This is a guest post by Monika Tudja, the co-founder of Festination.com – a site dedicated to helping music lovers explore festivals around the globe.
No matter the weather or time of year, there’s a music festival happening somewhere in the world. The summer season is drawing to a close in the southern hemisphere, but the party’s only getting started up north of the equator.
Eco-conscious revellers are aware of the environmental impact of festivals, as are many of the organisers, which is why we’re seeing a move towards more cleaner, greener events all around the globe. But with so many to choose from, which ones stand out from the crowd?
Aside from a good time, these music festivals have something special to offer – the creators have gone to great lengths to ensure sustainability and environmental awareness are at the core of their event. All you have to do is have the time of your life… and leave no trace.
Glastonbury :: United Kingdom
The world’s biggest green field festival, Glastonbury brings in 175,000 attendees every year so it’s no wonder they’re keen to promote a sustainable environment over of the weekend. At Glastonbury, things are done differently as the festival highlights new, and unpopular, issues about the environment. Aside from bringing in amazing musicians and artists, Glastonbury Festival changes the mentality of people by giving them the chance to “open their eyes” to these issues and make a change. Their list of green policies is impressive and in 2017, Worthy Farm partnered with Oxfam, Greenpeace, and WaterAid as part of their ‘Worthy Causes’ initiative. The festival also takes a break every seven years to allow the land to recover from being overtrodden year-after-year; 2018 is what they call their ‘fallow’ year. The next festival will take place in 2019.
EDP Cool Jazz :: Portugal
EDP Cool Jazz is held just a few minutes outside of Lisbon, bringing together global sensations of jazz, funk, soul, rock, and pop. With the festival’s sponsor being EDP (Europe’s major electricity operators), it plays a critical role in EDP Cool Jazz’s reputation and mission by neutralizing the carbon impact. The Zero Waste Movement does exactly that – have zero waste. Food that is unserved is eventually given to families in need and Re-Cup sends reusable cups, which cuts the number of plastic cups used.
POHODA Festival :: Slovakia
The festival builds a space of freedom and cultural diversity while shining a light on the importance of keeping the Earth clean. Partnering with a local energy provider to create a mobile solar power plant for plugins, this is one of the many reasons why POHODA won the Green Excellence Award for 2017. It also reached out to the national train company, Slovak Railways, to provide special festival trains, buses, a carpooling system and bicycle for on-site staff.
Lollapalooza :: Chicago, USA
Lollapalooza gives the audiences a great line-up and wide variety of local foods but still is conscious of their environmental impact. Just as the music festival takes pride in the joy they give their attendees, they proudly maintain Grant Park in pristine condition over the weekend. Lollapalooza’s Rock and Recycle Program is a great way to get guests to recycle as they go. Each concertgoer receives a detachable Green Card with their official program which can be stamped at various locations across the park. Stamps are rewarded for turning in recyclables, taking public tranport riding a bike and using refillable water bottles. The more stamps you get, the more chance you have of winning Lollapalooza apparel… or a Honda Insight hybrid! If that’s what it takes people to recycle, so be it.
Northside Festival :: Denmark
The Northside Festival’s debut was in 2010, and from the beginning one of its many mission has been to provide a green and sustainable culture. Most of the festival is built from wood, no parking for cars is available which forces attendees to walk, bike or use public transportation and all food and beverages are organic and local. Now that Northside has become a 100% organic festival, they have grand plans of being a 100% waste-free festival in the future.
Fuji Rock Festival :: Japan
The largest outdoor alternative and pop music festival not only in Japan but Asia, Fuji Rock Festival always sets a standard high. It has brought in huge names like Foo Fighters, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Muse. Aside from killer lineups, it also promotes a green lifestyle which compliments the beautiful surrounding scenery. There are no shuttles at the festival so you are required to walk everywhere, lots of recycling points where attendees are expected to separate their waste and all utensils and materials used for food are environmentally-friendly.
Lightning In A Bottle :: California, USA
To quote LIB, “Lightning In A Bottle is designed, built and curated based on a core ethos centered on sustainability, harm reduction, cultural respect, and most of all, creating an environment for extraordinary experiences. These principles guide LIB’s vision and its team’s decision-making every step of the way.” With its free water, renewable energy and Green Team that educates their attendees on recycling, composting and keeping the grounds clean, the festival definitely takes care of any damage done to the Earth.
Splendour in the Grass :: North Byron, Australia
One of Australia’s favorite music festivals is also a trend-setter. It was one of the first festivals to create an eco-friendly environment when putting it together. One of the first ways attendees can reduce carbon before heading to the festival is by paying extra to plant a tree at the festival. Splendour in the Grass also teams up with various organizations that bring awareness to the environment like Be An Unf*cker, Positive Change for Marine Life, Parklands and Boomerang Bags.
If you’d like to explore more festivals around the world, check out Festination’s magazine.