Eco-conscious festival fans prepare to cycle from Bristol to Boomtown

Boomtown fair is close to many festival lovers’ hearts, with its unique take on stage design and immersive and interactive theatre, which aims to include everyone within its gates in its bizarre world. However, away from the madness, behind the scenes there are some clever initiatives going on which aim to tackle Boomtown’s carbon footprint and the overall sustainability of the event.

Having tripled in size in the last five years, from 20,000 to 60,000 people, the weight of responsibility to address sustainability issues is as apparent as ever, especially as the festival site is on the South Downs National Park – a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).

With up to 80% of an event’s harmful emissions coming as a direct impact of transport to and from, the festival has made a particular effort in getting people to think about how they travel.

up to 80% of an event’s harmful emissions coming as a direct impact of transport to and from

A major one of those initiatives is offering people travelling via public transport access to the festival a day early. But for those even more committed to the cause, Boomtown has partnered up with Red Fox Cycling, who are leading a two-day cycle through the picturesque countryside from Bristol right up to the festival gates.

A support vehicle will carry your camping gear and crates, so you can focus on the 40-45 miles per day cycle and oil painting-worthy scenery. The route sounds pretty idyllic, setting off through the Bristol and Bath railway path, skirting past the southern tip of the Cotswolds, then along the Kennet and Avon Canal, before bumbling through some lovely little Hampshire villages, with an overnight camp – campfire stories included – at Milton Lilbourne.

A support vehicle will carry your camping gear and crates, so you can focus on the 40-45 miles per day cycle and oil painting-worthy scenery

The bike ride costs £69 per person and will include a two-wheeled guide, access to a support vehicle which will carry your bag and provide any mechanical assistance needed, lunch and snacks both days and secure storage of your bike at the festival site over the weekend.  

The cycle is said to be ‘moderate’ in difficulty and is not recommended for complete noobs. So anyone expecting to cruise along with a tinny in one hand and a joint in other will probably be disappointed/really out of breath. 

The bike ride sets off from Bristol Temple Meads at 10am on Tuesday 7 August, and aims to arrive at Boomtown by around 5pm on Wednesday evening. When it comes to getting home, there’s an option to pay an additional £20 for a dedicated cyclist coach returning to Bristol with you, your bike and your hangover.

there’s an option to pay an additional £20 for a dedicated cyclist coach returning to Bristol with you, your bike and your hangover

This is the first year Red Fox Cycling have trialled the scheme, though they’ve of course already tested the route themselves, so there will be no nasty surprises along the way. This will be their fifth pilgrimage of the season, having already tallied Bristol to Shindig Weekender, Manchester to Kendall Calling and London to Wilderness, among others.

Just over 10 eco warriors have signed up to the first Bristol to Boomtown cycle  – lagging a little behind the Shambala-ites, with over 60 people already signed up for the Bristol to Shambala cycle – but it’s a bloody good start.         

Boomtown is one of a growing number of festivals signed up to the Festival Vision: 2025 pledge with a view to meet the UK national target of 50% reduction in green house gas emissions by 2025. Boomtown is also one of 60 independent festivals who have recently pledged to totally eliminate single-use plastics by 2021, with plastic straws and non-biodegradable glitter in the firing line. 

Other sustainability-friendly initiatives Boomtown are committed to include waste management, water and sewage plans and working closely with suppliers to monitor the transport of goods and services. This is to name but a few, but you can check out Boomtown’s full list of of sustainability measures on their website.  

Find more about Red Fox Cycling or sign up to one of their routes at redfoxcycling.co.uk.

Photos by Rox Fox Cycling (Bristol to Boomtown route)

Boomtown Fair – 9-12 August, Hampshire
boomtownfair.co.uk