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Green Guardians: Staffing and Personnel

The Green Guardians Guide, spearheaded by the Green Events and Innovations Conference and IQ Magazine, is a new yearly iniative highlighting some of the work being done around the world to reduce the carbon footprint of the live entertainment business.

The inaugural list features 60 entries across ten categories, selected by the Green Guardians committes, which includes representatives from some of the sector’s most respected bodies, such as A Greener Festival, Go Group, Green Music Initiative, Julie’s Bicycle and Vision:2025.

Following on from last week’s feature on artists and activists doing their bit to make the world a cleaner and better place, this edition of Green Guardians looks at those pioneering ethical and sustainable staffing and personnel practices.

 


Staffing and personnel

My Cause UK

My Cause has provided more than 6,000 proactive front-line volunteers to the UK’s biggest events such as Boomtown, Boardmasters, Bestival,  Download Festival, Noisily, NASS, Love Saves The Day, Lovebox and many more.

My Cause offers event organisers an ethical and sustainable alternative to existing staffing providers by channelling its fees to the charities its volunteers nominate. That provides My Cause with a switched on, engaged and reliable team to represent client events in the best possible way. So far, it has donated almost £150,000 to more than 1,000 charities chosen by its volunteers.

My Cause director Rob Wilkinson notes, “When you are looking to book crew, volunteers, or staff from any supplier don’t just look at your bottom line but ask about what they do to care for and support their team. Well briefed, motivated and well cared for staff on your front line will bring your green credentials to life better than any sign or page in a programme ever could.”

“Well briefed staff on your front line will bring your green credentials to life better than any sign or page in a programme ever could”

Roskilde Festival
Roskilde Festival is a volunteer-run, non-profit organisation whose aim is to make a difference and have a positive effect on its surroundings; to support initiatives benefitting children and young people; and to support humanitarian and cultural work.

Festival volunteers participate year round in the decision-making, planning and troubleshooting processes, and in the recruitment and management of other volunteers.

The volunteer community is motivated by teamwork and a sense of all being in it together, and due to actively participating in the development of the festival. This has an impact on volunteers signing up and participating for the first time.

Roskilde’s core management team supports the organisation by providing leadership training (also developed and run by volunteers) and by providing tools for supporting feedback processes, allowing volunteers’ voices to be heard regarding the many ideas they have on how to improve processes and co-operation.

Roskilde Festival is a volunteer-run, non-profit organisation whose aim is to make a difference and have a positive effect on its surroundings

Greenpeace
Greenpeace was actually founded with a concert in Canada, in 1970, when James Taylor, Joni Mitchell and the late Phil Ochs performed a benefit gig to pay for the fuel that allowed a Greenpeace ship to sail into a nuclear testing zone.

Glastonbury was the first major festival that Greenpeace attended, in 1992. Many concerts and festivals have followed and continue to play a major part in helping the organisation to raise awareness of its international work.

The majority of its event volunteers come from the network of local Greenpeace groups, but it also advertises on its social media platforms where potential volunteers complete a questionnaire and Greenpeace asks for another person to vouch for them.

In terms of sustainability, Greenpeace endeavours to lead by example, calling out areas where improvements can be made. Festivals give Greenpeace access to an audience that it can inform and entertain, allowing it to communicate vital messages such as: “Don’t count the cost; DO IT! As otherwise it’s costing the Earth.”

 


Continue reading this feature in the digital edition of IQ 90, or subscribe to the magazine here

Free entry at festivals for volunteers

Caudwell Children, the national charity providing practical and emotional support to disabled children and their families, is offering fans the chance to volunteer at UK music festivals this summer.

Volunteers will gain free entry to any of 34 festivals across the UK including Glastonbury, Reading, Download, Bestival and All Points East, as well as a range of VIP perks during the events.

Volunteers work during daylight hours either stewarding, facilitating environmental and recycling programmes, or taking tickets for a maximum of three, eight hour shifts across a six-day period at weekend festivals (Wednesday to Monday). The hours worked at other festivals may vary.

“We’ve partnered with the not-for-profit organisation My Cause UK, to raise funds for Caudwell Children, by encouraging existing and new charity supporters to volunteer their time at the UK’s top festivals,” says Megan Hayman-Tansley, fundraising volunteer manager at Caudwell Children.

