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A look back at 2017’s green achievements..

2017 has been a particularly good ‘un for all things green at Shambala – and with the year drawing to a close, we thought we’d take a look back over the past 12 months and what we’ve achieved together in the name of sustainability…


We scooped up two awards at the first ever Creative Green Awards this year:

  • ‘Best Festival’ – Creative Green Awards 2017
  • ‘Outstanding Achievement’ – Creative Green Awards 2017
  • And, perhaps most excitingly of all, we’re over the moon to announce that Shambala is the first and only festival to have achieved a five star rating with Julie’s Bicycle’s Creative Green industry certification! Find out more about that HERE. 


A proper-good effort from everyone, including you, our audience. Together we:
  • Reduced overall waste onsite by a third per person
  • Increased recycling by a whopping 25% in one year
  • Recycled 80% of everything that could possibly be recycled – with only 9% of waste going to landfill!
 A big well done to us all. Find out more HERE.


  • This year, we launched our new Bring A Cup campaign, to tackle the cardboard elephant in the room: coffee cups!
  • Many of you bought your own reusable cups or bought one of our special edition bamboo cups.
  • Those that did choose to use a disposable cardboard cup on site were charged a 25p levy per hot drink – which was put towards getting the cup properly recycled at a specialist recycling plant. 
  • The results? We captured and recycled 6,000 + cups, and 93% of you said you supported this initiative, in our post-event survey. Expect more of the same in 2018.


  • As a pioneering disposable-plastic-free festival, we’ve eradicated drinks bottles, disposable pint glasses and many other types of nasty throwaway plastics.
  • We were really pleased to discover that 96% of you now bring a water bottle with you – showing that our Bring A Bottle campaign is now fully embedded in the pysche of Shambalans!
  • What’s next? In 2018 we’ll be exploring non-plastic bio-glitter, alternatives to plastic-based sanitary products that we can encourage, what you are bringing to site, and (gulp!) how we build a festival without normal cable ties!


  • Shambala is still 100% renewably powered – using solar and certified fuel derived from UK waste oils.
  • We’re reducing energy demand by using more LED lighting every year.
  • We are monitoring energy data from all cafe’s to explore pay-per-use models for energy users onsite to encourage efficiency and solar installations.


  • In 2017 we leant that over a third of the Shambala audience either reduced their meat and fish intake, after Shambala, or gave it up altogether – and (amazingly) they sustained the change six months on! (more on that here).
  • This year we explored this theme further through the program of The Garden O Feeden, and our interactive, theatrical thought-piece, ‘The Trial of Daisy the Cow’. We also worked closely with all our on site food traders, to help them shout about the excellent provenance of the food they served up.
  • Each year, our Sustainability Team score all our Food Traders across a wide variety of criteria, including energy efficiency, ethical food procurement, waste reduction and travel miles (for both food and staff). Those that score highest are honoured with our ‘Inspirational Trader Award’ – and significantly reduced pitch-fees the following year. 2017’s winners were Poco Loco and La Bonne Crepe – find out more about the awards and our winners HERE.


  • We are proud to work with around twenty charities and not-for-proit organisations that make change or provide valuable support in various ways.
  • This year, we raised £85,616 for charity, via various initiatives both before and during the festival – pretty incredible, really! Find out more about our charities, and how these funds were raised, HERE.
  • Whenever possible we work with socially minded organisations – it’s how we see the future.


  • Energy Revolution is is a not-for-profit movement (partially founded by Shambala) that turns your festival travel miles into a direct investment in clean renewable energy, by crowd-sourcing donations at ticket point of sale.
  • In 2017, UK festivals balanced over 1.1 million miles with investment in clean renewable energy this year (or 1,169,321 average car miles to be precise) which is the equivalent of 361,012 kg CO2e!
  • At Shambala alone, you beauties balanced 177,400 audience travel miles this year – that’s 54,770 kg of CO2 emissions! Find out more about the amazing work Energy Revolution do, HERE. 
All in all, not too shabby for one year! We’ve got big plans a-foot for 2018, so stay tuned…
Big love, the Shambala Team x