Green Operations Award 2015 – short list revealed

On January 13 GO Group will happily reveal 2015’s winner of Green Operations Award. As the sustainability related category of the tth European Festival Awards the GO Award forms something like the “green Oscar” of the European Festival scene. The ceremony will be held at the Oosterport on the opening night of next year’s EurosonicNoorderslag festival and conference.

The award will be presented by Yourope’s anchorman for green issues and GO Group’s very own Holger Jan Schmidt. He will present the 4th winner of the Green Operations Award, decided by a jury of experts from this exciting short list (find more info about the festivals below)


  • Ieper Hardcore Fest (BE)
  • Off Festival (POL)
  • OpenAir St.Gallen (CH)
  • Shambala festival (UK)
  • Tollwood Festival (GER)

Green Operations Award coordinator Holger Jan Schmidt says: “As every year this is a delightful and dreadful task for the Green operations Award jury. We find out about all the great achievments and initiatives that take place in Europe today and then we have to decide on a winner out of a pool of freat events. I said it before and I say it again: it is impossible to award the greenest festival in Europe. What we do is an acknowledgement of outstanding performance within an event’s very own context. Something that spreads out and isa shining example for the whole branch.

To be honest all of these festivals qualify for the top position and being in the shortlist should be received as a trophy already. Congratulations to all festivals and good luck to all of you!

If you want to join us, purchase tickets here. But be quick they’re running short!

This is the definition for the Green Operations Award:

Green Operations Award
European Festival Award for Green Excellence
The Green Operations Award is an annual award presented by Yourope and the GO Group. Its target group are festivals that have made a significant contribution to or achievement towards developing more sustainable events. Examples for respective achievements are practises and systems introduced at their own event, the development of good practices, which they have shared with other events, a specific innovation or continuous improvements over a number of years. The Award is given out by a panel made up of experts that are not directly linked to any specific festival with the exception that the previous year’s winner will be invited to cast a vote for the following year’s award only.

The Green Operations Award – Jury 2015 reads like this:

More info on the 2015 nomminnees:

Ieper Hardcore Fest (BEL) – The most striking is Ieperfest’s frank and refreshing communication. Tell it like it is – no nonsense. They have engrained and extensive ecological actions, including 100% vegan food, and this year the introduction of green camping where participants get composting toilets, showers with hot water from an eco pellet stove, and solar electricity amongst other green treats. Ieperfest have shown that their social values stretch beyond their event, for example, by taking left over food to refugees in Calais.

Off Festival – This is the first polish festival run partially on renewable power (with a diesel generator backup system). Its plan is to be run on 100% renewables in the close future. 100% organic food is offered at the visitors. Incentives to get people from the cars to public transport and increase the rate of maximumfilled cars are in place as well as a 4-way-waste-seperation. Partners and vendors are only given an amount of energy to be used during the festival to keep the power consumption on a low level. Off is on a great way and defenitively a shining example for eastern European festivals.

Open Air St.Gallen (SUI) – the swiss festival is one of the green’n’clean leaders of the european festival scene. OASG has to deal with all the challenges of today’s music festivals amd doing so in conscious, sustainable and always evolving way. Green power, local produce, waste management are three examples for their action on top level. Keen to learn and share OASG also introduced impressive public transport offers, a tent deposit system as first of the major european festivals and organic, fair-trade merchandise.

Shambala Festival (GB) – is a beacon for festival sustainability in the UK and is considered truly pioneering Europe-wide. In five years shambala have reduced the onsite carbon footprint of the festival by 81%, monitoring and efficiently spec’ing generators, using 100% renewable energy, and inviting audience to contribute to the “energy revolution” offset scheme for their travel. They engage the audience in the sustainability plans including “Bring a Bottle” campaign to eradicate single use plastic water, and a deposit on campsite waste to encourage waste reduction and sorting.

Tollwood Festival (GER) – twice a year for almost a month Tollwood takes place in the city of Munich and is visited by 1.6 Mio people. The festival takes its responsibility seriously. Main fields of action: organic and fair food (bio-certified since 2004), waste reduction, climate protection, ecological and social commitment, great sustainabilty related initiatives hand in hand with communication projects and campaigns. 2015 it was  the “Artgerecht” (“As Nature Made Them”) Campaign – against industrial livestock farming in cooperation with the German Animal Welfare Foundation (Deutscher Tierschutzbund). Tollwood is a true inspirer, knowledge sharer and opinion leader for sustainability in the festival world.