Now in its 12th year, 2023 saw Love Saves The Day returned to Ashton Court for its second edition at that location, where their overall sustainability practices were externally assessed by A Greener Future, who attended the festival and calculated the full carbon footprint of the event, awarding them “A Greener Festival 2023 – Commended Status.” This new report documents the findings and challenges encountered, while also setting goals for the 2024 event that falls on the May bank holiday weekend, Saturday 25th and Sunday 26th May.
Having signed the Vision: 2025 Pledge, they have incorporated promoting fairer and greener events, transparency and clear communication with their stakeholders into their company ethos. As part of the Drastic on Plastic campaign Love Saves banned single use plastic on site in 2022, which included glitter, and encouraged attendees to bring their own reusable water bottles to the festival, and last year saw Love Saves continue their efforts to reduce single use plastic on site wherever possible.
2023 has since seen the event further reduce waste by an impressive seven tonnes compared to the 2022 show, upping recycling on site to 53%, with all general waste going to energy recovery and none of it going to landfill. The event also introduced reusable cable ties in the build of the festival, along with disposable vape bins on site, and free personal ashtrays given out during the event.
They also partnered again with Music Declares Emergency, using the No Music on a Dead Planet pledge as a key communication point for artists, attendees and the festival. These partnerships will continue to be an integral part of their 2024 Love Saves festival.
Their report shares the environmental impact data they collected, and explores on site infrastructure and services including waste, energy, catering, toilets and water. When it came to audience transport, Team Love made a conscious effort to make sustainable options accessible with subsidised shuttle bus travel which was carbon- balanced with ecolibrium, and a whopping 58% of festival attendees chose to take the Love Bus to Ashton Court, helping reduce environmental footprint. For those wanting a completely emission-free journey, the festival encouraged walking or cycling to the site and had a bike lock park available. There were also green options for travel for those commuting from outside Bristol, as the festivals partnered with Big Green Coach.
When it comes to festival fashion choices, Love Saves the Day have been outspoken over the last few years, integrating a conscious fashion campaign within their wider marketing, encouraging those attending to support local designers and buy sustainable festival outfits. Followers are encouraged to make their own, purchase second-hand (from thrift and charity shops) or even repurpose old outfits and clothes-swap with friends. Their 2024 campaign will be no different, with some surprises and collabs already in the pipeline in the run up to the festival in May.
Last year Team Love released a company-wide sustainability impact report, covering all their events, which can still be found on their website.
Some goals set for the 2024 Love Saves event involve a focus on increasing food sustainability credentials with food traders, incorporating more theatrical elements to waste initiatives to improve engagement, with an aim to increase the recycling rate by 7%. Other goals include growing their local fashion campaign, which involves capturing data to understand if it changes audience habits, running a similar work placement scheme with Big Team CIC for young people and continuing to keep the event as affordable as possible, while continuing to offer a high quality show.
Tom Paine, one of the Team Love directors stated:
“It has been great to continue our documentation of our sustainability practices for Love Saves The Day, these reports continue to be a real learning process for ourselves as a company. We realise we are only at the beginning of exploring the impact that we have across our events and also how we can not only negate these impacts but also encourage the positive connections and behaviour amongst our audiences, staff and suppliers that we hope continues to expand after the events themselves.
We hope that by publishing this work and being as transparent as we can in doing so, we not only hold ourselves to account and give us targets to improve each year, but we also help to normalise this kind of work across all festivals and show that any event, big or small, can also undertake these reports and look to improve year-on-year in a positive way.”
Here’s the Love Saves Sustainability Report in full