Pohoda 2019 wins Festival Award for ‘Sustainability’

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Pohoda 2019
Photo: Martin Bobok

Festileaks reveals the winners of the Festileaks Festival Awards 2019. Over 14,000 festival-goers rated festivals throughout Europe in seven fixed categories. Slovakia’s Pohoda 2019 wins the Festival Award for ‘Sustainability’.

Discover all the winners of the Festileaks Festival Awards 2019.

1. Pohoda Festival (8.9)

Pohoda 2019
Photo: Martina Mlcuchova

Green, greener, greenest. Festival-goers are more and more aware of the ecological aspect of the events they are visiting. And more and more festivals try to meet these expectations. Among these, Pohoda is the absolute winner. Sustainability has been important for a long time at the Slovakian festival. This is probably most noticeable in its waste management.

Iconic hardcups with a practical hook (so you can hang it from your belt or bag), portable ash trays and many bins with two volunteers around them to help you separate your waste. A lot of this rubbish is processed on site, together with the waste from the food trucks – a measure that saves a lot of CO2. Visitors are also inspired to live greener. The organisation gives tips to travel in an environmentally friendly way, and hosts the Holland Circular Market, where lectures are given about a greener lifestyle.

2. Best Kept Secret (8.2)

Carly Rae Jepsen - Best Kept Secret 2019
Photo: Ben Houdijk / Best Kept Secret Festival

Hardcups have been used at Best Kept Secret for years now. This year the Dutch festival goes a step further. The hardcups don’t have prints on them anymore, so they can easily be reused for other events. A shame for the collector, but better for the environment. Collectors who are happy with Best Kept Secret are the local food banks, as all food surpluses from the festival caterers went to them. As a rule, those caterers also need to offer at least one vegetarian or vegan option, so less meat is consumed at the festival.

3. Milkshake Festival (8.1)

Milkshake 2019
Photo: Alejandra Broersma / Festileaks

At Milkshake Festival, the vegetarian aspect went even further. In the name of sustainability, the organisation decided that there would be no meat or fish on any menu. This enormous reduction in meat consumption saved (indirectly) a lot of CO2. Additionally, the Dutch festival used hardcups and waste separation. Just like at Pohoda, there were almost always volunteers who would make sure you knew in which bin to put your rubbish.

4. Zwarte Cross (8.0)

Zwarte Cross
Foto: Zwarte Cross website

A climate neutral motocross event? Indeed, that sounds hard to deliver. The organisation behind the Zwarte Cross definitely realises this. It is the reason why they prefer to speak of a ‘logical footprint’. Still, it does not mean the Dutch festival does not care about sustainability. This year they switched to reusable cups from RPET, a new kind of plastic that can be recycled more easily. Zwarte Cross also had more waste points with separated rubbish, as well as more volunteers to pick up all the trash.

5. Bilbao BBK Live (8.0)

Photo: Ioana Maftei

In fifth place, still with a more than solid grade, is Bilbao BBK Live. The Spanish festival received this spot as a result of its use of hardcups and straws made of bamboo. Additionally, the festival invested in sustainable clothing this year. They presented a specifically assembled ‘capsule collection’ of sustainable clothes that were made out of trash from the sea. In doing so, BBK tried to make visitors more aware of the role played by clothing in the ecological circle of life.

Festileaks Festival Awards

Photo: Ben Houdijk (Rock Werchter 2019)

At over fifty festivals throughout Europe, we asked the audience for ratings in the seven most important categories of the festival experience: line-up, side programme, atmosphere, location & looks, food & drinks, logistics, and sustainability. In doing so, Festileaks presents an alternative to the jury-led industry prizes. In 2019, Europe’s biggest festivals are rated once more for the Festileaks Festival Awards.

Festileaks.com is the online meeting spot for Europe’s festival community. On the website, you can find the latest news, rumours and experiences from festivals and other music events.