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Øya- the greenest festival in Europe

Øyafestivalen trying to be an environmentally-profile music festival. Nature & Youth helps to recycle most of the trash at the festival, go to the Food composting, plastic glasses comes in with the deposit and recycling, paper recycling. All printed promotional materials for Øyafestivalen in recycled paper and printing is the Swan label. The food served is organic.

“We have worked hard to find new ways of saving energy, making responsible purchases, reducing waste and shorten the travel distance for goods to our festival. We believe that it is important to measure the environmental improvements, and provide our audience with a guarantee that we are taking action and not just talking about the environment,” the Øya Festival organisers say.

Øya, now in its twelfth and greenest year so far, ran from the 10-14 August this summer. It counted 16, 000 daily visitors and 250 music acts, with artists such as Paul Weller, The Flaming Lips, Marina and the Diamonds, La Roux, Robyn, as well as Grandmaster Flash.

For the Øya team, environmental responsibility is not an afterthought; it shapes how they plan and manage the festival and choose suppliers. Through a new initiative with power supplier Hafslund, all four main stages at the festival were powered by renewable energy. This means that Øya was able to use 75% less kwh. compared to last year.

“The power is sourced from a hydroelectric dam, around an hour's drive from the festival site. Here, water falls from 30m high and hits giant turbines that transport the water to generators which produce the electricity. This electricity is then fed out to the area's main grid.” says Karen Onsager from Hafslund.

In addition to this, all food prepared for the festival was made from organic and local produce, festival staff used electric-power cars and hybrids for transport, the organisers made sure everything that could be bought at the festival was eco-labeled, and hundreds of volunteers picked up and sorted rubbish into 14 different categories.

Watch BBC's Video about Øya Festival

The issue of transport was also addressed by the Øya-team. The buses, bringing people to and from the festival in Oslo were partly powered by sewage from the city converted into biomethane gas, a renewable fuel that is an alternative to diesel.

“At the European Festival Award in January we were awarded Europe’s Greenest Festival and The Green ‘n’ Clean Award, which is given in collaboration between European Festival Award and the European Festival Association. In 2009 we won accompanied the British ”A Greener Festival Award and received the distinction ”Oslo’s Greenest Business 2009” in Oslo City Hall by the NGO Grønn Hverdag. We are very proud that our efforts as an environmentally responsible festival have gained recognition on a national and international level.” the Øya organisers say.

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