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Rainbow Serpent Festival is committed to constantly improving all aspects of the event, and the environmental impacts are no exception. Again this year we are focusing on key areas that have the greatest impact & with your help we will take further steps on our journey towards a fully sustainable event.

View our Waste and Sustainability Documentary

To give you a better understanding of how Rainbow approaches waste and sustainability and how you can contribute to a cleaner greener festival we produced a short film. Please watch it and commit to helping Rainbow be the most conscious gathering yet!

Create No Waste Ethos

The 21 years of Rainbow Serpent has seen such a growth of like minded people coming together to strengthen the values we share and the vision we all see for the world. We gather at Rainbow to promote community-building ethics and enhance personal growth  alongside our social responsibilities in an environment conducive to creative expression. Here, we have the chance to take responsibility for all of our actions, and have a lot of fun while being awesome people.

These principles of care are the foundations Rainbow is built on and they need to be reflected throughout the entire event. This includes the campgrounds, which is your community no matter how temporary.

We’ve all been made aware, either through personal experience or social media, of the carnage and utter waste that can be left behind after a festival. Rainbow is changing but, still, over fifty tonnes of waste was landfilled last year. Low cost, cheaply built and virtually single use items that are readily available from chain stores need replacing often, and will continue to cause endless landfill as the redundant ones are replaced. Camping chairs, gazebos, inflatable mattresses and tents down to NOS canisters, confetti and glitter all add up to one enormous and unnecessary pile of landfill. Together we can change our attitudes to embody a waste-concious, planet loving ethos that will better Rainbow and better the world.

Before you even leave your house, before you even go to the shops to get what you’re going to need for your Rainbow 2018 experience, you’re actions have the power to change the world! It sounds crazy, but buying a tent that will last you 6 years instead of a couple of months could mean the difference of another 6-20 tents shoved into landfill over the same time period. Each choice can divert precious resources from landfill and support makers of quality products.

Create No Waste on a scale like Rainbow Serpent is a momentous task, but when it comes down to it, failure is not an option. While our Sustainability team and the initiatives we employ mean we do everything we can to divert from landfill, each and everybody on site needs to do their bit. Come and experience the tireless efforts of our Sustainability vollies and staff who work almost around the clock to sort every single bin by hand, and divert whatever we can to be recycled. It is important to remember that recycling isn’t the answer though; while it takes 95% less energy to recycle aluminium than it does to smelter it new, durable and reusable items can be used again and again without any energy input!

2016 was the first year we ever saw a reduction in the amount of waste created over the weekend despite the growth in numbers of people on site each year. This shift in waste generated per person reflects the importance of the Create No Waste attitude in reducing the environmental impact of Rainbow and embodying our sustainable principles.

As a festival we are maintaining our great reuse initiatives, like favouring up-cycled materials in the creation of much of the incredible onsite artworks and stage designs. It is compulsory for all of the food stalls at Rainbow Serpent to serve from compostable cups, bowls and plates that we compost along with all of the food waste. The compost we have created so far has been used to mulch the thousands of trees planted at RainGrow Serpent over the last two years, effectively creating a closed loop system. RainGrow itself is a manifestation of the Rainbow community engaging in a symbiotic relationship with the festival site and is held in the style of a working bee, traditionally on the last weekend of June.

The driving force behind these initiatives isn’t new, but it is necessary for our community to evolve.


Loot Ute Times

Listen out for the bell when a ute comes through the campsites to collect your recycling and empty your recycling bag.

North Campground: 9am to 3pm
South Campground: 9am to 3pm
Eastern Campground: 12 noon to 3pm


Campsite Waste

If you have created waste, take it home and start your new Create No Waste lifestyle. You can get extra garbage bags to double bag your landfill at each toilet block, the Info Tent and the Helper Huts.

Recycling Bag System: Fill your bag with recycling and hand it in with your token into a Helper Hut or at the exit of your campground (follow the signs). There is no rubbish collection from these points.