“This is a brilliant way for people to make new friends, get experience in the music and events industry and see some amazing bands for free”

“This is a brilliant way for people to make new friends, get experience in the music and events industry and see some amazing bands for free. The charity simply gets a donation, from My Cause UK, in exchange for your time.”

Volunteers will receive training before the event and must pay a refundable deposit, allowing them to register for as many festivals as they wish. The deposit is returned upon completion of a volunteer’s final shift.

The participating festivals run between 25 May and 22 September. The early bird waiting list for volunteers is now open for registration. Caudwell Children urges those interested to register now to avoid disappointment as places are filled on a first-come, first-served basis.

 


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New Bestival owners offer refunds for Camp Bestival 2018

Live Nation-Gaiety and SJM Concerts, the new owners of Camp Bestival, are to provide refunds and discounts on 2019 tickets out of their own pockets for all 2018 ticketholders, after the insurance pay-out from the partial cancellation of Camp Bestival 2018 was lost during the recent administration process.

“The nature of the last few months means that the insurance money that was available to refund 2018 ticketholders, and money from 2019 ticket sales, was entirely lost in the administration,” reads a statement from festival founders Rob and Josie da Bank. The final day of last year’s Camp Bestival was called off due to bad weather.

The festival, founded in 2008 and held at Lulworth Castle in Dorset, on the south coast of the UK, was forced into administration in September. Administrator Begbies Traynor later sold the event’s assets (along with those of Bestival itself, as well as several related companies) to Richmond Group, a company controlled by loans tycoon James Benamor which had previously loaned Bestival a reported £1.6 million.

The following month, Live Nation and SJM acquired those assets from Richmond Group (which had set up a new company called Safe Festivals Ltd, since handed over to LN-Gaiety), securing the future of Camp Bestival.

Since then, all parties have been tight-lipped on the future of the da Banks’ larger annual event, Bestival – though new documents filed by Begbies Traylor reveal Safe Festivals owns Bestival Group Ltd and Bestival Ltd, in addition to Camp Bestival Ltd, meaning the ball is likely in LN/SJM’s court. (Safe Festivals paid £958,824 for the companies, slightly less than the £1.1m reported originally.)

“The new owners, LN-Gaiety and SJM, understand how unfair this feels and as a result have agreed to fund discounts and refunds for 2018”

The documents also show that at the time of the acquisition, Live Nation’s Ticketmaster UK was Bestival Group’s largest known unsecured creditor, being owed £1.2m.

A person with knowledge of the situation says they believe the insurance money is still in the possession of Richmond Group, though this could not be independently verified at press time. IQ has contacted Richmond for comment.

The loss of the insurance money, the da Banks’ statement continues, “is unfair to you, our fans. The new owners, LN-Gaiety and SJM, understand how unfair this feels and as a result have agreed to fund discounts and refunds for 2018 ticketholders, and will honour all existing 2019 tickets.”

Anyone who bought a Sunday 2018 ticket can exchange it for a full refund, or apply for a free day ticket to either the Friday, Saturday or Sunday of Camp Bestival 2019, scheduled for 25–28 July. Those who had a 2018 weekend ticket are being offered a 33% discount on 2019 weekend tickets, to be redeemed via an email code.

 


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Camp Bestival back in da Bank

The fate of Camp Bestival, the family-focussed camping event run by Rob and Josie de Bank, is apparently secure following an arrangement with promoters Live Nation-Gaiety and SJM Concerts.

The festival, founded in 2008 and held at Lulworth Castle in Dorset on the south coast of the UK, was forced into administration last month. But a statement by the couple posted on the festival’s website earlier today reads:

“With the help of Live Nation-Gaiety and SJM we will really be able to bring more of our creative vision to life with the support structure needed going forward. Our aim has been and will always be to create the best ever family festival. We look forward to sharing this new chapter with you. More news very shortly.”

Adminstrators Begbies Traynor last week confirmed to the BBC that it had completed a sale to Richmond Group, which offered £1.1m for the Bestival group of companies. Richmond, a company controlled by loans tycoon James Benamor, had stated that it would continue to run Camp Bestival moving forward.

