Media Release: Face up to the challenges of a changing world at Big Tent

LEADING-edge thinkers from across the world and representatives from communities across Scotland with inspirational stories will come together at Scotland’s environmental festival to confront the climate issues facing the planet.

Says a spokesperson: “Within the Head Zone at this year’s Big Tent festival, visitors can experience a vast range of debates, workshops, exhibitions, films in the solar-powered cinema and talks addressing some of the major issues affecting the world today and in the years ahead.

“The festival organisers believe that the quality of speakers, combined with initiatives such as a green incentive discount scheme which further reduces the cost to attend, will contribute to a second successive sell-out year for Big Tent.”

Some of the Head Zone highlights will include Pat Kane, formerly of the pop group Hue and Cry discussing his work, ‘The Ecology of Play’, why festivals are important and why we need more fun and creativity in our lives.

Bill McKibben, award-winning American author of ‘The End of Nature’, will have the UK launch of his book ‘EAARTH UK’, a guide to living on a fundamentally-altered planet.

Adds the spokesperson: “The book is about how we have altered and distorted the natural environment so much we need to re-name the planet: ‘It’s a different place. A different planet. It needs a new name.'”

The spokesperson went one: “Zero Carbon Britain with Paul Allen from the Centre for Alternative Technology in Wales… CAT has been pioneering alternative technology for 30 years. Now they present Zero Carbon Britain which demonstrates how we can eliminate emissions from fossil fuels and break our dependence on imported energy by 2030 by significantly increasing energy efficiency and by installing massive renewable energy generation.

“And, for the first time this year, our Solar Powered Cinema will be showing inspiring films about ecological renewal like: ‘Food INC’, ‘The Vision of Wangari Maathi’, ‘The Yes Men Fix the World’ and ‘No Impact Man’.”

Malcolm Fleming, campaigns manger for Oxfam Scotland, a Head Zone partner, said: “The Big Tent Festival is set to be more inspiring, more fun and more enjoyable than ever!

“Oxfam are delighted to be supporting the Big Tent Festival on the ‘Moving with Africa’ theme, which is already shaping up to be really exciting, giving all festival goers a chance to find out more about African issues, get involved in campaigning for change, whilst having a great weekend at the same time! Book your tickets now!”

Mike Small, festival programme director, added: “Big Tent is an unique event for anyone at the leading edge of environmental thinking, who is looking for insight and inspiration. Post-Copenhagen, we are in a different landscape – this is a gathering where everyone who is facing up to these realities, needs to come together.”

The Head Zone has been expanded to run over all three days of Big Tent and to make use of a number of venues within the site, exploring the event’s three key themes:

Moving with Africa – the world is changing fast – how we can change the relationship with Africa from one of aid to one of solidarity about climate justice?

Know Your Place – is a focus on habitat, resilience and power. How can re-localisation help transform communities and cut carbon?

The Future of Food – looks at the failure of our industrialised global food system and the potential for a local alternative.

Other speakers and workshops confirmed so far include: Rob Hopkins (the co-founder of Transition Town Totnes and of the Transition Network), Lesley Riddoch (Islands of Inspiration), Richard Dixon (WWF Scotland), Alastair McIntosh (author of Soil and Soul) Teresa Martinez and Kirtana Chandrasekaran (One Planet Food), Malcolm Fleming (Oxfam), Eurig Scandrett on Bhopal Voices, Libertad Coffee, straight from Chiapas, the Janeemo Project (Malawi), Grassroots Zimbabwe, Davie Philip (Cultivate Centre, Dublin), Eva Schonveld (Transition Scotland), Mike Small (Fife Diet), Paul Allen on Zero Carbon Britain (Centre for Alternative Technology), Betsy Reed (Director of Scottish Fair Trade Forum), Jan Bebbington (Sustainable Development Commission), Andrew Dougall (SESTRAN) and inspirational Climate Champions communities.

Partners for 2010 include IACD, Oxfam and One Planet Food.

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Contact: Anna Gormley
Phone: 01592 643200