Green Festivals is wide term which can mean either events which promote green living and sustainability which may or may not have elements of entertainment incorporated into the festival and secondly music and arts events which are primarily there to entertain but have a basic green ethos and use music and entertainment to educate and inform the audience on green issues. In the UK the Big Green Gathering and Camden Green Fair are classic example of the former approach and the world famous Glastonbury Festival is an example of the latter.
In the USA Green Festivals are festivals that happen annually to promote environmentally friendly ideas and products and there are usually featured speakers. The Sustainable Living Roadshow toured the US in 2008 and visited San Francisco and Denver amongst other cities and initiatives included a solar stage, bike-powered stage, biofuel powered stage, the Conscious Carnival, green markets, Eco-Info Zone, local farmers market, a green developers exhibit, the clean energy showcase, a health and healing area, beer garden and Eco-Carnival Games.
Across the world numerous music and arts festivals promote environmentally friendly practices, sustainability and a green ethos. In the USA The Bonnaroo Festival has concession food served with biodegradable wraps, has plates, cups and cutlery manufactured from a renewable resource and a festival wide recycling and composting program as well as solar stage and sound system. The new Rothbury Music Festival has fast become a beacon of green excellence. In Australia a number of leading festivals have been instrumental in promoting sustainability including The Peats Ridge Festival, Bluesfest and West Coast Blues n Roots. Bluesfest, Bonnaroo, Peats Ridge and Glastonbury have all won the Prestigious Greener Festival Award from independent website.
In Australia the Sustainable Living Foundation (SLF) is a community based not-for-profit organisation committed to creating major platforms to help accelerate the uptake of sustainable living. SLF brings together values, expertise and resources to inform and inspire the wider community about sustainable living. The Sustainable Living Festival showcases a huge range of exhibitors, talks, workshops, art, films and performances celebrating and inspiring sustainable communities
Many festivals now link up with organisations such as Yourope, the European festivals organisation, campaign and advice group A Greener Festival, ReverbRock in the USA (now the Green Music Group) and/or Julies Bicycle, the UK's cross music industry initiative on climate change to make meaningful changes to their events to reduce their impact on the environment and reduce greenouse gas emissions. Yourope run a 'Green and Clean' Awards scheme for their member festivals, A Greener Festival runs the Greener Festival Awards scheme for festivals around the world and Julies Bicycle have developed the IG (Industry Green) mark which evidences sustainable practices, not only for live events and festivals but also for venues and CD packaging.
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“This is certainly not the place for a discourse about what festivals are for. Discussions on this theme were plentiful during that phase of preparation and on the whole were fruitless. My experience is that discussion is fruitless. What sets forth and demonstrates is the sight of events in action, is living through these events and understanding them.”
—Doris Lessing (b. 1919)