Sunrise: Another World – the leading edge sustainable music festival

Join a carousing carnival of low impact fun and gain skills for greener living  

 Sunrise Another World – the latest exciting incarnation from the producers of Sunrise Celebration festival and the Natural Communities Foundation – is the UK’s leading edge sustainable music and organic arts festival, taking place this year on a beautiful new site at Thoulstone Park in the rolling hills of Wiltshire, 30th May till 2nd June. 

Highly acclaimed for its green credentials, Sunrise won the Green Parent Best Festival Award 2012, the Greener Festival Award 2012 and the Guardian Ethical Travel Award 2011.

This year’s innovative event, billed as the world’s first ever “Festival Micronation” – a free independent state with its own ethical principles – promises to be cleaner and greener than ever before.  While Sunrise has always been committed to renewable energy, organic food, compost toilets, eco-transport and reducing waste, in 2013 the festival plans to majorly up the ante.

Sunrise’s primary goals this year are to introduce the UKs first integrated festival power system as a revolutionary means of reducing dependency on biofuels; to continue to reduce disposable plastic bottle use; to increase sustainable transport options and increase recycling; to reduce waste; and, with an eye on the future – to continue to raise money for environmental projects and invest in renewable energy technologies.  Sunrise also aims to be the first “Transition Festival”, building a strong, resilient festival community grounded in the local area, demonstrating sustainability principles across all areas of production.

Photo: John Day

As ever, the festival will be an innovative forum for social and environmental education, covering alternative technologies, eco building, green crafts, permaculture, lively debates, and featuring talks and workshops in the Green Talks Dome with leading eco pioneers, authors, and environmental and spiritual activists – from Satish Kumar and Natalie Bennett to Tim Macartney, Polly Higgins and Graham Hancock.

“Sunrise is a forum for open expression of ideas,” says Alex Lepingwell, Co-Director of Sunrise Another World. “We believe in the importance of sustainable community, of living in harmony with the planet and walking lightly upon the earth. We also believe that it’s possible to celebrate without compromising our values.

“Festivals are a platform where ideas can be raised and discussed in a non-dogmatic and inspirational fashion,” Alex continues, ”whether this be water-powered cars or free energy, Transition Towns or freedom of health. Exchanging ideas and inspiring each other, we can really make a difference as well as take home practical information on how to minimise our impact on the planet and live an empowered, sustainable existence. The values of Sunrise are reflected in those of our micronation, whose constitution will embody principles of environmental sustainability, ecological protection and preservation, and low impact living.”

For 2013, Sunrise – the pioneering permaculture-based nation – is keen to highlight the importance and value of permaculture, not only as a means of providing natural systems of food and resource production, but as a way to organise our societies, homes and lives.

“Sunrise is a permaculture festival at heart,” says Alex Lepingwell. “We believe our principles are grounded firmly in the ideas of the movement and that the festival can be a good vehicle to communicate these principles to the public. Permaculture is the basis for many great ideas including the Transition Movement, another philosophy that we are happy to align ourselves with. Again, in many ways the micronation is a Transition State, rather than a permanent call to independence.”

Sunrise’s  innovative new integrated power system for the festival – as part of its partnership with the Green Festival Alliance – brings together high-spec battery technology with more traditional waste vegetable oil generators and a combination of solar and wind power, to create a site-wide power system that is energy efficient and low impact. If proven to work, this new integrated system will revolutionise power provision at festivals.  Sunrise will also be carrying out thorough monitoring of the power systems onsite this year, teaming up with De Montford University to introduce real academic rigour into their testing and published results.

In 2013, Sunrise again offers free spring water to festival-goers and refillable plastic bottles, in partnership with Life Water and drop4drop. Profits from bottle sales go direct to drop4drop to fund their community well project for poor communities in rural India.  Other green initiatives at the festival, iinclude reusable pint mugs, disposable nappy recycling with Green Bottoms and an innovative campsite waste station from Upcycle whose“Exchange” allows you to swap your rubbish for fabulous recycled goods.

Sunrise continually strives to increase the number of people travelling to the site by bicycle and public transport, and this year has teamed up with Roll Up On Bikes  to provide an organised bike ride from Bristol.  Camplight’s provision of a Reuse Camp brings over 100 recycled tents from Glastonbury 2011’s disposables (complete with sleeping bags and mats) allowing cyclists to travel light. To ease train travel, shuttle buses will ferry to and fro the local train station. Meanwhile, horse drawn carts will deliver locally produced organic goods to the festival, and as ever there will be a range of fun transport options available on site – from horse and carts and rickshaws to fancy dress bikes.    

Sunrise is all about low-impact fun, says Alex Lepingwell: “As you while away a spectacular four days, living it up under glorious skies, dancing all night before endless stages, listening to incredible bands, you can do so happy in the knowledge that it’s all at minimum impact to the environment.  As well as all the fantastic nightlife there are lots of wonderful wholesome activities to get on with during the day – from traditional crafts and skills like willow weaving, felt making, green wood work and pottery, to bushcraft skills, nature walks, wood lathing and learning about alternative technologies and sustainable construction in the Eco-Build Area.  Push back the boundaries of the festival experience in our free-state Micronation and take an educational adventure learning life-enhancing skills and soaking up inspiration for creating a better world.” 


MUSIC LINE UP HIGHLIGHTS: Krafty Kuts, The Beat, Dub Pistols, The Egg, The Drop, Utah Saints,  A-Skillz, Babyhead, The Freestylers, Youth (Killing Joke), DJ @ War, Andy Smith, The Skints and Dancefloor Outlaws.


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