Festival's green initiatives capture worldwide attention
THE Caloundra Music Festival is blazing the trail for event sustainability and the world is taking notice.
Five years ago, the festival introduced refill stations as a means of boosting the use of re-usable water bottles.
The following year, disposable water bottles were binned altogether and they haven't looked back.
Festival manager Sharna Taylor said everyone from ticket holders, stall holders and artists had thrown their support behind the BYO bottle campaign, which was once again central to the sustainability message this year.
"We estimate about 40,000 disposable water bottles would be used across fours days for 34,000 people and now none of this will be going to landfill,” she said.
"We want to be part of creating that cultural shift, to make it socially unacceptable to continue to use disposable plastics.”
Fresh, free water is available to those who bring bottles and those craving other beverages will get them in cans as aluminium has an infinite recycling life span.
That just leaves wine, which doesn't yet come in canned form.
Ms Taylor said this year, the CMF would be selling durable, reusable branded cups that would remove the need to use the flimsy, disposable wine cups.
The announcement of this new product on the festival's Facebook page saw a groundswell of support, with more than 650 likes.
The innovative sustainability methods have been applauded by national and international guests when Ms Taylor presented them at the Big Sound Festival and the BYO bottle campaign is being held up around the world as an example of what is possible.
"One of the biggest perceived challenges is that you lose money because bottled water sales can be a good source of income, but for us it's been a break-even situation because we are not buying the bottled water or paying for disposal services,” she said.
Adding to the already popular park and ride free shuttle buses, this year the festival will offer 'Varks Valet', a free Bike Valet service dedicated to Scott "Aardvark” Penny, and those who check their bike in between 12pm and 2pm receive a complimentary bicycle safety check.