by traders is 100% biodegradable and safe for wildlife and marine life.

Green Gathering 2016 in photos. Part one: daytime scenes around the site, Chepstow, Wales, August 2016

All food on sale at the festival is vegetarian, with one third of the foodstalls being vegan at this year’s festival. All cups and glasses were compostable or reuseable and 73% of the festival’s waste was recycled.

The Green Gathering was also the first UK event to sign up to Take A Stand, a new European movement promoting social cohesion, community participation, peaceful dialogue, humanism and tolerance.

Green Gathering 2017: musicians and performers - in photos, Chepstow, Wales, August 2017

With a history going back to the days of free festivals and peace convoys, The Green Gathering is now committed to working alongside A Greener Festival to exchange ideas and innovations with green events around the world, aiming to change behaviour and increase sustainable practices at festivals and beyond.

In response to the Paris climate change talks of 2015, The Show Must Go On report by festival industry think-tank Powerful Thinking states:

As festival organisers we know how to create unforgettable experiences and how to inspire people. We know how to get things done in challenging circumstances and we are accomplished at communicating with audiences… We can make a vital and significant contribution to a future that we want our children to inherit…Wecan provide leadership for what is perhaps the most important conversation of our time.”

60 UK festivals have so far taken this on board, each committing to a 50% reduction in festival-related annual greenhouse gas emissions by 2025 with the Festival Vision 2025 pledge.

Green Gathering 2016 in photos. Part one: daytime scenes around the site, Chepstow, Wales, August 2016

Green Gathering director Emma Fordham says:

“’Beyond hedonism’ doesn’t mean no fun. It means having a party, yes, then waking up the next day with your new friends from the night before, and starting to put the world to rights. People often tell us The Green Gathering has inspired them to change their behaviour in positive ways, empowered them to take action in their communities, given them hope and changed their lives. It’s potent!”

The Green Gathering 2018 will be held 2-5 August in Chepstow, Wales, and I hope to be back there again and spinning some tunes in the brilliant 99% Bar.