Green award for Knebworth’s Sonisphere Festival

AS organisers start planning the 2011 Sonisphere Festival at Knebworth Park, this year’s rock event has picked up an award.

The three-day metal extravaganza at the Hertfordshire stately home has been named a Greener Festival Award nominee for the second year running.

A statement on the festival’s website said: “Sonisphere is stoked to once again be the proud recipient of The Greener Festival Award, in recognition of outstanding commitment to environmental sustainability.

“We couldn’t have done this without our audience’s help, so thank you.”

The accolade, awarded by independent environmental campaign group A Greener Festival, commends Sonisphere’s continuing endeavours to promote green policies.

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Organisers not only made conservation, reuse and recycling of materials and energy across the Knebworth site a priority, throughout the operation of building, running and packing up the festival, but also in encouraging suppliers, contractors, staff and all festival fans to do the same.

In response, festival-goers collected a mammoth six tonnes of used drinks cans and bottles over the course of Sonisphere at Knebworth.

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Ticket holders were also encouraged to use public transport wherever possible and shuttle buses transported more than 35,000 people over the course of the weekend.

A cup redemption scheme on all cider or beer bought from one of the bars in return for 10p saw 167,445 cups redeemed.

The festival’s website added: “We had a brilliant uptake on our ‘swap shop’ and Sonisphere extends a huge thanks to everyone that made such an effort to ensure their rubbish reached the right bin and for taking us up on our offers of public transport.”

A Greener Festival honoured 23 European summer festivals on its awards long-list.

That will be whittled down to a shortlist of five on October 6.

As well as Sonisphere, Hertfordshire’s Standon Calling was another on the list, along with the likes of Glastonbury and the Isle of Wight Festival.

The individual awards will be presented at the 2010 UK Festival Awards on Thursday, November 18 at the O2 in London, where the overall ‘Greenest Festival’ accolade will also be announced.

Sonisphere 2011 will take place at Knebworth in July.

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