It’s that time of year when everyone is digging out their wellies as a summer of festivals stand before us. You may have managed to bag yourself a ticket to the mighty green Glastonbury, or you may be holding out for a more intimate eco affair. Lucy takes time out to round up the UK’s top eco festivals.

Festivals with ethics
Festivals with ethics


When? 9-12 September 2010

Where? Robin Hill County Park, Isle of Wight

Eco credentials? Bestival’s environmental plans are headed by a group called The Green Team. The team is made up from a group of eco minded volunteers who to help keep the festival as planet friendly as possible. Bestival was awarded an ‘Outstanding’ Greener Festival Award in 2009, one of only 13 festivals worldwide to achieve this top level award.  They will also be working with Julie’s Bicycle, an innovative organisation that helps the music industry to reduce its carbon emissions.

Bestival operates a strict no glass policy where all glass must be decantered upon arrival. A plethora of recycling bins is available and plastic bags are discouraged. A car share scheme is planned as well as there being good public transport links to the park.


When? 15-18 July 2010

Where? Henham Park, Southwold, Suffolk

Eco credentials:  When at Latitude you’ll live by the ‘LEAVE NO TRACE’ philosophy – take only photos, leave only footprints.

Latitude is an unique festival that combines poetry, theatre, comedy and world class music in beautiful surroundings. When thinking green, Latitude prepares visitors with a section on the website about how campers can arrive eco ready with tips about car sharing, using durable products which can be reused and using the recycling bins provided. The festival site is an eco haven with composting toilets, phosphate free shampoos and a pint cup deposit scheme. A ‘shop local’ scheme is operated with local Adnams ale sold. Sit back and soak up the gorgeous atmosphere at one of the UK’s most unique festivals.

Kendal Calling

When? 30th July – 1st August 2010

Where? Lowther Deer Park, The Lake District

Eco Credentials: An independent, some may say ‘boutique’ festival set in the heart of the Lake District, Kendal Calling is one not to be missed. The natural settings are just the start of this festival – your tent will be pitched in the picturesque backdrop of a beautiful national park. Quoted to be ‘the most fun you can have in the countryside’, Kendal Calling also has top eco credentials.

Being set in a Deer Park, the festival pushes no glass, litter or climbing of trees – respect nature and have fun along the way. The location is lucky enough to be 10minutes from Penrith train station and they also run a ‘big green coach’ from 19 locations to the site for a bargain £15 return! To add a bit more eco flavour, the festival is a mixture of big names such as The Doves and small local bands (who don’t have to travel too far to perform just for you this summer!)

Isle of Wight festival

When? 11-13 June 2010

Where? Seaclose Park, Newport, Isle of Wight

Eco credentials:  Festival goers are encouraged to cycle to the park. There is a bike scheme with large bike rack facilities and bike hire scheme.

This year IOW is sporting a new fundraising campaign: Let it Bee, an initiative to help bees not become extinct due to their loss of habitat. There will be a fundraiser at the festival where fluffy bees and t-shirts will be sold to help raise awareness of this worthy cause.

IOW continue their eco credentials by using local businesses as much as possible including the construction of the stages, the materials used and the food and drink.


When? 23-27 June 2010

Where? Worthy Farm, Glastonbury

Eco credentials:  The festival is both green and charitable supporting Greenpeace, WaterAid and Oxfam (Glastonbury is the biggest single regular donor to Greenpeace). Glastonbury is aiming to get 40,000 people to travel by public transport this year which would be nearly one third of the festival goers. Last year a modest 40pc of rubbish was recycled, a figure which is looking to be increased this year. In 2008 the festival recycled 193.98 tonnes of composted organic waste, 400 tonnes of chipped wood, 9.12 tonnes of glass, 54 tonnes of cans and plastic bottles. All the tea, coffee and sugar sold at the festival are fair trade. The downside is that this eco grandad of all festivals sold out a long time ago – so if you have a ticket already in the bag – congratulations. If not, get yourself ready for Glastonbury 2011.


When? 11-13 June 2010

Where? Donington Park, East Midlands

Eco credentials: The rock festival embraces a scheme whereby money is given if cups are returned (wooo!). This initiative significantly decreases the amount of rubbish which is left on site every year. Fully recyclable tents are available to purchase at the festival for those who are super green! Other incentives such as tickets for next year can be gained by handing in tents and recycling. Shuttle buses and the Big Green Coach and Happy Bus encourage festival goers to opt for green transport.


  1. donnachessum Reply

    Another great festival to consider is Festinho at Hinwick House in Bedfordshire, 27 – 29 August. It was voted the Guardian’s Best Small Festival last year, and all profits go to the ABC Trust for Brazilian street children.

    Worth checking out also is the SoulPad Village offer at the festival – you can buy a cotton canvas bell tent which will be erected on site for your arrival and which you get to keep afterwards! Much more eco-friendly than dumping the nasty nylon tents after the party is over.

  2. Pingback: Loving Latitude « Living the good life

  3. Pingback: Green festivals 2010 | Hello Eco Living

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