Green tips for festival goers

Recycle and bin your trash. The bins you find in the festival area have labels so that you know what to bin where. We hope that all trash finds its specific home, as this also helps to protect the environment. Recycle guides help you to find a right bin.

Bring only what you need, recycle the rest. Leave home everything that you don't really need. You can get plastic bags to collect your garbage in at the camping area info points.

Drink water from your own bottle. You're allowed to bring your own empty or unopened soda bottles and fill them from the water taps we have around the area. Please close the tap as soon as you've filled your bottle. We don't want to waste the water and make the ground muddy.

Use the toilets. Please, don't pee just anywhere, as we have plenty of portable toilets and urinals in the area. If you pee all around, it'll eventually end up in the water system, and the fish or won't like that! Respect also people´s homes next to festival site.

Travel with your friends. The trains have extra carriages during the festival weekend. The festival bus service ("Rokki" buses) run all weekend between the Joensuu railway station and the festival site. During the summer we will post tips about organised coach rides from different parts of the country to Ilosaarirock. Stay tuned!

Ilosaarirock environmental actions

Ilosaarirock Festival was awarded the international Green'n'Clean environment certificate in 2008, the first festival to receive it in Finland.

In 2011, 2012, 2014 and 2017, Ilosaarirock Festival has been awarded the international A Greener Festival Award for environmental work, the first festival in Finland to get this award. In 2012, Ilosaarirock Festival reached the highest level available for the certificate, "outstanding".

Due to the environmental work carried out, Ilosaarirock Festival was the first Finnish event to be shortlisted with four others as a candidate to receive A Greener Operation Award. The award is given out to the most prominent European festival that carries out environmental protection. The award went to Roskilde Festival.

Ilosaarirock Festival donates fund to compensate for the greenhouse emissions it produces. The donations go towards environmental protection and the amount donated is comparable with EU Certified Emission Reduction Units. In 2010 the compensation sum was donated to the preservation of the endangered northern crested newt. In 2011 the funds were donated to Kuorinkajärvi lake in Liperi. In 2012 and 2013 donation went to the protection of the Finnish landlocked salmon, and in 2015–2016 to the Saimaa ringed seal.


Around 85% of the electricity used by Ilosaarirock is green, which means that the electricity is produced from water, wind or wood, which are all renewable energy sources.

Electricity consumption is monitored and calculated very carefully during the festival. Before the festival, each contributor, including sound and lighting suppliers, partners, and vendors, need to provide exact calculations of how much their equipment consumes electricity. When circumstances allow, compromises are made in order to save electricity. Those vendors who consume more energy than expected must pay for all extra electricity. Energy consumption is monitored, and the stage lighting, for example, has been shifting to use led lighting which saves energy.


Drinking bottled water produces excess waste, and disposable water bottles are an unnecessary environmental problem, especially when looked at from the entire planet's perspective. In the festival area there will be about 20 water taps for both festival goers and vendors. This means you will have easy access to refill your water bottles and wash your hands. You can bring with you an empty or unopened soft drink bottle, and then refill it from the water taps whenever you need to. The water taps are easy to open and close, so no unnecessary water will be running in the area. Water consumption and quality is inspected yearly.


Ilosaarirock Festival favours ethichal purchases with less strain on the environment. The festival and the office of the Joensuu Pop Musicians' Association only use fair trade coffee and tea.

T-shirts, hoodies and all other Ilosaarirock Festival merchandise on sale are made of ethically and ecologically produced cotton. The carbon footprint from producing these items has been brought down as much as possible.

The decorations of the festival are made primarily of recycled materials, and the same decorations are reused again and again in different places in the festival area. The bands' dressing rooms are decorated with recycled and donated materials: for example old t-shirts have been used to make tablecloths, the townsfolk have donated refrigerators, and the tables come from an old school.

The festival wristbands are manufactured from a fabric made of PET plastic. PET is a plastic used by the packaging industry and the raw material for recyclable soft drink bottles and many other things.

The festival organiser favours organic and local food whenever possible, and tries to always choose a local or Finnish product when making purchases. In 2017, 30% of festivals food purchases were Fair trade or organic. We aim to raise that number every year.

