Joensuu Finland 15th–17th Jul 2016


Organising a festival consumes a lot of electricity, requires vehicle traffic, and produces a lot of waste. Ilosaarirock Festival takes place in a very beautiful park area, and we certainly want the area to stay beautiful in the future. That's why we make an effort to protect the environment by minimising the negative effect the festival has on it.


No less than 90% 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 sales point keepers, need to provide exact calculations of how much their equipment consumes electricity. When circumstances allow, compromises are made in order to save electricity. Those sales point keepers who consume little energy can be granted an electricity benefit, which means a reduction in the rent they pay to Ilosaarirock Festival. The stages will be lit with led lighting which saves energy. The Third Stage is already lit with led lights entirely.


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 sales point keepers. The water you get from the taps is fresher than bottled water; it's the very same water that the people of Joensuu contentedly drink every day. You can bring with you an empty or unopened soft drink bottle, and then refill it from the water taps whenever you need to.


To run a festival, the festival organisation needs to make all kinds of purchases. 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 gear 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 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 2016 45% of festivals food purchases were Fair trade or organic and if you include Fair trade coffee, it went up to 58%. We have made progress, cos in 2014 fair and organic purchases were 20%, but still we can improve number more.

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 300 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. Ilosaarirock Festival also advises people to not take with them things that aren't really necessary. You can't bring in to the festival area or to the camping area any large items that are very likely going be discarded when the festival is over.

Sofas and recliners don't belong to the festival or camping areas, as they are very often left behind when going home. 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 area info point, and you'll get a free gift for this environmental action. The materials will be used to make festival decorations and other nice stuff.


Ilosaarirock Festival has recycling facilities for energy and biodegradable waste, metal, glass, cardboard and problem waste. Cigarette stubs have their own designated ashtrays. In 2015 81,2% of the festival's garbage ended up in recycling. We aim to recycle 90% of the waste this year. This is a demanding goal and we need everyone's help to achieve it!

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.

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

Left over food from the festival catering are given to local homeless shelters or other similar organizations. Left over loaves of bread  are given to local stables to treat horses.

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 thing where there is a lot of room for improvement is the fact that the festival workers drive cars a lot during the festival. We will try to cut down on our workers driving by having bikes at their disposal.

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 railway company VR has special Rokki trains whose timetables are drawn up with especially the Ilosaarirock Festival goers in mind. From the Joensuu railway station you can get to the festival area by the free-of-charge Rokki buses.

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 Fair Trade Coffee. Those who ride bikes can leave their trusty transporters in the festival's supervised bike park.

Awards and certificates

A Greener Festival Award

A Greener Festival Award - Outstanding In 2011, 2012 and 2014, 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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Joensuu Pop Musicians' Association · P.O.Box 240 · FIN-80101 Joensuu · Finland     Ask about Ilosaarirock Festival: