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AGF reveals top green festivals and events of 2021

Environmental nonprofit A Greener Festival (AGF) has announced the recipients of the A Greener Festival Award in 2021.

Launched in 2007, the AGF Awards is the gold standard for festivals and events to reduce their environmental impact.

In the latest round of awards, eight events across five countries have been recognised including Paradise City (Belgium), Elrow Town (Netherlands) and Deep Tropics (US).

Recipients received awards across four categories: outstanding, highly commended, commended and improvers.

The festivals and events were awarded based on a rigorous assessment, site visit and post-event analysis of their sustainability actions, with assessors looking at 11 areas, including transport, waste, power, water and local area impacts.

According to AGF, the standards have been developed over 15 years in consultation with 1000s of events, event services, suppliers and sustainability experts across key areas assessed.

The 2021 AGF Awards will be presented during the Green Events & Innovations Conference (GEI 14) and International Live Music Conference (ILMC 34) on Friday 29 April at the Royal Garden Hotel, London.

“We’re impressed by these events that not only took place but also reduced negative environmental impacts”

AGF CEO Claire O’Neill says: “We’re impressed by these events that not only took place in 2021, which was a feat in itself, but also maintained and developed their actions to reduce negative environmental impacts and enhance positive community impacts.

“We’re happy to be able to award this certification. Record numbers of events worldwide have applied for AGF certification in 2022. This shows the appetite and need for genuine action for sustainability, and the expectation from audiences and local authorities alike for events to prove their minimum environmental standards.”

Gilles De Decker, co-founder of Paradise City Festival, adds: “Claiming you are sustainable means taking responsibility. AGF has been auditing Paradise City Festival for several editions now and it is thanks to their valuable feedback and detailed analysis of the ecological footprint of our festival that we can improve year by year. So this recognition as one of the most sustainable festivals worldwide means a lot to our team.”

Joel Atchinson, regenerative design and co-founder, Deep Tropics, comments: “Working in collaboration with the AGF team was incredibly rewarding and expansive! Even with the great success of producing a climate positive event, the depth of their survey and data collection revealed several blindspots of which we are very grateful to have identified. We feel like our team has a clearer roadmap, and a more refined approach to build on into 2022 and beyond!”

A full list of AGF Award winners for 2021 is below:

Paradise City (Belgium)
“Outstanding” A Greener Festival Award 2021

elrow Town (Netherlands)
“Highly Commended” A Greener Festival Award 2021

Cridem pel Clima (Spain)
“Commended” A Greener Festival Award 2021

Deep Tropics (USA)
“Commended” A Greener Festival Awards 2021

Festival de la Luz (Spain)
“Commended” A Greener Festival Award 2021

Lost Village (UK)
“Improvers” A Greener Festival Award 2021

Madblue (Spain)
“Improvers” A Greener Festival Award 2021

South Summit (Spain)
“Improvers” A Greener Event Award 2021

 


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AGF crowns top green events of 2019

International not-for-profit organisation A Greener Festival (AGF) has announced the 37 recipients of the A Greener Festival Award in 2019.

Festivals and events from 15 countries received the award for their commitment to sustainability at an awards ceremony at Eurosonic Noorderslag (ESNS), the Netherlands, earlier this evening (17 January).

AGF director Claire O’Neill, ILMC MD Greg Parmley and GO Groups Holger Jan Schmidt presented the awards – made entirely of reused materials, including salvaged festival tents – to recipients including Øya Festival, Norway; Sziget Festival, Hungary; Glastonbury Festival, UK; and Slovenia’s Metal Days.

Winners, who underwent assessment, site visit and post-event analysis, were deemed to have demonstrated beneficial sustainability practices across areas including transport, waste, power, water, ecosystems and local area impacts.

“The need for us all to take significant positive action for the good of the environment requires no introduction”

“The need for us all to take significant positive action for the good of the environment requires no introduction,” comments AGF co-founder O’Neill. “Congratulations to our winners who are doing their part, and power to all events and individuals who want to do more. Together we can make things better.”

All winners will be entered as nominees for the International Greener Festival Awards, which will be announced at the annual Green Events & Innovations Conference (GEI), on 3 March in London, alongside the International Live Music Conference (ILMC).

Applications are now open for the Greener Festival Awards 2020. Events should contact [email protected] to apply.

