Byron Bay Bluesfest

The Environment & Meet Mavis - our Koala Friend

Greening the Blues

Bluesfest takes pride in its commitment to environmental sustainability and minimising its impact on the local environment. In addition to its care for wildlife, festival site management leads a strict rubbish removal and recycling policy that is reviewed and executed impeccably every year. This is reflected in the festival winning six International A Greener Festival Awards since 2007.

Bluesfest is committed to greening the festival. The festival employs a number of environmental initiatives, including recycling strategies; in 2015, 28.50 tonnes of recycling was collected during the festival including 4.64 tonnes of cardboard. A recycling increase of 3.3 tonnes from 2013.

4 tonne of organic waste from the festival was given to a local pig farmer and 500 litres of used oil from the food stalls was given to a local farmer who converts it into bio-oil to run his machinery.

Landfill from the festival went to ‘Titree’, a green energy plant, and gets converted into Methane gas which powers about 10,000 homes in the Ipswich (QLD) area.

Every year the festival team seeks new ways to expand and improve on our environmental initiatives.


NEW STUDY COMPLETE: Do koalas really get the blues? Critique of ‘Aversive behaviour by koalas (Phascolarctos cinereus) during the course of a music festival in northern New South Wales, AustraliaFULL ARTICLE HERE 


The Bluesfest site is also the home of Koalas.  Koalas are native to Australia but are an International icon. The presence of koalas and the opportunity to observe them in their natural habitat is a privilege but also a responsibility Bluesfest takes seriously.

In 2013 Bluesfest planted 170 swamp mahogany trees as a Koala Corridor and Bluesfest funds regular koala monitoring programs conducted by the University of Queensland since 2012.

Bluesfest monitors its on-site koala population all year round with help from the University of Queensland with the goal of creating a disease free koala community able to breed a disease free colony.

The festival has a policy for attending to wildlife on site that minimises disturbance, risk or harm to any animal in the area, including education of festival attendees in this delicate matter.

Meet our delightful friend, Mavis.......

Dr Sean FitzGibbon introducing Mavis to the team.

19th September 2014

4 weeks ago, during one of our regular monitoring programmes, team member Dr Sean FitzGibbon of The University of Queensland discovered Mavis. Suffering from what turned out to be chlamydia, she was sick, vulnerable, and her eyes severely infected, leaving her partially blind and at the mercy of predators.

Mavis (named, as are all our Bluesfest koalas, after Bluesfest artists) was indeed in need of urgent medical attention and was fast-tracked off for treatment to the Australia Zoo Hospital.

Now, a month later, she has recovered and ready to be returned to her natural habitat – and indeed – to her favourite tree – at the Tyagarah Tea Tree Farm, the home of Bluesfest.

Today – on the way to her favourite tree at the Bluesfest site – Mavis dropped in to the Bluesfest office for a cuddle and to meet the Bluesfest Team.

Welcome home, Mavis.

NB: Bluesfest funds regular koala monitoring programmes and foots the bill for any necessary medical assistance required.


 Watch Mavis returning to her home


The Bluesfest Team meet Mavis

Bluesfest Festival Director Peter Noble with Mavis

 Mavis returns home