Staying Green

Green Reading

At Reading Festival we aim to reduce the environmental impact of the festival so we are putting in place a number of initiatives so you can help us by doing your part, while still having an awesome festival!

Please check these initiatives and help us go greener!

Green Republic

Festival Republic
Festival Republic aims to do as much as possible to reduce the impact our business and our festivals have on the environment. We strive to use innovative solutions to fundamental areas of impact such as energy, waste and transport. We also delve deeper into specific areas of our events, looking for ways to minimise impact, often including festival audiences in helping make these changes happen.

Apart from the immediate benefit in ‘going green’ we hope Festival Republic’s focus on sustainable practices will impact the industry through our suppliers and contractors.

Having the audience participate in our green initiatives may also lead to similar actions in their everyday lives. In fact, much of our audience already acts sustainably at home, and expects the same when attending our festivals and events.

In the Office
We choose 100% green energy in offices. Our energy supplier puts energy produced from wind, solar, biomass etc, onto the grid, which we in turn buy from them. This is not a ‘green levy’ where an additional fee is used to pay for community based green energy projects and development.

In stationery purchasing, the ‘green choice’ is always the first alternative to consider when ordering. We use Evolve copy paper as it is uses 100% Post-Consumer Recycled Paper content. It is not a blend of virgin and recycled, and not from off cuts in the paper manufacturing process. The paper we use has had a previous life in homes and offices. We think that’s the best way to go.

We have comprehensive recycling in the office; recycling paper, cardboard, cans, glass bottles and various plastics. We also have a cartridge recycling service.

We use a green cleaning company, with no harmful chemicals used in the cleaning of our offices, making for a safe workplace for our staff and the environment.

Recently Festival Republic moved offices and this gave us an excellent chance to consolidate files and archive. We ‘harvested’ hundreds of lever arch folders which were taken to a scrap store project for redistribution to community groups including pre-schools and child care centres. We also disposed of our electronic equipment safely, with our old monitors and computer equipment making their way into the recycling system.

Waste & Recycling
Each of the areas our festivals and events are held have different recycling and waste facilities. We work with our waste contractor for each show to develop the best solution for each event. This may include active recycling by festival goers through incentive based recycling projects (such as our bag of rubbish for a can of beer campaign or 10p deposit/refunds on pint cups at Reading & Leeds Festivals).

We plan to continually improve our waste management aiming to maximise recycling rates and minimise volume of waste to landfill. Additionally options are evolving in the waste management industry, such as new energy from landfill sites opening which we hope to work with in coming years.

BlaBlaCar Ridesharing

Driving to Reading Festival? Save money and time by Ridesharing with BlaBlaCar. Passengers contribute to your fuel costs and there’s a BlaBlaCar Priority Car Park.

What the fudge you say?

Well, simply offer your empty seats on BlaBlaCar to 1000s of other festival goers looking to share the journey (and its costs) with you! If you take three passengers, you’ve fully covered your journey’s costs!

It doesn’t stop there! You’ll also be guaranteed a spot in our exclusive BlaBlaCar Priority Car Park and be in for a chance to win our VIP backstage tickets (VIP tickets competition now closed).

Yet to work out how you are getting to Reading Festival? Simply find drivers already going. You’ll just contribute to their fuel costs and be dropped off right outside the main festival entrance. Typically, it’s at least 75% cheaper than trains… worth a look I think!

Sustainable Travel

Do you know that the biggest CO2 impact on festivals is simply through the audience travelling to the festival site? Would you like to reduce the emissions produced by your journey? Then keep on reading!

We have put some excellent public transport options to get you to the festival without any fuss and as minimal an environmental impact as possible.

BY BIKE: Riding your bike to the festival will mean you use the least amount of CO2 emissions. There are bike racks available at Reading train station. See the Travel page for more details. 

BY TRAIN: Travelling by train emits three and half times less CO2 than travelling alone by car.

COACH IS BEST: Coaches are the greenest form of motor transport, not to mention a solution for congestion. For each coach full of people, it’s estimated that this is equivalent to 25 cars off the road. So relax, let somebody else do the driving and do your bit for the environment.

SHUTTLE BUSES: We put on shuttle buses from the main train and coach stations. Leave your car at home and let the party start the moment you board the train or the coach!

BY CAR: If you do need to come by car, then please consider car sharing

Salvage Operation

We try to encourage people to take their belongings with them but unfortunately every year we end up with tonnes of camping equipment left behind. We put together a Salvage Operation to try and collect some of this perfectly reusable stuff and therefore reduce the environmental impact. This is an opportunity for organisations to come and save what they can.

Our registration is now closed, thank you to all those who applied!



Powering our events has an environmental impact both through using up non-renewable resources, and through CO2 and other greenhouse gas emissions.

We are working on solutions such as micro generation (solar/wind) and other options such as reducing demand.

Also, this year we have set up a 23,000 litres bio-diesel target to run our on-site generators, which should importantly reduce our carbon emissions.

Volunteer as a Green Messenger

Come back soon for information on volunteering in 2015

2014 Info
These volunteer positions help work the recycling initiatives throughout the festival. You need to be full of energy, not mind getting your hands dirty and are a passionate recycler. If you don’t have a green bone in your body, don’t bother applying – unless you go and get yourself a crash course on recycling and the environment – then come back to us!