A full list of winners can be found below:

Oustanding
Cambridge Folk Festival (UK)
DGTL Festival (NL)
Green Gathering (UK)
Øya Festival (NO)
Paradise City (BE)
We Love Green (FR)

Highly commended
Dockyard Festival (NL)
Dubcamp Festival (FR)
Glastonbury Festival (UK)
Greenbelt Festival (UK)
Hadra Trance Festival (FR)
Pete the Monkey (FR)
Primavera Sound (ES)
Rainbow Serpent (AU)
Roskilde Festival (DK)

Commended
Boomtown Fair (UK)
BST Hyde Park (UK)
Das Fest (DE)
Envision Festival (CR)
Hout Festival (NL)
Les 3 Elephants (FR)
Metal Days (SI)
Mystic Garden (NL)
Own Spirit Festival (ES)
Sonidos Liquidos (ES)
SWR3 New Pop Festival (DE)
Sziget Festival (HU)
Walthamstow Garden Party (UK)

Improvers
Buenas Noches Producciones (AR)
Elrow Town Amsterdam (NL)
Lambeth Country Show (UK)
Lost Village Festival (UK)
Manchester Pride Live (UK)
Straf_Werk (NL)
Terraforma Festival (IT)
Utrechtse Introductie Tijd (UIT) (NL)
Wonderfruit Festival (TH)

 


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Last chance for GEI 2020 early-bird tickets

Early bird tickets for the Green Events and Innovations Conference (GEI) 2020 will no longer be available after today, Monday 30 September.

The twelfth edition of GEI will return to the International Live Music Conference on Tuesday 3 March 2020, presented by A Greener Festival.

The final few early bird tickets are still available for GEI 2020 at a rate of £96, with standard prices coming into effect from tomorrow.

Each year, the event welcomes over 200 live music professionals to discuss sustainability at live events.

Topics discussed at last year’s GEI included ethical merchandise options, environmentally friendly food at festivals, the effect of Brexit on sustainability efforts and the environmental impact of touring.

GEI 2019 also saw the inaugural international edition of the AGF Awards and the launch of Coda (now Paradigm) Agency’s Green Artist Rider initiative.

Buy tickets here for GEI 2020 before 1 October to profit from early bird rates.

The 32nd edition of the International Live Music Conference (ILMC) will take place in London from 3 to 6 March.

 


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Merch, Brexit, Green Riders and Awards: GEI 11 report

The 11th edition of the Greener Events and Innovations Conference (GEI) saw panels taking place in a new, much larger space to accommodate the record number of delegates in attendance. The event saw 200 people attend the day packed with presentations, workshops and activities.

With the focus firmly on the future of sustainability at festivals and events, the schedule featured four main panel debates interspersed with breakout sessions, round tables and even yoga!

To start the day, our delegates gathered for the Welcome Address from A Greener Festival directors Claire O’Neill and Ben Challis, followed swiftly by the first panel titled “The Essentials: Food… and Merch?!”. This section could even be considered two panels in one, which started with a discussion around best practice in choosing ethical merchandise for both festivals and artist promoters. Then, with a quick change of panelists, the conversation moved onto the topic of food, in particular the carbon emissions created by the meat and dairy industry, and providing crew and attendees alike with information and options to make a less environmentally impactful choice. Both DGTL Amsterdam and Eighth Plate opened up conversations around food waste and creating a circular system to minimise it. This session was supported by the NCASS.

During coffee breaks supported by Natural Event, breakout sessions Innovation Quick Fire Round showed low impact Snow Business as an SFX solution for events, Loowatt toilet solutions and a new Hydrogen Fuel Cell project led by Green Music Initiative.

The Green Artist Rider encourages artists, promoters and venues to minimise impact as much as they can by adopting a greener rider for their own shows

Our next panel; “Come Together, Right Now… Over Brexit” covered the imminent yet wildly uncertain future of Brexit and the impact it will have on our industry. All panelists agreed that we need to develop opportunities to collaborate, and create partnerships for purpose. This session saw frustrations around the uncertainty ahead aired, but Kierra Box from Friends of the Earth ensured that we focused on taking positive steps to safeguard our environmental efforts, and use our respective events as platforms to celebrate multiculturalism, and to inform and inspire change.

Lunchtime saw a number of smaller sessions hosted in our workshop rooms, including ‘IPM Yoga: Wellbeing for Delegates’, production notes on ‘Event Security & Safety Summaries’ and ‘The Green Guide to Safety at Sports Grounds’, and a round table on ‘Inspiring the Next Generation’. Ash Perrin of the Flying Seagull Project was particularly compelling in the latter; discussing his work with refugee children and how happiness matters: “I think kids should be kids and be able to play, no matter their environment or upbringing”.

One of the most heated debates of the day came in our first panel of the afternoon; “A Greener Tour: Is Green the New Rock n Roll?”. Touring shows by their very nature aren’t particularly environmentally friendly, with artists being flown around the world to perform, and their entourage and seemingly increasing equipment following suit. Coda Agency has partnered with A Greener Festival to launch their Green Artist Rider, which encourages artists, promoters, and venues to minimise impact as much as they can by adopting a greener rider for their own shows; for example ensuring venues do not use plastic bottles, ethical food purchasing and using local suppliers for equipment. Coda’s Alex Hardee celebrated the launch with a compelling and entertaining speech about all of our responsibility to take urgent action due to climate change.

