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Building a better festival

Following another successful Boomtown Fair in 2019 the organisers are now looking ahead to 2020 with a continued focus on sustainability.


Boomtown Ltd says its emphasis remains fully on what it can do within the festival and its audience reach to ensure it is one of the most sustainable, environmentally friendly festivals in the world.


In 2019, Boomtown Fair made huge strides towards its sustainability goals:

● 43 per cent of the waste produced at the festival was recycled, assisted by an on-site waste recovery facility

● The campsite/tent abandonment rate was reduced to 20 per cent (from 40 per cent in 2018)

● The sale of plastic bottles was prohibited, preventing 225,000 plastic bottles from being sold

● A reduction of 3.9 tonnes of plastic waste was achieved (compared with the 2018 festival)

● 1.32 tonnes of surplus food was distributed to local causes

● Fuel usage for power generation was reduced by 21 per cent

As a result of Boomtown Fair 2019, 71,725 trees were planted in association with Tree Sisters

In addition, Boomtown has supported schemes throughout the South Downs National Park Authority (SDNPA) area and the Butterfly Conservation Charity to protect the local species of wildlife such as native butterflies to help flourish the population for generations to come.


Boomtown also partnered with Winchester Action on Climate Change (WinACC) as their main charity partner for the 2019 event and raised £18,000 to support local climate change combating work.


Alison Skillen, Operations Manager for WinACC said: “We were absolutely delighted to be nominated as a charity partner for the Boomtown Festival in Winchester held in August 2019. We would like to congratulate the Festival’s achievement in reducing waste and championing recycling.


“This donation will enable WinACC to step up to tackle the full scale climate emergency in Winchester by working with more community groups, businesses and organisations than ever before to reduce their carbon footprint. This will include prioritising projects for young people who have become passionate about the climate crisis but with very little voice.”


Boomtown Fair has recently submitted a planning application to the SDNPA, the Authority responsible for land and planning decisions, to allow it to bring the number of attendees in line with its current licence.


In July 2019, Winchester City Council’s licensing committee granted permission for the festival’s capacity to be increased to 75,999 (plus an additional 1,000 Sunday tickets).


To facilitate this increase in numbers, organisers have now submitted a planning application to the South Downs National Park Authority to amend the festival’s existing planning permission and allow an increase in capacity from 64,999 to 75,999 (with an additional 1,000 local resident tickets on Sunday). This will bring the planning permission in line with the licence.


Chris Rutherford, one of the founders of Boomtown, said: “As Boomtown continues to mature as a festival our responsibilities to both the environment and the local community are at the forefront. We firmly believe that Boomtown is a power for good and we’re looking forward to putting on another great festival in 2020.


“Our pending planning application, if approved, will ensure that Boomtown can continue to operate at the Matterley Estate, bringing benefits to local tradespeople, suppliers, traders and more.”

To view the application visit planningpublicaccess.southdowns.gov.uk using the planning reference SDNP/19/06160/CND.




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