Music festivals have, in one way or another, a rich history of being in sync with mother nature—a thought particularly true some decades ago during the hippie movement of the 1960s.
Yet, despite a history adorned with environmental conviction, music festivals are not always eco friendly celebrations.
As expected, a large gathering of people having the time of their lives is bound to generate waste and consume energy. On top of this, many festivals aren’t responsible for their ecological footprint and do not act as responsible stewards of our environment.
Fortunately, there are some music festivals that genuinely embody the value of sustainable living and eco-friendliness. If you aren’t sure about where to begin with learning more about sustainability, hop on over to Puratium, where they discuss the basics of sustainable living and how to integrate it into your daily life.
Nestled near a quaint town in Wales, Green Man is already in its 20th year of providing great music to guests in a way that makes them feel truly connected to nature. Plus, the venue for the festival (The Settlement) is naturally beautiful and evokes a sense of calm and belonging even amid thousands of people.
Being ‘green’ is central to GM as a festival. As the name suggests, they engage in a wide variety of eco-friendly activities that promote sustainability during the festival.
For instance, guests can avail of chilled water throughout the festival and are encouraged to bring their own refillable water bottles. Their food stalls also provide compostable food ware, so you don’t have to worry about generating too much waste when you eat out.
On top of that, certain types of foods are even sourced Fair Trade! Plenty of goods during the festival are sourced locally to limit the environmental impact generated by transportation—thus helping small businesses and local communities in the process.
Green Man engages in many other sustainability initiatives concerning waste disposal, segregation, energy efficiency, and many more.
Splendour in the Grass is an Australian music festival that has been running for around two decades across various locations in Australia.
As expected from the festival’s lovely name, SITG engages in environmental initiatives to actively create a successful and sustainable music festival.
In 2019, the event won a green gong at the NSW Government Green Globe Awards, demonstrating its commitment to a more environmentally secure future.
One of the best eco friendly alternatives SITG offers is the option to purchase a “green offset” along with your festival ticket. For a few extra dollars, you get the opportunity to support renewable energy initiatives within New South Wales.
The funds from this option have thus far supported a social benefit solar garden, helping social housing communities and local organizations lower their electricity bills—hitting the mark for both environmental and social change.
SITG also promotes eco-friendly initiatives like providing buses for transportation, giving carpooling incentives, and reducing single-use plastic waste.
Terraforma is a music festival centered on architecture and low-impact events management. Their goal is not only to properly dispose of trash at the end of the day but to actually integrate sustainability practices throughout the planning and proceeding with the event.
They do this by tackling waste, water, energy, as well as mobility and transportation.
Moving from place to place is one of the most energy and emission-intensive aspects of a festival. To lessen their impact, Terraforma provides their staff with electric cars for employee movement and transporting artists to the venue. They also offer shuttles to guests and highly encourage carpooling initiatives. Through these practices, they have avoided an estimated 650 kg of CO2 a year.
Terraforma also takes steps to reduce their water usage, and they have installed a specific water system to aid them in this goal. Lighting throughout the venue is powered by solar energy, and Terraforma uses low-impact lights and bulbs.
Lighting in a Bottle is a California-based music festival designed, built, and curated on sustainability, harm reduction, and cultural respect.
Right from their core, LIB already integrates eco-friendly practices while providing extraordinary musical experiences for guests. Throughout the festival, LIB provides waste collection stations where guests can drop off their properly segregated trash for easier disposal.
In an attempt to reduce single-use plastic on-site, LIB does not sell any plastic water bottles. However, they do have numerous water refilling stations across the venue, so there won’t be any issues with hydration. Just make sure to bring your own bottle.
If you want to go the extra step, you can join their Green Team! The team does cleanup activities during the festival and could be an excellent way for you to contribute a little bit more if you feel up to it.
Heavily inspired by modernity and innovation, We Love Green bridges the gap between planet and growth by engaging their guests in activities that mesh environment, technology, and music in one glorious experience.
Located in Paris, WLG actively participates in sustainability measures from planning all the way through cleanup.
Around 85% of the festival’s emissions are generated by transportation, so WLG has taken the necessary steps to improve transportation systems. They do this by encouraging their guests to arrive at the venue using more environmentally-friendly transportation such as taking the bus or train. They also provide free bike parking for those who want to cycle to the location.
They also place waste stations across the venue and implore guests to use these stations properly. In 2018, the festival recycled more than 100 tons of waste from these stations, and without proper segregation, recycling would undoubtedly be less effective.
Perhaps best of all, WLG encourages sustainability through think tanks, startup labs, and even kid-friendly initiatives to promote eco friendly solutions for the future.
With the Earth steadily warming and climate change creating vast environmental impacts throughout the globe, it is now more important than ever to practice sustainability in every aspect of our lives.
Sustainability and kindness to our environment are integral to creating an experience that will span generations. So while music festivals are most certainly about the fun, enjoyment, and companionship of it all, they’re also rooted in taking only experiences with you and leaving as little of an impact as possible.