Festival’s sustainability success
THE Queenscliff Music Festival is an exemplar of the sustainable mindset in action.
The festival won the Environmental Volunteering category in last year’s Premier’s Sustainability Awards for their “War on Waste” project.
In 2019, the festival went fully reusable for all vendors and the 24,000 attendees, resulting in only 178kg of waste being sent to landfill over the three-day festival.
Their “Be a Local Hero” campaign provided a connection to the impact of waste on wildlife and the sensitive environment surrounding the festival site, driving music fans to keep the site waste-free.
As well as this, about 500kg of surplus food was rescued and delivered to people in need.
QMF director Andrew Orvis said removing all single-use plastic was a goal, but looking at the entire event’s waste practices was “really a mindset thing, initially”.
“It’s the little things too – artists drinking water from their re-usable drink bottles, for example,” he said.”There’s simple things any organisation, not just an event, can make in changing their approach to waste and recycling.
“We had a lot of great support and guidance along the way from Bellarine Catchment Network and B-Alternative.
“There were quite a few hiccups along the way as well. Ultimately, though, it came down to mindset – we had the will and desire to achieve our goals and we did everything in our power to make that happen.”
He said it was not that hard to find suppliers and caterers to realise the QMF’s ambitions.
“All our food vendors and suppliers were on board with what we were doing, and we just made it part of our plans and agreements.
“We had done the bulk of the work for them, so we made it easy for them to change the way they served food, for example.”
Mr Orvis said the ultimate goal would be the festival sending nothing to landfill.
“That will always be a challenge as the bulk of the very small amount of waste we sent to landfill was things people themselves had brought into the festival – nappies! Lots of nappies! – that aren’t exactly recyclable.
“We’re also now working hard to make QMF a carbon neutral event. We have a program in place this year to offset all the emissions generated by the festival.”
He said it was an honour for the work of QMF & Bellarine Catchment Network volunteers in delivering the program to be recognised in the Premier’s Sustainability Awards.
“While the biggest reward we could receive is the ultimate achievement of sending such a small amount of waste to landfill, the pat-on-the-back from this award is nice to receive as well.”
Applications to the awards are free and open to all businesses with operations in Victoria who have contributed to the sustainability agenda, big or small.
For more information or to nominate, head to the Sustainability Victoria website.