Summer festivals with a conscience
It’s all about fun in the sun, but social and environmental concerns also come high on the list at Raggamuffin and Splore festivals this summer.
Festival is a concert of urban and reggae music that has stepped up for the second time to support charitable trust Yfor Youth.
The organisationsY for Youth and Raggamuffin Music Festival teamed up in January 2014 at the last event in Rotorua, where the festival has been running since 2008.
Noweight years old, this December Raggamuffin has moved its stages to Auckland where 70 per cent of its audiences live.
Its partner, Yfor Youth, helps educate and support New Zealand’s youth, a group that, according to the Ministry of Health Development, suffers from high suicide and unemployment rates.
Yfor Youth was started in 2011 by co-founder Alex Greig. Hewanted a social brand that would provide funding for New Zealand youth organisations.
Yfor Youth empowers consumers to make a difference by purchasing from companies that contribute an ongoing percentage of sales to the charity.
This creates a resource engine to provide sustained funding for organisations that educate, motivate and mentor youth.
Partner businesses opt to give a percentage of sales to the charity, which then distributes the money to other youth charities. The aim is to lock in sustained funding for charities working with youth. Greig says the festival is the perfect place to do that. “The Raggamuffin Festival is an amazing opportunity to showcase the Yfor Youth message in front of a wide and diverse audience,” he says.
Just like the previous Raggamuffin Music Festival, one per cent of ticket sales will go to Yfor Youth, which will distribute it to the Heart for Youth trust to fund newyouth mentoring programmes. Greig says the partnership for the one-day event on December 13 is an example of howcompanies can help NewZealanders.
“Raggamuffin’s commitment to youth is a fine example of the newwave of socially conscious businesses benefiting our communities,” he says.
The R18 festival will nowhave two stages, one playing urban music, and one for reggae bands.
Raggamuffin Music Festival will be held outside at The Trusts Arena, ten minutes from Auckland’s CBD. Another Auckland-based festival that’s doing things a bit differently is the music and arts festival, Splore.
It’s officially the most eco-friendly festival in the country. Splore’s low-impact initiatives and success in their 2014 festival haswonthem the Greener Festival Award.
In all, there are 36 Greener Festival awards, given to groups around the world, but Splore is the first to receive one in New Zealand.
It wonthe award for green initiatives and results from the last festival.
For example, they served drinks in 14,000 reusable cups instead of buying 55,000 disposable ones.
Splore’s sustainability manager Dave Watson keeps the festival focussed on having a low environmental impact. “I think it’s better, rather than talking about it, to make positive examples and have people be a part of that so they can see that [being environmentally conscious] is possible,” he says.
The Splore team is aiming for even lower environmental impact results in their 2015 festival by increasing the amount of waste that is diverted from landfill from 73 per cent at the last event, to 85 per cent in 2015.
“Over 90 per cent is what you would called a zero-waste event, so that’s the ultimate goal — to get up into the nineties, but this year we’re aiming for 85. Hopefully we’ll get better,” says Watson.
Most of the landfill waste created by the event is made up of tents, airbeds and costumes left behind at the end of the final day. Watson is encouraging festival-goers to take their rubbish home.
In terms of everything that is produced on site, Splore has a strict rule that everything needs to be 100 per cent compostable to ensure waste is downto a minimum.
Held at Tapapakanga Regional Park in South Auckland over three nights, the festival was once biannual but due to highdemand festival directors decided to make it an annual event.