10 UK festivals for eco warriors

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Wondering what to do without Glastonbury this year? Here are 10 festivals that are sustainable and still available. So grab your ethical wellies, put on your biodegradable glitter and find your camping gear because we’re going on a road trip!

In date order…

1. Latitude festival

www.latitudefestival.com

When: 12 – 15 July
Where: Henham park, Southwold, Suffolk
How much: £197.50 per adult for the weekend/ £77.50 per adult for the day
Highlight: The Killers/Solange/alt-J are the headliners

What’s their jam?

Latitude was the winner of the Best Major Festival 2017 UK Festivals award and holds around 35,000 people. They’ve teamed up with Street Feast so expect some tasty eats from around the globe. As well as several stages for popular and upcoming artists you’ll find comedy, poetry, film nights, lake swimming, ballet, interactive art and kids areas.

How are they eco friendly?

They take part in Julie’s Bicycle creative green certification and are committed to reducing their carbon emissions. They also partner with Big Green Coach to reduce travel and use 100% LED lighting to reduce energy waste. You can read more about how green they are here.

 

2. Buddhafield festival

www.buddhafield.com

When: 18 – 22 July
Where: Blackdown hills, Culmhead, Somerset
How much: £145 per adult for 5 days/ £40 per adult for the day (available on site only)
Highlight: Discussion and study of Buddhism and meditation

What’s their jam?

Buddhafield Festival is an intimate gathering of around 3,000 people, celebrating community and connection with the land. Expect to take part in song, dance, arts and crafts, yoga, meditation. No drink or drugs are allowed as they aim to create a loving and life-affirming space with vegetarian/vegan cafes and plenty of workshops to try.

How are they eco friendly?

As much of their power as possible is acquired from renewable sources including the sun, wind and wood burner. They don’t use generators and operate a ‘take your landfill home’ policy – last year they only used one landfill-bound skip. You can read more about how green they are here.

 

3. Larmertree festival

larmertreefestival.co.uk

When: 19 – 22 July
Where: Larmertree gardens, Cranborne chase, Salisbury
How much: £179 per adult for the weekend/ £55-75 per adult for the day
Highlight: Flamingods/Jake Bugg/First Aid Kit/Public Service Broadcasting are the headliners

What’s their jam?

Larmertree sells itself as the quintessential Summer party and won the Small festival of the year 2015 National Outdoor Events Association award – holding 5,000 people. They have local, national and international artists in music, outdoor theatre, live performances, art, comedy as well as a brand new Larmer Spa to relax in.

How are they eco friendly?

They’re the winner of Greener Festival Awards and take the Drastic on Plastic pledge. The site has water taps and you can buy a FRANK bottle for refills of filtered and chilled water. All of their catering uses biodegradable packaging and material that can’t be recycled is baled for waste production – so nothing goes to landfill. You can read more about how green they are here.

 

4. The Green Gathering festival

www.greengathering.org.uk

When: 2 – 6 August
Where: Piercefield Park, Chepstow, Wales
How much: £100 per adult for the weekend/ £35 per adult for the day (available on site only)
Highlight: The whole festival is a renewable energy showcase

What’s their jam?

Comissioned by the Green Gathering charity this is a festival organised by environmentalists, activists and artists – with a capacity of 5,000 people. They have an eclectic mix of performers including politically conscious singer-songwriters and protest bands. You’ll find expertise in permaculture and alternative technologies as well as health and wellbeing.

How are they eco friendly?

Winner of the Greenest Festival accolade at the UK Festival awards – the whole festival showcases green energy with areas for gardeners, chefs, teachers and artists who want to learn about living sustainably. They use any financial surplus generated to further its educational and environmental objectives. You can read more about how green they are here.

 

5. Cambridge Folk festival

www.cambridgelivetrust.co.uk

When: 2 – 5 August
Where: Cherry Hinton Hall Park, Cambridge
How much: £175.50 per adult for the weekend/ £29 – 72.50 per adult for the day
Highlight: First Aid Kit/ Patti Smith/John Prine are the headliners

What’s their jam?

Cambridge Folk Festival has been running since 1965 and attracts around 14,000 people. It’s known for its eclectic mix of music with traditional folk artists, cutting edge contemporary acts and the finest American country, blues and roots artists. There’s also workshops, family fun, T’ai Chi and all things therapeutic.

How are they eco friendly?

Winner of a Greener Festival Award they’re committed to reducing their carbon footprint. For their caterers they have Sustainable Stand Awards, no plastic is permitted, eggs have to be free range, meat British and fish sustainable. Their taps automatically switch off and water coolers are used back stage instead of bottles. You can read more about how green they are here.

