A Cumbrian music festival goes ahead this week promising a boost to the local economy – and its greenest event yet.
Music on the Marr brings together international and local artists to perform over four days in the village of Castle Carrock, near Brampton. It’s now in its ninth year and visitors will be able to enjoy live acts in four village venues.
The not-for-profit festival kicks off on Thursday night with its ’pay what you can afford concert’.
Organisers are keen to support Cumbrian services and industry and where possible the £50,000 budget, raised from ticket sales and support from industry and charities, is spent with local trades’ people and suppliers, from marquee erectors to taxi services.
Festival director Richard Johnstone said: “We work closely with The Duke of Cumberland on the festival site providing the pub with its busiest trading weekend of the year, selling Cumbria-brewed ales and home cooked meals.”
It’s estimated guests spend another £50,000 on food, drink, accommodation and transport.
The festival begins as the schools break up for the summer; with many families combining a festival weekend with a longer holiday in the Lake District, Hadrian’s Wall and the Scottish Borders.
This year organisers have worked hard to reduce the event’s carbon footprint.
Mr Johnstone said: “A thousand people create a lot of rubbish; it’s estimated around 2.8kg per person per day.
“We have always encouraged campers to take their entire rubbish home. We were the first small festival to introduce returnable and reusable polycarbonate beer and wine glasses, instantly reducing the single use plastic going into recycling by around 90%.
“But we’ve always known there was more we could do. This year, working in collaboration with Cumbria Waste Services, the festival will improve its waste and recycling management.
“The festival is aiming to ban all single use plastic and introduce multi-use plastic water bottles for sale at a modest price and free of charge to our artists and volunteers. These can be filled from a tap which we will provide.
“Last year food providers began to introduce compostable cups, plates and cutlery together with Music on the Marr branded coffee mugs. This year all food and drink will be provided in this way and the waste given to Castle Carrock’s allotmenteers for composting.”
Mr Johnstone said the festival also used low energy LED lighting and equipment, wherever possible and was powered by a draw from the electricity mains and an efficient diesel generator.
The festival runs until Sunday with headliners Dansi, Trail West, Edward II and Habadekuk supported by dozens of other musicians, circus acts, dancers and poets.
Further details are available at www.musiconthemarr.com