‘Grasstonbury,’ a unique youth-led green music festival came to North Dublin for one day only last week! This free festival-style event took place on Wednesday 18th July in Father Collins Park, north Dublin – Ireland’s only completely sustainable park! The green teens behind this unique event are the ‘New Waves,’ an inspiring group of young people as part of ECO-UNESCO’s Youth for Sustainable Development Programme. This year, we were delighted to have the event taking place as part of the Mandela International Day celebration. The overarching objective of Mandela Day is to inspire individuals to take action to help change the world for the better, and in doing so build a global movement for good. Ultimately it seeks to empower communities everywhere to “take action and inspire change” which is one of the key goals of Grasstonbury. The event was visited by special guest South African Ambassador, his Excellency Ndou, and participants devoted 67 minutes to construct a statue made from recycled materials in honour of Nelson Mandela and his 67 years of working to change the world for the better.
This unique event aimed to educate and inform members of the public on the importance of renewable energy and public transport, and what we can do to encourage the use of it. The day included performances from a wide selection of bands from indie rock to electric to rap and many others, all powered by the wide turbines in Fr. Collins Park. There were also a number of interactive activities like creative recycling and a pedal powered smoothie bike which helped keep attendees fit and refreshed.
The ‘New Waves’ are a group of young people who have been involved in ECO-UNESCO’s Youth for Sustainable Development and Peer Education Programme since 2010. They are running ‘Grasstonbury’ for a second year after they scooped an all-Ireland award for their inaugural event in 2011 which attracted over 140 young people and local residents to Fr. Collins Park. The group were awarded the Senior Climate Change category winners at the prestigious all-Ireland ECO-UNESCO Young Environmentalist Awards 2012 held in the Mansion House, Dublin in May.
“We are really impressed by the efforts of the young people who have used popular culture in such an innovative way to promote sustainability and environmental protection amongst their,” commented Elaine Nevin, National Director, ECO-UNESCO. “The Grasstonbury festival is a great example of the power of youth led action which is a key goal in the ECO-UNESCO Youth for Sustainable Development Programme.”
ECO-UNESCO is Ireland’s environmental education and youth organisation affiliated to the World Federation of UNESCO (WFUCA). The organisation aims to raise environmental awareness, promote the protection and conservation of the environment, and promote the personal development of young people through a range of programmes, events and trainings for all ages.