Shambala Festival: Costumes, Coaches and Compost Toilets
From Coachella putting on its own train to Summercase's reusable cups, it seems like every music festival is doing something to be a little cleaner and a little greener this summer. One festival that's been doing its bit for a while now, but not necessarily shouting about it, is Shambala in the UK (Full disclosure: I was previously involved in organising a permaculture education area at Shambala 05 & 06). Besides a rigorous recycling policy, which seems to have become the norm among UK festivals, Shambala also uses funds from car parking to subsidise coach travel from around the country; offers secure bike parking and an organized mass bike ride; stipulates biodegradable serving utensils for vendors, and encourages vegetarian, vegan, organic, and "happy animal" caterers - there's even a bike-powered smoothy maker. Delving into Shambala's sustainability policies a little further , it turns out that the festival also has the largest fleet of composting toilets in the country:
" We are careful with your rubbish. Virtually EVERYTHING is recycled, even batteries, water from the hot-tubs, cooking oil from cafes etc....We even re-cycle some of your poo! Although we only have 20 compost loos (the largest UK fleet), we aim to invest in making more and more. The flowers you see outside the toilets are planted in your poo!"
Besides some pretty impressive green policies, the Shambala program is usually full of ecologically-focused workshops, discussions and events, including a guided wild food tour and renewable energy demonstrations, not to mention some fabulous music and one of the craziest Saturday-night fancy dress (that's British-English for costume) extravaganzas you are ever likely to see - expect to see at least half the festival dolled up in all kinds of weird and wonderful disguises! Anyone looking for a friendly, informal and positive festival with a non-preachy green tint could do a lot worse than head to Shambala.
::Shambala Festival::via site visit::
More on Green Music Festivals
Taking the Train to Coachella
Ecofestes Reusable Cups at Summercase Music Festival
FIB Music Festival Goes Clean and Green this Summer
Rothbury Music Festival Showcases Next Generation of Carbon Offsets