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Greenest Festival in the Land: beyond hedonism, beyond glitter

At the UK Festival Awards in London on November 30, The Green Gathering’s organising team was presented with The Greener Festival Award 2017 for outstanding commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and creating positive social impact. The Green Gathering festival showcases live music, spoken word, debates and skillshares at a solar powered four day event every August near Chepstow in Wales.

Described as ‘a festival beyond hedonism’ The Green Gathering aims to educate as it entertains. The first festival to recognise glitter as microplastic pollution, the organisers insist glitter, if used, is 100% biodegradable and safe for wildlife and marine life. All food on sale is vegetarian. In 2017 a third of the foodstalls were vegan, all cups and glasses were compostable or reuseable and 73% of the festival’s waste was recycled. The Green Gathering was also the first UK event to sign up to Take A Stand, a new European movement promoting social cohesion, community participation, peaceful dialogue, humanism and tolerance.

With a history going back to the days of free festivals and peace convoys, The Green Gathering is now committed to working alongside A Greener Festival to exchange ideas and innovations with green events around the world, aiming to change behaviour and increase sustainable practices at festivals and beyond.

In response to the Paris climate change talks of 2015, The Show Must Go On report by festival industry think-tank Powerful Thinking states:

As festival organisers we know how to create unforgettable experiences and how to inspire people. We know how to get things done in challenging circumstances and we are accomplished at communicating with audiences… We can make a vital and significant contribution to a future that we want our children to inherit…We can provide leadership for what is perhaps the most important conversation of our time.”

60 UK festivals have so far taken this on board, each committing to a 50% reduction in festival-related annual greenhouse gas emissions by 2025 with the Festival Vision 2025 pledge.

Green Gathering director Emma Fordham says:

“’Beyond hedonism’ doesn’t mean no fun. It means having a party, yes, then waking up the next day with your new friends from the night before, and starting to put the world to rights. People often tell us The Green Gathering has inspired them to change their behaviour in positive ways, empowered them to take action in their communities, given them hope and changed their lives. It’s potent!”

The Green Gathering 2018 will be held 2-5 August in Chepstow, Wales.

Produced by a Community Interest Company (OTP CIC) and commissioned by the Green Gathering Charity, the festival is a non-profit event promoting and raising funds for sustainability via education and the arts.



Twitter: @gathering_green




  • The Greener Festival Award was instigated in 2007 by A Greener Festival, a not-for-profit company committed to helping events, festivals and venues around the world to adopt environmentally efficient practices.
  • More about the history of The Green Gathering is available here:


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