Press room

Walthamstow Garden Party announced as one of the World’s Top Green Events

Walthamstow Garden Party

Walthamstow Garden Party, produced by the Barbican in partnership with London Borough of Waltham Forest, Create and local residents and organisations in the borough, has been announced as one of the 37 recipients of the Greener Festival Award 2019.  

Awarded to those events and festivals that have demonstrated a strong commitment to sustainability and a reduction of environmental impacts, Walthamstow Garden Party won a "Commended" Award at a ceremony held at Eurosonic Noorderslag, Netherlands on Friday 17 January 2020.

Set to return for a seventh time in July 2020, Walthamstow Garden Party first took place in 2014 and, every year since over 30,000 people have visited Lloyd Park to enjoy east London’s biggest community-powered festival, showcasing music, dance, performance, arts and crafts as well as food and drink from the borough and around the world. In 2019, the festival was presented as part of Waltham Forest’s year as the first-ever Mayor’s London Borough of Culture.

In addition to Walthamstow Garden Party’s continued commitment to involving residents at all levels of decision making and creating platforms for local arts, the festival has committed to improve its sustainability through policies and pledges including:

  • Initiating a reusable cup scheme in 2019 which saved almost 27,000 single use plastic cups from going into landfill and recycling 75% of the waste from the site.
  • Banning single use plastic across the site.
  • In 2019, 60% of bar stock was sourced from within two miles of the festival site.
  • In 2019, more than half (53%) of traders were serving vegetarian/vegan food.
  • Signing the Festival Vision 2025 pledge, which aims to achieve a 50% reduction in festival-related annual greenhouse gas emissions by 2025.
  • Joining the Association of Independent Festivals, who provide sustainability training days for festivals.

In 2019, 2,873 performers and participants were involved over the weekend, of which 72% were from the borough. In total, 174 local organisations were involved in the co-creation of the festival.

This award follows Waltham Forest Council’s declaration of a Climate Emergency in April 2019. Since the declaration the Council has formed a Climate Emergency Commission made up of experts from across the energy, waste and environmental sectors to help shape a local response to the global challenge of climate change.