Boomtown Fair Tackle travel emissions via car passes

Boomtown Fair is set over four days in August, at the Matterley Estate in Hampshire. The first Boomtown took place in 2009 and it now attracts over 64,000 festival-goers annually. 

The team at Boomtown have a strong commitment to running the event sustainably. In 2016 they took the Festival Vision:2025 pledge to act on climate change, alongside 75 other UK festivals, pledging to cut the CO2 footprint of the event by 50% by 2025 and targeting areas such as fuel use, waste, food and transport. With audience travel accounting for up to 80% of the average festival’s carbon footprint, it is clearly a key area to focus on. 

Boomtown’s recognition of the need to tackle audience travel led them to collaborate with the teams behind Kendal Calling, Bluedot, Shambala and Secret Garden Festival to set up ecolibrium in 2015. The charity works with festivals and their audiences, suppliers and artists to calculate the CO2 emissions from travel to events, reduce it where possible and balance unavoidable emissions with investment in environmental restoration projects.

As part of Boomtown’s Green Mission, they have set the challenge of reducing audience travel by at least 50% by 2025. How?  Boomtown have developed a Green Transport Citizen ticket which allows audiences to arrive by dedicated coach from over 80 locations around the UK. This is incentivised by a discounted entry ticket and free Wednesday entry upgrade! Over the last 6 years they have increased the number of people arriving by coach by 100%. 

Travelling by train is made even easier with a shuttle bus service direct from the local main train station throughout the duration of the festival.  Car sharing is encouraged through their travel communications and a £1 donation to environmental restoration projects is added to car parking passes. Cyclists can reach Boomtown in a group with a guided cycle tour either from London or Bristol. 

To benchmark travel data, identify new areas to tackle and to help qualify the success of their car-sharing incentive, Boomtown worked with Face Your Elephant to carry out a car park survey in 2018. Over two thousand vehicles were surveyed, counting the number of people, the number of vehicles and the fuel type from Wednesday – Sunday.  The results showed that Boomtown effectively managed to gain above average car occupancy on Wednesdays proving the early day entry initiative was successful.  
Find out more about Boomtown’ environmental mission here. 

Photo credit: Boomtown Fair