You will do some or all of the following:

• Be stationed at the sets of recycling bins throughout the campgrounds telling people what bin to put their recycling in. You will be armed with a litter picking stick and be required to pick out the wrong stuff that gets thrown in the wrong bin when you are not looking. You may also do some litter picking around the roadway your bin’s stationed on. Daytime shifts only.
• Be part of our Recycle Exchange team. You will receive bags of cans and other rubbish from the campers and encouraging them to separate their waste responsibly. You will need to be a bit bossy as well as nice for this job as you will have to make the people pick out any ‘contaminants’ from the bags they bring back.
• Be part of our Compost Crew. These will be highly sought after arena jobs, so volunteers will need to jump through a few hoops to get put on this role. The Compost Crew will rove around the arena with a handy hoop and a litter picking stick working as mobile compost bins. This is so people don’t have to sit in other’s squished kebabs and also so we capture the estimated 70% of compostable waste produced in the arena ends up as compost and not as methane puffing out of a landfill. OK, so not such a glamorous job, but you will get to hear the bands.

•    Hand out bin bags to people on arrival.
•    Tell the campers about the recycling initiatives, especially promoting the idea of packing their camping gear down and taking it home.
•    Staffing Tent Recycling points on the Monday morning.
•    Working in the sorting area to re-pack all the donated gear.
•    Salvaging and scavenging good quality re-usable gear that’s left in the campsites, to go to charity and community organisations.

You need to be:

• Over 18 years at the time of the festival.
• Be willing to pay a shift deposit of £239 in advance which will be refunded one month after the festival, assuming you complete your shifts. (Please note we will refund you £230 as £9 is a non-refundable PayPal fee).
• Have approval to work in the UK if not an EU citizen (holiday work permits are OK).
• Work 24 hours, on shifts allocated by us, between the Thursday before the show and Monday after the show. (Please be advised that the allocation of all shifts will be at the discretion of the Green Messengers’ Team).
• Arrive on site Wednesday before 2pm for registration and briefing.

You will camp in crew camping with like-minded passionate people and have access to hot showers, and nice loos.
You won’t get any free meals though, sorry.


Waste Strategy

Have you ever wondered what happens with the waste at the end of Reading festival? We put a lot of thought into this, as we think is really important to minimise the amount of waste going to landfill and maximize recycling and composting.

Do you want to know how you can help us?

COMPOST IT! Food scraps, plates, bowls, coffee cups, clear cups, cutlery, napkins, pizza boxes, chip cartons. When you buy food from the traders at Reading Festival, everything your food comes in is biodegradable so plates, cutlery, napkins and coffee cups can be placed in the compost bins. Please make sure NO PLASTIC goes into the compost bins as otherwise the whole load may be rejected.

RECYCLE IT! – Plastic bottles, aluminium cans, newspapers, magazines, cardboard.

LANDFILL IT – Crisp packets, coffee cup lids, straws, plastic shopping bags.


When you arrive onsite, you will be given a Clear Plastic Bag - for recycling. Put plastic bottles, aluminium cans, food tins, general plastic containers, newspapers, magazines, flyers & brochures, cardboard and beer cases.

When you’ve filled up your bags, bring them to the Recycling Points in the campgrounds and hand them in. You’ll be met there by the lovely Green Messengers.


If you bring back a bag full of cans or plastic bottles to the Recycle Exchanges in the campgrounds, we’ll give you a free can of Pepsi Max. We’ll even give you the bag to collect the cans in. They’ll be handed out at wristband exchange when you enter the site, by our Green Messengers wandering the campgrounds, from your campsite manager’s caravan, and also from the Recycle Exchanges.


Water Bottle Deposit

Each bottle of water sold at the festival will have a 20p deposit charged. When you’ve finished, bring back the empty bottle to the refund points to get your 20p back. Only water FR sold at stores onsite will be refundable. Other plastic bottles should be placed in the recycling bins.

Pint Cup Deposit

You’ll pay a 10p deposit when you buy your drinks in cups over the bars. You’ll get back the 10p when you return your cups to the refund points. Each year more than 90% of the cups have been returned. Just amazing – that’s more than 6 tonnes of cardboard which was diverted from landfill.


Limiting the amount of STUFF you kit yourself out with to come to the festival really helps reduce the overall environmental impact of the festival. Before you buy anything for the festival (or even in everyday life), please take the time to watch this 20 minute film The Story of Stuff with Annie Leonard.


Every year, thousands of tents, sleeping bags and camping mats are left behind after the festival, along with things like wellies, radios, and clothes, which is such a waste! Please pack up your gear and take it home, ready for your next festival weekend. Not only will you save money, you will be helping the environment by not wasting the resources and energy needed to make all that stuff over and again.


If you really don’t want your camping gear, please pack it up and hand it into the Tent Donation points in the campgrounds, next to the Recycling Points. Donated gear will make their way to charitable and community organisations.

We need you to take down your tents yourself and then hand them in to the donation points. It is impossible for us to take down all the tents left abandoned even if they are in perfect condition.

Tents left standing will go to landfill and damage our environment. So, don’t leave your tent. Pack it. Hand it in. Change lives!

Food Drive

If you have any unwanted non-perishable food left over or would like to make a donation of a can, then please do so at the Recycle Exchanges. All food donated will be used by The Salvation Army in the local community to help those who are less well off than most of us.