Since 1976 , Summerfolk has provided a weekend of music, arts, food, dance and community building that is unique in Ontario and beyond. The ability of the event to sustain itself over the years is totally the result of individuals and families in the community who have dedicate time and energy to the event. The location of the event on the beautiful shores of Georgian Bay, the amphitheatre, the rolling hills and the waterfront all contribute to the event’s resilience.

The ‘greening of Summerfolk’ is a process that has surfaced in several forms over the years ranging from individual actions to well developed programs addressing waste, water and electricity use and other issues.  In 2018, festival management and the Board decided to focus their attention on the waste issue and solicit a proposal to conduct a waste audit designed to get a clear picture of how the festival deals with the materials generated on site over the weekend.

The  greening audit was conducted in collaboration with Busch Systems who supplied the compost bins, as well as the data management and analysis software.  A tremendous amount of data was collected, analyzed and presented by Busch Systems for review and all agreed it was time to move the “greening of the festival”  forward. 

The Grey Bruce Sustainability Network was contracted by the Summerfolk Music & Crafts Festival to conduct the greening audit, in collaboration with Busch Systems according to a workplan.  The purpose of the audit itself was to establish a “benchmark” year in preparation for the development of a 3 year transition plan towards a “zero waste” event.  Reduce ~ Reuse ~ Recycle

Items collected throughout the festival were divided into separate categories:

  • Cardboard (flyers, papers, juice boxes and cardboard)
  • Compost (egg and nut shells, fruit and vegetable scraps, wine corks, etc.)
  • Recyclables (cans, glass and plastic bottles or containers)
  • Landfill / Trash – everything else?

Recommendations have been presented to the festival committee and the development of a 3 year sustainable, festival greening plan has begun.  We are incredibly stoked to have started the ‘greening’ process in reducing the festival’s environmental footprint.  

If you would like to join the Summerfolk Green Team ~ Click here

For tips on how you can make a difference by being a green festival-goer ~ Click here


The following 2018 team worked in collaboration to get things started ~ making a difference together:

  • Summerfolk Green Team ~ Summerfolk Sanitation/Trash Team
  • Summerfolk artisan and food vendors ~ Summerfolk patrons, performers and volunteers – you!
  • Compost Receivers – local, friendly farmer ~ Miller Waste Systems
  • and the sponsors seen below


As of 2019 plastic water bottles are no longer allowed on site. You can help keep Summerfolk green by bringing your own reusable water bottle/mug and cutlery. Water refill stations are available! If you don’t have a reusable water bottle, don’t worry – we have them available at the General Store!