 

6. Wilderness festival

www.wildernessfestival.com

When: 2 – 5 August
Where: Cornbury Park, Oxfordhsire
How much: £189.70 per adult for the weekend
Highlight: Nile Rogers & Chic/Bastille/Justice are the headliners

What’s their jam?

Wildnerness is passionate about the wild and hosts up to 10,000 nature lovers. There’s a huge mix of music, workshops, debates and wellbeing sessions but it’s the wide selection of outdoor activities such as wild swimming, fly fishing, medicine walks and archery that really make this festival unique.

How are they eco friendly?

Set in a deer park and nature reserve they take their Leave No Trace policy seriously and pick up every item dropped. All of their food stalls must use fully compostable packaging and they aim to use the estate’s water reserve as much as possible. They also have a dedicated electrician to stop overnight energy waste. You can read more about how green they are here.

 

7. Sunrise Celebration festival

www.sunrisecelebration.com

When: 17 – 19 August
Where: Kentchurch Estate, Hereford
How much: £76 per adult for the weekend
Highlight: A focus on sustainability and organic living.

What’s their jam?

Sunrise celebration have won various awards, including the Guardian Observer’s Ethical Travel Award, The Shelter Award for Most Socially Responsible Festival and The Green Parents Best Green Festival Award. They have a plethora of musical styles, inspirational talks, educational workshops and opportunities for spiritual exploration.

How are they eco friendly?

They have site wide compost toilets and a ‘local then organic’ food policy to minimise the carbon footprint of your meals. Ethical living is a very important part of their ethos so everything traded and used on site is ethically sourced, boycotting large and/or unethical brands in favour of smaller more conscientious businesses. You can read more about how green they are here.

 

8. Greenbelt festival

www.greenbelt.org.uk

When: 24 – 27 August
Where: Boughton House, Northamptonshire
How much: £170 per adult for the weekend/ £26 – 55 per adult for the day
Highlight: Pussy Riot/We Are Scientists/Ozomatli are the headliners

What’s their jam?

‘Acts of the imagination’ is the tagline for the Greenbelt festival – with artistry, activism and belief at their core. Originally a Christian festival it’s now a more inclusive affair and has around 20,000 people show up. It celebrates art, faith and justice with music, yoga, circus skills, Bollywood and much more for the whole family.

How are they eco friendly?

You can pre-order a Greenbelt water bottle to use on site and buy a refillable cup for your other drinks. All food packaging is compostable and you can get colour coded bags for your own waste to be recycled. Winner of a Greener Festival Award they even use recycled tents by Camplight. You can read more about how green they are here.

 

9. Into the Wild Summer festival

www.intothewildgathering.com

When: 24 – 27 August
Where: Chiddinglye, West Hoathly, Sussex
How much: £99 per adult for the weekend
Highlight: Over 100 workshops to take part in

What’s their jam?

Into the wild is definitely for nature lovers who want to get outdoors and meet a creative mix of people. It’s a drug and alcohol free event with workshops that include circus skills, hip-hop Shakespeare, Mongolian throat singing and bee keeping. There’s also music from around the world – so there’s something for everyone!

How are they eco friendly?

There’s free drinking water from communal taps and everyone is asked to take their rubbish home with them – encouraging as little waste as possible. They use permaculture toilets and have no light pollution at night. Into the Wild also host fundraisers for various charities including the Nepal Earthquake Appeal. There isn’t a green info page but you can read their FAQs here.

 

10. End of the Road festival

endoftheroadfestival.com

When: 30 August – 2 September
Where:  Larmertree gardens, Cranborne chase, Salisbury
How much: £195 per adult for the weekend
Highlight: Vampire Weekend/St Vincent/Feist are the headliners

What’s their jam?

End of the Road celebrates a love of great music and song writing. Their literary and film programmes are rich in musically-related material and there are no VIP areas so musicians often hang out with everyone else (I wouldn’t mind a beer with Vampire Weekend). Workshops include Aardman Animations, mosaics and cross stitch. There’s a separate healing garden for massage and reflexology.

How are they eco friendly?

Instead of transaction fees you’re given the option to plant a tree when buying your ticket as part of the Festival Wood initiative. They ensure all waste on site is generated in an environmentally friendly way and all caterers have to use biodegradable packaging. Over 50% of their non-catering traders also offer eco friendly products. You can read more about how green they are here.

 

So there you have it, the ultimate countdown of eco friendly festivals. I hope you found your ideal trip and don’t forget to share this post with all of the other festival lovers you know.

 

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