That stake appears to have been taken over by Live Nation-Gaiety.

“We will…be able to bring more of our creative vision to life with the support structure needed going forward”

A Live Nation spokesperson tells IQ: “LN-Gaiety and SJM look forward to working with Rob and Josie on Camp Bestival”, although would not go into further details on the arrangement.

The new interest in Camp Bestival adds at least one more UK festival to Live Nation-Gaiety’s portfolio that includes Reading, Leeds, Wireless, Download, Lovebox, Wilderness, Isle of Wight & Parklife.

The news is an unexpected turn of events given that Rob da Bank co founded the Association of Independent Festivals (AIF), which has traditionally been opposed to Live Nation’s increasing dominance in the festival space. In August, the association called on the Competition and Markets Authority to investigate Live Nation, which it claims owns over 25% of the market.

The fate of the da Bank’s larger annual event, Bestival – which relocated from the Isle of Wight to the same site as Camp Bestival last year – remains unclear.

This summer saw Bestival (2-5 August) host artists including London Grammar, Silk City, M.I.A & Grace Jones. Camp Bestival’s (25-28 July) line up included Rick Astley, Clean Bandit & Orbital, although the final day was cancelled due to bad weather.

 


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Creditor RG offers £1.1m for Bestival Group

Richmond Group, a company controlled by British loans tycoon James Benamor, has offered £1.1 million to rescue Bestival and Camp Bestival from administration.

It was revealed earlier this week that Benamor had filed notices at the High Court in London of his intention to appoint administrators to three companies behind the events, Bestival Group Ltd, Bestival Ltd and Camp Bestival Ltd. Another company owned by Benamor, Richmond Debt Capital, extended a £1.6m loan to Bestival and took charge of several festival “assets” in February 2017.

A statement from Richmond Group (RG) announcing the bid confirms the family friendly Camp Bestival 2019, for which tickets are already on sale, will go ahead as planned, although no mention is made of Bestival. IQ has sought clarification as to the future of the flagship event.

“Richmond Group has today made an offer of £1.1m to purchase the brand and assets of Bestival Group, with the intention of running the successful Camp Bestival going forward,” says a spokesperson for the company. “Under this offer, all Camp Bestival 2019 tickets sold so far will be honoured.”

“We have been fans and supporters of Bestival since the beginning. Our children have grown up with wonderful memories of these festivals,” adds Benamor.

“Bestival is an example of Dorset being world class and we are keen to ensure that this fantastic institution goes on to delight families and local businesses, for many years to come.”

This story will be updated.


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Bestival faced with administration over “financial challenges”

The companies behind the UK’s Bestival and Camp Bestival festivals are reportedly heading for collapse, after billionaire creditor James Benamor revealed plans to place them into administration.

Benamor has filed notices at the High Court in London of his intention to appoint administrators to Bestival Group Ltd, Bestival Ltd and Camp Bestival Ltd, reports the Sunday Times. Companies House filings show a company owned by Benamor, Richmond Debt Capital, extended a loan – in the region of £1.6 million, according to the Times – and took charge of several Bestival “assets” in February 2017.

A statement from Bestival Group acknowledges the festivals’ “financial challenges” but says the company is seeking a new partner for Camp Bestival 2019, after the 2018 event was partially cancelled due to severe weather.

“The process we are in allows a new partner to come on board with the financial commitments required”

“We can confirm the Bestival Group has had some financial challenges of late, but the process we are in allows a new partner to come on board with the financial commitments required to deliver Camp Bestival 2019 in its finest form,” it reads. “As we stand currently, there is every intention to make this show happen, and move forward into a new era.”

Camp Bestival, a family friendly version of the flagship festival, has been held at Lulworth Estate in Dorset since 2008. Bestival, which had previously been held on the Isle of Wight, moved to the same site for 2017.

Benamor is the founder of guarantor lender Amigo Loans, and controls around a third of the company through his Richmond Group business. He became a billionaire in July when Amigo floated on the London Stock Exchange.

 


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Bestival goes cashless for 2018

UK festivals Bestival and Camp Bestival are to go partially cashless after agreeing a three-year strategic partnership with RFID specialist Tappit.

