Sunrise Celebration – the UK’s greenest festival
A working template for sustainable future living
Thursday 21st – Sunday 24thJune @ Gilcombe Farm, near Bruton, Somerset
Guardian Ethical Travel Award 2011 ~ Green Parent Best Festival Award 2011
~ Greener Festival Award 2011
Sunrise Celebration, which takes place on this year’s Solstice weekend of 21st – 24th June at Gilcombe Farm, near Bruton in Somerset, is the UK’s leading sustainable education, arts and music festival.
Run by Natural Communities CIC, a trading arm of the Natural Communities Foundation, Sunrise is a charity working to support harmonious living on the planet. Every aspect of its planning and delivery strives to be as ethical and environmentally friendly as possible, while it also provides an innovative forum for social and environmental education, covering alternative technologies, eco building, green crafts and permaculture. Sunrise was also the first festival to have site-wide compost toilets and an organic, local food and drinks policy.
Sophie Docker, festival co-organiser says:
“We believe we have the most comprehensive green policy and strategy of all UK music festivals and we aim to keep Sunrise in the front line of the debate, while providing practical information to take home on how to minimise our impact on the planet and live an empowered, sustainable life.”
A festival known for walking its talk with its use of solar and wind power, stringent waste and litter management and free water refills to minimise plastic drinking bottles along with many other ground breaking ideas developed since its inception seven years ago – Sunrise is widely acclaimed for its authenticity and lack of green wash.
Sunrise’s promotion of alternative transport solutions for festival goers was a key factor in its winning of the Guardian’s “Ethical Travel Award” in 2011. One of its major objectives for 2012 is to increase the number of people travelling to the site by bicycle and public transport. To ease train travel, Sunrise has set up shuttle buses to and fro the local train station, while the festival’s provision of a Reuse Camp this year bringing 100 recycled tents from Glastonbury 2011’s disposables, complete with sleeping bags and mats, relieves cyclists of carrying so much of their own gear. Furthermore, locally produced organic goods will be delivered to the festival by horse drawn carts – and as ever, fun transport options on site include horse and carts, rickshaws and fancy dress bikes.
Gemma Bowes, the Guardian’s Travel Editor said:
“Sunrise’s commitment to sustainability and ethical, organic approach to partying is truly impressive. They don’t shove their ideals down your throat like a politician would; instead they demonstrate how the world could be a happier, greener, kinder place by demonstrating their ideas in a fun way, and putting on a magical, zany, wonderful show…we hope other whopping, more commercial events will take inspiration from Sunrise and think about how they can ensure they have a solely positive effect on their environment and guests.”
In 2012, Sunrise aims to be greener than ever, reducing waste and its dependency on biofuels, increasing rates of recycling and investing more in renewable energy technologies. It will also continue planting the Sunrise community woodland, launched in 2011 with the seeding of a wildlife haven at Gilcombe Farm as a resource for current and future generations. Sunrise also plans to become the first “Transition” festival, building a strong resilient festival community grounded in the local area and demonstrating sustainability across all levels of production. Other new green initiatives include reusable pint mugs, disposable nappy recycling and a new campsite waste station from Upcycle (whose “Exchange” allows you to swap your rubbish for recycled goods).
Sunrise’s ethos to be the change it wishes to see extends into the business world. Set up as a Community Interest Company (CIC), it commits 65% of profits towards its community of interest. Like the UN and many leading edge social entrepreneurs across the globe, Sunrise engages a triple bottom line principle in its business operations, whereby the cost and benefit to society and the environment are accounted for alongside monetary profit.
Sophie Docker says:
“Changing corporate structures is a crucial aspect to the revolution, freeing massive organisations from the impact of their profit driven activities.“
Sunrise’s efforts to create positive change in the wider world include a “Tibet Village” at this year’s event to raise awareness of problems facing Tibet, where the Chinese government’s restrictions on freedoms and basic human rights have recently intensified. The village will include documentary screenings, talks and Tibetan charity information stalls to inspire festival-goers to support Tibet.
Not one to take itself too seriously Sunrise is a four day music extravaganza – with over 13 stages, state-of-the art light shows and circus performances – proving that a magnificent celebration can be enjoyed without damaging the planet. Nightlife aside, wholesome daytime activities range from traditional crafts like felt making, green wood work and bushcraft workshops and walks, to learning about alternative technologies and sustainable construction.
Daniel Hurring, co-organiser of Sunrise Celebration says:
“Spreading the message is a big part of the revolution taking place right now. The more people learn, the more we can grow to make the change possible.”
~ For further information about Sunrise Celebration visit the festival’s website ~
~ For more details re Sunrise sustainability visit the website’s Info section ~
For media enquiries contact Will Gethin at Conscious Frontiers:
01179 232 764; 07795 204 833; firstname.lastname@example.org