SUNDAY: 10 am to 10pm
MONDAY: 10am to 10pm
TUESDAY: 7am to 5pm


Waste Not, Want Not

Drop leftover non-perishable food and drink in the donation bins next to the toilet blocks for local charities to use.


Dancefloor Clean Ups

The music stops several times over the weekend so you can grab a bag and clean up the ground. If the ground is clean, the music keeps playing.


Permaculture Gardens

Located in The Village, the permaculture gardens are fed on previous years compost and are growing in size annually.


Composting Toilets

Saving water and creating new humanure for our on site tree planting at RainGrow. Please don’t put rubbish in the toilets, sanitary items are OK. One scoop for poop, none for pee.


Colour Coded Bins

Around the festival are bins for separate materials. Yellow for glass and plastics and paper, grey for metals, green for compost and red for total waste of resources.


Bin Your Butts

Don’t let even small seemingly biodegradable butts hit the ground. Dropping litter is a mentality that creates social norms.


Dishwashing Station

Located by the food markets is a place to wash your BYO cup and other reusable items.


Raingrow Serpent

A community working bee held every June to plant trees and maintain the young saplings recently planted on site.


Vehicle Pass

A combination of carbon offsetting, subsidised drug and alcohol testing, subsidised bus services and the recycle bag deposit, alongside the souvenir program for $30 per car preferably paid in advance.

Reusable Rainbow

After last years initial trial of a washable crockery system, RSF 2018 introduce Reusable Rainbow. It is an initiative that strives to reduce waste generated every meal and coffee time by washin’ instead of tossin’. With the power and commitment of vollies working day and night collecting, sorting, washing, drying and redistributing to foodstalls, you’ll get to enjoy the experience of eating off real plates at a festival. As luxurious as it is sustainable.

The most integral part to this system is making sure the crockery and cups find their way back to us so we can wash and reuse them. The cycle of reuse relies on honesty and commitment to participating in a no waste initiative. All items you’ll be enjoying nourishment from you’ll see written on them:

Please make sure if you do use a reusable plate or cup, it makes its way to the collection points around the site, to the roving vollies gathering them up or the collection desk located near the involved reusable food vendor stalls. Cups and crockery returned safely and swiftly allows us time to wash and sort ready for the next lucky hungry human. Appreciate the difference when eating off a nice solid surface, and encourage others to enjoy the same feeling.

While we acknowledge that recycling has it’s place in the world, it isn’t the solution to waste and the problems it creates. Creating a culture of reuse means sharing resources, putting value in the things we use and knowing that we can make a difference in the disposable culture we live in.

The most important thing is to not take the reusables back to camp or home. Please put them in the right bin (wash bin).

  • When you buy from the stalls who are trialling the system, pass on good vibes to them.   Serving sizes have to be tailored to the size of the dishes, so please, no funny looks if your coffee doesn’t quite overflow the cup.
  • If you BYO cup, bowl or plate, wash it in the self wash stations next to the showers at either end of the markets instead of interrupting the flow.
  • Give our team a high five in their sudsy gloves as you walk past…. maybe even offer to wash few dishes and do your bit to Create No Waste.


Shuttle Bus Service

Up to 70% of a festival’s carbon footprint is produced by traveling to and from the site. Do your bit and take the shuttle service into Beaufort instead of driving.

Festival <–> Beaufort (approx. 20 min)

Service departs Festival Site at the designated bus stop (refer to festival map) and Beaufort Town Centre at the ‘Band Rotunda’ in the main street.

Friday: 11:00 – 17:00
Departs both Beaufort Town Centre and Festival Site: Every hour on the hour

Saturday: 11:00 – 18:00
Departs both Beaufort Town Centre and Festival Site making an extra stop at Beaufort Swimming Pool: Every half hour on the half hour

Sunday: 11:00 – 18:00
Departs both Beaufort Town Centre and Festival Site: Every hour on the hour

FARE [ONE WAY] Adults $2.00 Child <12 Free