Festivalgoers at both Camp Bestival (26–29 July) and Bestival (2–5 August) will use Tappit’s contactless payment wristbands for the first time, streamlining the payment process while allowing the festivals to capture more data from their ticket buyers.

“Bestival has always been about escapism, creating an otherworldly wonderland where you can leave all the stresses of real life behind,” says Bestival co-founder and curator Rob da Bank. “We think Tappit’s wristbands can be a big part of that, reducing queues and hassles and making things a bit more carefree for festivalgoers. They also give us the sort of real-time data insights that can help us with a lot of things like crowd management.

“We are looking forward to bringing this experience to two of the UK’s leading festivals”

“We eventually foresee it all going totally cashless, which will make the whole Bestival experience even more easygoing for everyone.”

Adds Tappit CEO Jason Thomas: “The process of going cashless isn’t as costly, complicated or time consuming as people may think. Working at a strategic level with Bestival, we’ve been able to establish a cashless payments infrastructure in less than a month. Event owners using Tappit benefit from a proven return on investment, improved customer satisfaction and greater business insight.

“We’ve worked with major events all around the world and we are looking forward to bringing this experience to two of the UK’s leading festivals.”

 


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Bestival “devastated” after woman dies at new Dorset event

Bestival organisers have said they are “devastated” after a 25-year-old woman was found dead at last weekend’s festival, its first at Lulworth castle in Dorset.

The death of Louella Fletcher-Michie in the early hours of yesterday morning overshadowed an otherwise successful and well received 14th edition of the festival, which previously took place on the Isle of Wight.

A statement from Bestival organiser Rob da Bank and his team says they were “devastated to hear about this tragic news. We continue to support the police in their ongoing investigation and our thoughts and prayers are with all the woman’s family and friends.”

The body of Fletcher-Michie, the daughter of Holby City actor John Michie, was discovered in a wooded area at the edge of the festival site around 1am on Monday 11 September, Dorset police say. A 28-year old man ‘known to Louella’ has been arrested in connection with her death, and is also being questioned on suspicion of supplying illegal drugs.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with all the woman’s family and friends”

Although initially widely reported as being a murder inquiry, Dorset police chief inspector Sarah Derbyshire says the circumstances of Fletcher-Michie’s death are still under investigation. “Detectives are working tirelessly to investigate the full circumstances surrounding this tragic death,” she explains. “A post-mortem examination took place that was inconclusive, and therefore we need to undertake a number of other examinations before we can establish why she died.”

She adds that the body shows “no clear signs of assault”.

John Michie tells The Sun: “It’s not murder – they were friends. It was just a tragic mistake, a tragic accident.”

Acts who played Bestival 2017, which had a daily capacity of 35,000, included The xx, A Tribe Called Quest, Pet Shop Boys, Soulwax, Rag’n’Bone Man and Laura Mvula.

 


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Bestival to leave Isle of Wight after 13 years

Bestival is to move to Lulworth Estate in Dorset for 2017, leaving behind its “spiritual home” of the Isle of Wight after 13 years.

The news was announced this morning by festival curator and co-founder Rob da Bank, who says he’s “super-excited about our shiny new Bestival adventure”.

Ticket sales for Bestival 2016, its last on the island, fell to 40,000 – 15,000 under capacity – blamed by da Bank on “more competition” and a “wobbly economy”. He acknowledged following the event that “sound and tent spec was not always what we would have wanted it to be”, but said Bestival would be “back to its very high standards next year”.

Da Bank said this morning Bestival 2017 will have “an incredible line-up, headliners confirmed and ridiculous new stages and installations” at Lulworth Estate, which is also home to sister festival Camp Bestival.

“We remain fully committed to supporting the Isle of Wight through music, charities and projects, and will be giving islanders an exclusive ticket offer for the new site,” he added. “Plus, we’re working towards a new event for the island. Watch this space…”

 


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Festival Focus: Bluesfest, Bestival, First Fifty

Peter Noble’s Byron Bay Bluesfest has added six new acts to its 2017 bill, building on its initial line-up announcement late last month.

