Nottingham crowd enjoying the entertainment at Green Hustle 2023. Image credit: Tom Platinum Morley

They say opposites attract, and it turns out, they were right. ‘Green’ and ‘Hustle,’ an unlikely pairing of words, that when merged create an inclusive community hub, for creativity and talent.  

The sustainable (free) festival returns to Nottingham, for its fourth year, on Saturday 1st June for what co-director, Adam Pickering says is,

“A great party… It’s ALL about bringing love, joy, and creativity.”

The bulk of the event will be in Old Market Square, alongside other venues such as Mammoth Climate Action Cinema, based in Hockley. Last year, Green Hustle entertained 10,000 visitors, and the expectations remain high for a similar turnout again this weekend. 

Co director Adam Pickering, says the key to Green Hustle is “Actionism over activism” Image credit: Beth Green

Green Hustle chooses not to focus on protest and activism, Adam’s statement of “Actionism over activism” is his less talking, more doing approach. “We’re not fear-mongering…We’re listening to people, asking what they like, and having conversations about how we can make that more sustainable.” 

This year’s it will be hosting a brand-new pop-up edible garden, from Honeybee Farmacy. They will be on-hand to educate, help and share useful tips and tricks, with a specific focus on small space gardening. With costs continuing to rise, having a large garden is rapidly becoming a luxury. Honeybee offers reassurance that small spaces can still be beautiful.

Statistica reported in 2021, one in eight UK homes have no garden, and those with black ethnicity are four times less likely to have one than someone who is white.

One of Adam’s driving force for Green Hustle came from his experience of being a part of sustainability spaces. He said they showed a clear lack. “It was very white, it was very middle –class, older than you’d expect it to be; not very diverse, not very inclusive.” The emphasis on accessibility and community is the core of Green Hustle, and sets it apart from other similar events. 

Green Hustle rejects the format of an exclusive space for those already involved in the eco-conscious circles. Adam explains how it doesn’t matter if you have knowledge of ‘living green’ or not. Green Hustle will feature eight programme stands, including art, fashion, music and sport. “We have activities for everyone, all over town… Loads of free music… Loads of free entertainment. We try and make it a special event… That’s our offer to you, if you come along, we’ll look after your world and community.”  

The Cost of Living’s current estimate for a lunchtime meal in Nottingham is £14. A highlight from last year was the inclusion of Himmah, Nottingham’s largest independent Food Bank. They will be returning again, and serving up approximately 800 ‘pay as you feel’ vegan meals, available to anyone, with no obligation to pay a penny. 

There is also an extensive line-up of musical talent, hosted by Cultural Vibrations and Rastarella, who Adam says, “Will bring an amazing, diverse, international array of acts.”  

Visitors can expect plenty of opportunities to get involved in various activities during the day. Adam states, “There will be seed bomb making, planting, films and VR experiences courtesy of Mammoth Climate Action cinema. Fashion mending and upcycling, plus a fashion show… Which is super inclusive, anyone can join in and be a model, or help behind the scenes.” 

Community is at the heart of the festival, Adam says it’s the people that make it. Green Hustle “Opens doors for people, creates platforms and inspires people. It shows them what is possible when we come together.”

Nottingham has a long history of ‘Green action,’ going back to the Peace Movement and Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, and their local Nottingham Animal Rights group. More recently the focus on CN28 is prominent amongst many entities in the city. Nottingham has the 2nd highest number of electric vehicles charging points per head of population, and over 36,500 trees have been planted in the last three years. Green Hustle has contributed to this, Adam says, “We’re on our way to 5000 trees being planted over the last few years.

“Tree’s please.” In the last 3 years Nottingham City Council has planted over 36,500 trees. Image credit: Beth Green

Green Hustle was born out of The Hustle Collective, who run the ever-popular Hockley Hustle event. The team had been looking to reduce their emissions, to work towards aiding the Nottingham Carbon Neutral 2028 initiative (CN28). Kinga Kapias, Marketing and PR Communications Manager at Nottingham City Council said,

“Green Hustle is one of the highlights in Nottingham’s events calendar. It brings attention to Nottingham’s dedication to creating a greener, more sustainable future.”

Adam states that the Collective initially received some funding to do online events during the pandemic. It was from here that the idea was floated around the team of creating a ‘Green’ festival, with a difference.

What is the need? Adam says it simply, “The world needs a fresh, different approach. One that motivates people, brings people in, doesn’t alienate or scare people. One that makes people feel loved. It can’t be the same people creating the world of tomorrow.”

Dawn Flynn, is an Assistant at Artisan Faux Butchers Ltd, that will be serving vegan meats and treats on the day. She says, “Most festivals have a limited target audience. Green Hustle is different, it is specifically trying to engage all age ranges, cultures and groups within society. It’s a uniting festival, bringing diverse groups together around something we all need to care about: the planet!”

Green Hustle is funded entirely by local organisations, the bulk of which coming from It’s In Nottingham. In Adam’s words, “Big up It’s In Nottingham,” without all the sponsors, this event wouldn’t be possible.

For those of you who want to go that extra mile, Green Hustle are still accepting volunteers. Contact should be made to Millie@hockleyhustle.co.uk – the volunteer lead, otherwise via social media, where you can send them a direct message. Additional information can be found at www.greenhustle.co.uk.