Innibos Festival goes green

2009-06-24 12:20

Cape Town - Keeping in step with the stream of environmental consciousness, the theme for the sixth annual Innibos Arts Festival, running from 1 to 5 July in Nelspruit, is 100% Bosbewus.

Not only will evergreen artists like Johnny Clegg, Chris Chameleon (who was also used in the Innibos 2009 advertising campaign), Steve Hofmeyr and Sandra Prinsloo entertain the festival goers, but specific conservation projects will also be launched.

"The Innibos Management Team has seen a unique opportunity to utilise the festival as a platform to promote environmental issues and by doing so, to really make a difference," Festival Manager Andy Lubbe told News24.

"The possibilities for developing this theme are unlimited. Innibos is not an environmental organisation or even a corporate with a huge CSI budget, but we believe that we are the ideal platform to get the message that the environment is each and every one of us' responsibility to really hit home.

Carbon neutral festival

"We believe our efforts to host an environment-friendly arts festival will encourage our patrons to consider the environment in their daily activities. It is our hope that the festival will inspire people to leave a green, rather than a carbon, footprint," Lubbe said.

"Our goal is to make Innibos a carbon neutral festival within the next five years. KPMG, one of our green partners, will do a green audit on the festival this year to use as a benchmark, and we will strive to improve on that every year," he added.

According to Innibos Marketing Manager Sandra Jacobs, the more than 200 artists performing at the festival have all committed themselves to promoting green issues and tips at the festival.

"Our main stage artists will give green tips from the stage," she told News24. "And in our children's entertainment programme (Apies Innibos) we'll have special kids puppet theatre around environmental messages and awareness."

Festival exhibitors have also been encouraged to think green at this year's festival.  "Bio-degradable packaging information has been forwarded to all and a special prize for the most environmentally friendly exhibitor will be awarded," said Jacobs. 


A huge recycling project, which is supported by one of the festival's green partners, Sappi, will be undertaken on the festival grounds, to cater for approximately 100 000 festival goers.

Special recycling points for recyclable items such as glass, cans and paper will be seen everywhere on the grounds and "Green Ambassadors" (high school pupils from various local schools) will man the stands to educate and motivate festival goers to recycle. 

In addition a plastic recycling project will be run in all Innibos beer gardens. 

"In the past, the cost of the plastic beer glasses used in all Innibos beer gardens were included in the price of the drink. This year, festival patrons will pay separately for their glasses and encouraged to 'refill' them instead of getting a new glass with every drink," Jacobs explained.

A team of recyclers will work in the beer gardens to salvage all plastic glasses standing around. These will be washed and bought back from the recycling team by the organisers to be redistributed in the beer garden the following day.

Based on consumption over the past years, approximately 650kg less plastic will be utilised  by the festival through this initiative.

Alien elimination programme

Adjacent to the Innibos festival grounds is a wetland infested with alien vegetation. In conjunction with the Mbombela Municipal Council, and in partnership with Bergvlam High School, Innibos will launch an alien elimination programme at the wetland at this year's festival. 

"Not only will this form part of the Mbombela City Greening Initiative for 2010, but it will also serve as a reminder and encouragement to all festival patrons that they can also become involved in such projects," said Jacobs.

One of the festival sponsors will also be launching a green footprint billboard project at the festival. Youngsters will be encouraged to leave their green footprints on the canvas provided as a tangible symbol of their commitment to the environment.

And last, but not least, all Innibos toilets will be stocked with bio-degradable toilet paper and soaps.

For more information on the festival, click here. Tickets are available from Computicket.