The partners of Ilosaarirock Festival are also committed to the festival's environmental values and practices. They are actively involved in developing environmental actions at the festival and beyond.


There are more than 500 cleaners helping to keep the Ilosaarirock Festival area clean, and they work for six days. Besides the festival area and camping sites, our cleaning teams will also tackle the surrounding areas, which can span surprisingly far from the actual festival site.

The festival audience can also participate in reducing the amount of waste. 'Bin it where it belongs' is a good piece of advice that you can keep in mind throughout the festival weekend.

Bringing large items, such as sofas or recliners, to the festival or camping area is not allowed when it is clear those items will get discarded at the end of the festival. That's why you can only bring the regular camping and festival related things with you. We also want to encourage the festival audience to care about their belongings and things.

Discarding tents and shelters in camping areas has become a real problem for many European festivals, and this unfortunate phenomenon is reaching Finland as well. Cheap tents and shelters are easy to leave behind for other people to worry about. Dismantled and packed tents and shelters can be left on Monday morning at the camping recycling area. The materials will be re-used by local scouts organization and used to make festival decorations and other nice stuff. This recycling station will also be open all through the weekend. If you feel like winning a fancy prize, give the recycling-wheel-of-fortune a spin while you're there.


Ilosaarirock Festival has recycling facilities for energy and biodegradable waste, metal, glass, cardboard, packing plastic and hazardous waste. Cigarette stubs have their own designated ashtrays. In 2017, a whopping 100% of the festival's garbage ended up in recycling.

The food stalls at the festival take part in the effort and use only biodegradable dishes and cutlery. This means that biodegradable waste bins are the right place to dispose of all food stall dishes, cutlery, napkins and food waste.

In the bar areas, the pints have a small deposit. This helps to keep the areas cleaner and get the pints back, unbroken, for reuse.

Leftover food produced from the festival catering is given to local homeless shelters or other similar organization. Left over loafs of bread are given to local stables to treat horses.

Our campaign "Disposability is a four-letter word" aims at making us all think about the amount of disposable goods and reconsider our purchases.

Printed materials

The printhouse that Ilosaarirock Festival works with, Punamusta, has received the Nordic ecolabel for its environmental actions. The paper used in the printed materials, on the other hand, has been awarded the PEFC certificate which proves that the paper comes from sustainably managed forests. Transporting the printed materials to the festival site doesn't really tilt the ship that much; the distance from the printhouse to the festival site is about 4 kilometres.

Travelling and traffic

The emissions and carbon footprint of Ilosaarirock Festival are followed and studied every year. Transportation generates the largest amounts of emissions, and it is the most difficult factor to influence. One way we are trying to influence it is by offering bicycles to our workers. We also encourage our festival guests to use ride-sharing to get around.

By far the greatest single source of emissions related to the festival is the arrival of festival goers to Joensuu. This is why we want to encourage people to share cars or use public transport. The Finnish Railway company VR offers extra train service with extra cars for the festival weekend. From the Joensuu railway station, you can get to the festival area by the free-of-charge Rokki buses. The Ilosaarirock web page collects info on special coach service providers and ride-sharing opportunities.

You have to pay a fee to park in the festival's parking areas. For those who drive to the festival with four other people in their vehicle we offer a free Fairtrade Coffee. Those who ride bikes can leave their trusty transporters in the festival's bicycle parking area.

Awards and certificates

A Greener Festival Award

A Greener Festival Award - Outstanding In 2011, 2012, 2014 and 2017, Ilosaarirock Festival has been awarded the international A Greener Festival Award, a significant acknowledgment for the environmental work carried out by us. Ilosaarirock Festival was the first festival in Finland to get this award. Both in 2012 and 2014, Ilosaarirock Festival reached the highest level available for the certificate, “Outstanding". The certificate needs to be applied for annually and the applicants have to meet a number of strict criteria. The award is a concrete proof of our focus on enviromental friendliness and green values.


Green'n'Clean Ilosaarirock has also been awarded the international Green'n'Clean environment certificate in 2008, which was the year the award was launched in Finland. The green values of the Ilosaarirock festival are using green electricity, enhancing recycling, encouraging people to use public transport and ride-sharing, and regarding purchases, preferring sustainably produced, fair trade, and local products and services.

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