Hill Farm, Steventon, nestled in the heart of Oxfordshire, is temporarily transformed from a working farm into TRUCK Festival for three days in July each year. Truck prides itself on providing a great line-up of international, UK and local bands while maintaining a family atmosphere, with all of the site services being provided by local groups: the food stall is run by the local Rotary Club, and ice cream is sold by the local vicar.
The Festival Directors, Robin and Joseph Bennett, are responsible for all aspects of the event, in co-ordination with the production team, and are deeply committed to the issue of sustainability. Their environmental commitment has meant that Truck Festival achieved a 10% reduction in emissions resulting from energy use per audience day from 2009 to 2010, and is one of the few festivals yet to have been awarded 2 star Industry Green, alongside its smaller “brother” festival, WOOD.
Truck Festival environmental policies cover energy, waste and water management, recycling, site infrastructure and procurement, and the Directors are committed to reducing the impact of audience travel through a range of schemes aimed at increasing awareness and understanding regarding environmental issues.
Audience travel is tackled through a range of methods and incentives, such as subsidising buses directly from Oxford and Didcot Station to Truck (£3 and £2 each way respectively), and offering a free drink to those who cycle to the event.
Staff members handling procurement are clearly briefed on the festival’s environmental aims and expectations at regular intervals. Volunteers and contractors also receive detailed briefings before the festival takes place, to communicate environmental aims and expectations. Furthermore traders and bars pay an environmental bond and are briefed on their responsibilities.
Towards the future
The 2011 event will be handled by a specialist recycling team to increase recycling rates. Renewable energy will be introduced at the 2011 event, and infrastructure will be procured locally when possible. A new WOOD field aims to bring many of the innovations from TRUCK’s sister event to a new audience.
Further promotion and subsidy of public transport will take place for audience members, including a free shuttle from Didcot Station linked to a campaign with First Great Western trains, and an expanded Cycle to Truck campaign, and the audience will be informed of their impact on the event, as well as the event’s own impact through workshops and informative signage aiming to increase awareness.
TRUCK is aiming to install a permanent water supply from the mains, as the farm’s private supply is insufficient, to avoid having to bringing water tanks onsite.
A new Natural Foods Experience area will bring organic and locally-sourced food and drink to the festival, including workshops on food provenance, alongside the traditional community-run Rotary Club cafe.