2.10 Accommodation and camping at festivals

Many festivals span several days. Everyone present – visitors, staff and artists – need accommodation.

All guests that will attend your event can be encouraged to use selected co-operation partners. This requires a preliminary approval where you select the most environmentally sound accommodation facilities. This could, for example, be facilities approved by the Eco-Lighthouse Program or the Swan Ecolabelling, or you can ask the enterprise if they are making any environmental efforts, and if so, of what nature. As event hosts, you can also introduce a rule about only covering accommodation expenses at selected locations

Camping is, for many people, a part of the festival experience, and many festivals have their own campsites. The main challenge regarding environmental strain at a festival campsite is waste.

In addition to the general amount of waste, people’s increased buying power has led more and more visitors to leave camping equipment and other personal property behind after the festival’s end. It is important that the festivals inspire visitors to be responsible consumers with awareness of their waste production, and that facilities be put in place to this end. This can stimulate environmentally friendly attitudes and actions. Also, check out the same tips that are relevant to the rest of the event, as well as the chapter on waste.

In addition, there will be a range of other things you can do:

  • Inform all guests on what environmental measures you are taking and why.
  • Hand out waste bags to all guests, and provide good information on how to sort the waste. The better you organise for recycling, the easier it will be for everybody to carry out proper waste sorting. One possibility is to hand out a pamphlet to all campers on arrival.
  • Provide clearly marked waste stations, with simple instruction for their use.
  • Make sure to have enough waste bins and that they are emptied often.
  • Allow only ordinary camping equipment. For example, prohibit the use of sofas and large armchairs. At the Hultsfred Festival in Sweden, such measures have been successfully introduced.
  • Prohibit disposable barbecues and grills. Not only do they result in large amounts of waste, but they also represent a fire hazard in areas with a large concentration of tents. Instead, provide safe communal barbecues that everybody can use.
  • Establish a deposit stall at the campsite.
  • Expand depositing programs.
  • Consider  using already existing sanitary facilities – e.g. in a nearby sports hall – for guests to use.
  • Put up sanitary facilities on the campsite. Dishwashing and laundry facilities should be available.
  • When putting up showers, consider the consumption of energy and water. One solution might be to install timers which limit the time one is allowed to shower, e.g. 5 minutes.
  • Keep in mind how the use of the campsite might affect the ground condition. If it rains a lot, a grass field might quickly turn into a giant mud bath. One possible solution is to place planks or other suitable material on the ground throughout the premises.
  • The campsite should have a «quiet area», an area where playing loud music is not allowed, either in general, or during certain periods of the day.
  • Find a suitable parking area, and prohibit vehicle access to the camping premises. Artists/participants may drive through the area to load/unload equipment, but should park outside the campsite.
  • If there is a long distance between the campsite and the event, offer public transport.
  • If the campsite offers food and beverages, you can follow the tips and advice in section 2.5. of this chapter.


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