Coda Agency and AGF launch Green Artist Rider

Pieter Smit represented the trucking industry presenting their latest work with HVO low carbon fuels and the Euro 6 emissions regulations from major Cities. The discussion became lively when the experts tried to pinpoint who should spearhead this, with most agreeing the artists themselves have the most power to ensure change, however some arguing that the major promoters need to take leadership on fundamental issues before asking artists to do so. Conclusions suggest it needs to be from all possible angles, and any statements made by artists should be supported with solid references.

In our final panel we tackled one of the biggest obstacles facing the festival industry which is the waste we leave behind. In “Circular Live – Campsites, Cups and Creativity”, supported by Pentatonic, our experts delved into the psychology behind discarding camping equipment and choosing green/premium campsite options, turning off the ‘plastic tap’, and new innovations in packaging. The panel all agreed that people do care about sustainability, but an overwhelming number of festival attendees are unaware that abandoning their tent and single use plastics are one and the same. We need to create the same uproar that there is behind plastic bottles and straws, and drive change by incentivisation. A festival is the perfect place to test a utopian, circular civilisation because it is temporary, and because the festival itself builds the infrastructure and therefore decides the rules.

The first-ever winner of the overall International Greener Festival Award was the very deserving DGTL Festival

The overwhelming feeling in the room when leaving this final panel was one of hope and determination for festivals and events to be pioneers in the circular economy.

To round off the day, delegates were invited upstairs for the awards ceremony, supported by RES and Video Illusions, which featured not only those events that had garnered an A Greener Festival Award for 2018 but also for the first time the announcement of the International AGF Awards winners for a range of categories including the Greener Transport Award, the Water & Sanitation Award and the first ever overall winner of the International Greener Festival Award, which went to the very deserving DGTL Festival. The awards were followed by a closing drinks party with the opportunity to network with both GEI delegates and those from IBM (held concurrently).

What a fantastic and inspiring eleventh year for the Green Events and Innovations Conference!

With thanks to Jessi Dimmock (Where’s My Tent?).

 


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A Greener Festival launches International AGF Awards

Environmental nonprofit A Greener Festival (AGF) will host and present the first-ever International AGF Awards at the Green Events & Innovations Conference (GEI) on Tuesday 5 March in London, the opening day of this year’s International Live Music Conference (ILMC).

The new awards night aims to highlight one single best-in-class event for its sustainability across all 11 categories, including transport, catering, innovation and water and sanitation.

The International Greener Festival Award winner will be the event that scores the highest in AGF’s detailed peer-reviewed assessment and analysis of all participating events. This includes over 40 festivals, from 17 countries and across 4 continents.

Delegates of GEI, ILMC and the ILMC Production Meeting (IPM) will be able to attend the prize-giving ceremony following the day’s conference sessions and the opening of ILMC31, at the Royal Garden Hotel on 5 March.

“The significance of the International Greener Festival Awards is that for the first time we are crowning the top winner as the greenest festival in the world,” AGF co-founder Claire O’Neill. “We also shout about the festivals with the best transport, waste, power and innovation to making the whole industry greener and those using their influence and reach for good.”

“The significance of the International Greener Festival Awards is that for the first time we are crowning the top winner as the greenest festival in the world”

In order for all participating events to learn best practice, the reasons for winners and explanations of the sustainability efforts of each will be shared.

“The purpose is to accelerate positive change by shining a light on the best ideas us humans are coming up with to solve our collective conundrums,” says O’Neill.

The 12th edition of the (non-international) AGF Awards took place at Eurosonic Noorderslag on 18 January, with 35 festivals and events receiving the accolade for efforts in sustainability across four categories: outstanding, highly commended, commended and improvers.

AGF are looking for partners and sponsors; interested parties can get in contact here.

A full list of entries for the International AGF Awards are below. AGF will announce shortlists soon:

Bayou Boogaloo (US)
Body & Soul (IE)
Boom Festival (PT)
Boomtown Fair (UK)
BST Hyde Park (UK)
Cambridge Folk Festival (UK)
Couvre Feu (FR)
Das Fest (DE)
De Poupet (FR)
DGTL Festival (NL)
Dubcamp Festival (FR)
Envision Festival (CR)
Fire In The Mountain (UK)
Green Gathering (UK)
Greenbelt Festival (UK)
Hadra Trance Festival (FR)
ILMC (UK)
Kew the Music (UK)
Les Escales (FR)
Manchester Pride (UK)
Mandala Festival (NL)
Metal Days (SI)
Own Spirit Festival (ES)
Øya Festival (NO)
Paradise City (BE)
Pete the Monkey (FR)
Pohoda Festival (SK)
Primavera Sound (ES)
Rainbow Serpent (AU)
Roskilde Festival (DK)
Spring Utrecht (NL)
Terraforma Festival (IT)
Uitfeest (NL)
Utrechtse Introductie Tijd (UIT) (NL)
We Love Green (FR)
Wonderfeel (NL)
Wonderfruit Festival (TH)
Wood Festival (UK)

 


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