New sustainable music festival to debut this August bank holiday in Waterford

Published by Manus Boyle on

July 13th, 2018

A brand-new sustainable music and arts festival will debut this August bank holiday weekend at the Curraghmore Estate in County Waterford.

All Together Now (ATN) is being launched by POD, the organisers behind Forbidden Fruit and Metropolis, and will not provide any plastic materials including plastic bottles, bags, food packaging or cups.

The festival boasts a stellar line-up including headliners Fleet Foxes, Underworld, Róisín Murphy, Mura Masa and Villagers. It will also offer a weekend of comedy, theatre, poetry, art and workshops.

Jenny Headen, the festival’s public relations officer, spoke with The Green News to tell us why ATN is a festival with a difference.

“One of the main focus points for ATN’s sustainability is that there is absolutely no sale or provision of plastic bottles on site whatsoever. We are unique in that regard,” she explained.

As an alternative to plastic water bottles being sold on site, the organisers are offering an environmentally friendly and fully recyclable substitute. “The eco-containers are sourced from sustainably managed forests and are fully recyclable – even the cap, as well as being refillable,” she said.

ATN is also providing a large number of drinking water taps on site. They aim to encourage the refilling of eco-cartons and containers to minimise any plastic bottles people may bring themselves.

Ms Heading said that soft drinks will be sold in cans only and that the festival is partnered with Every Can Counts, whose volunteers will be on the campsite to share information, encourage recycling and collect cans throughout the weekend.

As part of the Every Can Counts initiative, there will be two 1,100 litre bins located between the main campsite and arena entrance, the highest traffic areas.

Compost bins, paper bins and general waste bins will be placed side by side to make it as easy as possible for people to recycle their waste.

Ms Headen said that ATN is focused on reducing the volume of rubbish that will end up in general waste disposal and that they are making “committed efforts to do so”.

The festival will also have large sand barrels located throughout the site to collect cigarette butts. According to the 2017 National Litter Pollution Report, cigarette butts account for more than half of Ireland’s litter problem.

“Curraghmore is an area of abundant natural flora and fauna and, in a preventative measure, we want to give people every opportunity to bin cigarette butts before throwing them away,” said Ms Headen.

Bars and vendors will not give out any plastic pint glasses that are usually found at festivals. Compostable cups and lids will be provided for alcohol, tea and coffee.

All traders and vendors will be using Vegware or recyclable paper packaging, including cutlery and serve ware that is all fully compostable or recyclable.

All Together Now can boast to be a warm-up act for major international festivals, such as Glastonbury which plans to go plastic-free from next year.

Music festivals have come under criticism for encouraging a throwaway consumer culture among many attendees, who abandon everything from tents to raincoats in mud-filled fields each year.

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Manus Boyle

Manus is an MA Journalism student at DCU. He has an interest in the environment, the outdoors and live music.