Mary J. Blige, Corinne Bailey Rae, Michael Kiwanuka, Nahko and Medicine for the People, Gallant and The Suffers will all perform at the 28th event at Tyagarah Tea Tree Farm in Byron Bay, New South Wales, next Easter.

Noble says: “We have had some truly amazing artists play Bluesfest, and to continue in that vein, we proudly announce Mary J. Blige as the headliner of our R&B/soul-flavoured second announcement. With over 50 million albums and 25 million singles sold, and 32 Grammy nominations with nine wins, the greatest female soul singer of our time is coming. To say I am chuffed she is coming to Bluesfest is an absolute understatement.”

The festival says ticket sales have been “through the roof” since the first line-up announcement. (Michael Kiwanuka photo by Rene Passet.)

Michael Kiwanuka, Into the Great Wide Open 2011, Rene Passet

In urban Australia, meanwhile, Tame Impala, Camp Hope, Nick Murphy (the man formerly known as Chet Faker), Jagwar Ma, Tourist and ETEP queen Aurora will play multi-city event St Jerome’s Laneway in January and February.

The festival will visit Brisbane, Melbourne, Adelaide, Sydney and Perth, as well as Auckland and (minus Tame Impala) Singapore, from 26 January. (Jagwar Ma photo by Olivier Bourgi.)

Jagwar Ma, Dour Festival 2014, Olivier Bourgi

The first wave of acts have been announced for the third edition of ski/snowboard-themed event Rise Festival, which will take place at the Les 2 Alpes ski resort in the French Alps from 10 to 17 December.

Headlining the 3,000-capacity festival, from promoters Running Wild and Wasteland Ski, will be Kano (pictured) and Seth Troxler, with other newly confirmed artists including Metrik, Artful Dodger, MidlandArtworkJackmasterFred V and Monki.

Kano

Voodoo Music and Arts Experience, which takes place on Hallowe’en weekend (28 to 30 October) at City Park in New Orleans, have announced its 2016 line-up.

Tool, The Weeknd and Arcade Fire (fresh from European headline slots at NOS Alive and Bilbao BBK Live) will headline, with Foals, Die Antwoord, Cage the Elephant, The Chainsmokers and Band of Horses also on the bill.

Here’s a poster:

Voodoo Music and Arts Experience 2016 line-up

Bestival will return next year, promoter Rob da Bank has confirmed, dispelling speculation that the 2016 festival could have been the last after ticket sales fell to 40,000 for the 55,000-capacity Isle of Wight event.

“Bestival was obviously a slightly different beast this year,” says a Facebook statement penned by ‘Robby and all at Bestival HQ’. “Festival land has changed a lot, [there is] more competition, a wobbly economy, etc., and for whatever reason many festivals have not sold as well. We did 40,000, which resulted in a more compact, boutique vibe and back to our roots, but by my own high standards sound and tent spec was not always what we would have wanted it to be – we can assure anyone coming back in 2017 that this will be rectified.

“As far as the festival market goes we can’t dictate what will happen but we can promise that Bestival will be back to its very high standards next year and we will continue to listen to you and use that feedback to improve every year.”

Bestival’s 2016 line-up, with headliners The Cure, Major Lazer and Hot Chip, was criticised by some as being underwhelming compared to previous years. (Bestival 2016 courtesy of the festival.)

Bestival 2016

Emerging music festival The Great Escape (TGE) will preview its 2017 line-up with a live launch in London in November.

First Fifty will take place across five east London venues – Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen, The Old Blue Last, Kamio, Zigfrid von Underbelly and The Courtyard Theatre – from 22 to 24 November and will provide a “look at acts destined to take TGE 2017 and next year’s festival season by storm”.

Poté, LA Salami, Ray BLK, Cabbage and Shitkid are among those performing.

“Over the last 11 years The Great Escape has been providing the soundtrack to our future, with over 3,750 artists showcasing in Brighton,” says Rory Bett, CEO of promoter Mama Festivals, “and today’s announcement of the First Fifty previews the next wave of artists set to go down in TGE history. No other festival out there launches in this way, with 10 live gigs, and the best thing is that this is just the start: we’ve still got another 400+ bands to announce in the new year.”

 


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