8 eco-responsible festivals to do around the world this summer
Dancing in the rain covered in mud. Wear sequin and neon leotards. Swinging to your favorite tunes in the middle of a field. The untold horrors of the portaloos. Drinking on the socially acceptable day.
There are so many unique things about festivals and it’s easy to see why they’re so popular. But as fun as festivals are, they generate a lot of waste and carbon emissions. Trash cans are overflowing with single-use plastic cups, strobe lights and booming speakers that consume energy; fans and artists drive and fly from all over the planet.
Indeed, according to The show must continue, a report by the festival industry steering group, Powerful Thinking, the UK music camping festival industry emits 24,261 tonnes of CO2 per year. This equates to greenhouse gas emissions of more than 60 million kilometers driven by an average gasoline-powered passenger car. Now imagine what it looks like if you also include festivals in the rest of the world.
What is even more terrifying is that this figure excludes travel to and from the site. Transporting artists and fans is actually the greenest aspect of a festival.
Festivals also generate a huge amount of waste, most of which is not sorted for recycling, according to Impacts of festival and event tourisma book that studies how mega events affect their host communities and the environment.
But there is hope. Overall, more events are reporting and addressing their carbon emissions. In the UK, camping music festival references show reduced waste per spectator per day from 2.8 kg in 2014 to 2 kg in 2019, thanks to initiatives such as reusable cups, biodegradable straws, ecological toilets, climate-conscious food retailers and the use of renewable energy sources.
If, like us, you like to let off steam in fields full of tunes but also want to do good for the planet, there are sustainable options all over the world. Here are our top eight.
When: June 22-26
Where: Pilton, United Kingdom
Programming 2022: Paul McCartney, Billie Eilish, Kendrick Lamar, Diana Ross…
The mother of all green music festivals, the Glastonbury Festival has seen millions of festival-goers tread muddy fields to witness iconic moments of live music.
The list of Worthy Farm festival green policies is long; from the solar farm that covers the barns (one of the largest private solar systems in the country) to their respecting years of fallow to allow the land to recover. They even have a field called “Green Futures” where the most inspiring green ideas are on display. Participants are also required to sign a “Green commitmentwhen they pay for their tickets in which they swear to “leave no trace”. To tell the truth though, nnot everyone complies.
But with a history firmly rooted in activism, the festival’s environmental credits extend beyond its Somerset walls and have seen it donate million pounds to Greenpeace, Oxfam and WaterAid.
2. Burning Man
When: August 28 – September 5
Where: Black Rock Desert, USA
Programming 2022: Burning Man has no set lineup or schedule, it’s a collection of events and multiple events.
Undoubtedly the Mecca of progressive festivals, burning man has had 10 commandments since its founding in San Francisco in 1986. Most important? Leave no traces.
According to the Manna of Black Rock City: “Burners are environmentalists. It’s just our nature.”
What’s special about the original Burn is that the responsibility – whether for recycling or food – lies with the individual. There are no trash cans at Burning Man, which means festival-goers must dispose of all the trash they create and everyone must join in the cleanup effort after the event.
3. Global Citizen Festival
When: September 24
Where: Accra, Ghana and New York, USA
Programming 2022: Watch this place!
From the moment the first Global Citizen Festival took to the stage in 2012 – with The Black Keys and Neil Young among the headliners – we have embedded principles of sustainability, becoming greener every year. Our objective? Zero everything – from waste and emissions to environmental damage.
As an advocacy organization that campaigns in defense of the planet – and writes extensively on the challenges of climate change and biodiversity loss – we like to practice what we preach.
Instead of traditional diesel, Global Citizen uses an alternative that results in 90% fewer greenhouse gas emissions to keep the lights on at each festival site, partners with groups to offset estimated emissions from events, bans single-use plastic, and there are plenty of compost and recycling bins.
When: July 1-3
Where: Milan, Italy
Programming 2022: Lafawndah, Mc Yallah & Debmaster, COMMON PEOPLE, Sofie Birch, DJ FATi, Paquita Gordon…
Terraform takes its name from an ecological process in which life on a planet becomes possible through the creation of an atmosphere. The 3-day event aims to do the same, create “a timeless center of gravity of energies, with a breaking point from which sounds and images create a suspension effect capable of directing us towards new perceptions.
Set in a wood just outside Milan, Terraforma intended to encourage “respect for the environment” and bring participants back to “natural frequencies”.
The stages themselves are made of wood and designed to have the least possible impact on the environment. There are recycling stations, green stewards, sustainable cups, and all crockery and cutlery are 100% biodegradable. They even have electric floats for performers and their crews, and have developed a low-impact lighting system for camping that uses recycled materials and is completely solar-powered. What’s not to like!
5. Green Man Festival
When: August 18-21
Where: Wales, United Kingdom
Programming 2022: Michael Kiwankua, Kraftwerk, Beach House, Metronomy, Bicep…
Set in the lush and pristine Brecon Beacons National Park, green man festival aims to keep it that way.
As its name suggests, festival-goers are advised to be as eco-friendly as possible. No sequins. No disposable plastic cups. Local drink. Pockets for cigarette butts and compostable items only.
They also team up with Help refugees and Newport at Calais Aid Collective who collect unwanted camping gear and food for refugees around the world and support FRANK Water‘s for safe and healthy water.
Green man? Yes please.
6. Splendor in the Grass
When: July 22-24
Where: North Byron Parklands, Australia
Programming 2022: Gorillaz, The Strokes, Tyler, The Creator, Glass Animals, Yeah Yeah Yeahs…
This Australian issue takes its responsibility to Mother Earth seriously. So seriously that in 2019, splendor in the grass won a green gong at NSW Government Green Globe Awardthat recognize sustainability leaders in the event space who encourage others to make positive changes for the environment.
For a few years they have been working with local renewable energy companies Enova Energy and COREM. For just $3ASD, you can choose the “Green Offset” option when you purchase your festival pass and help fund pioneering climate initiatives. It’s less than the price of your oatmeal latte and way better karma.
7. Pohoda Festival
When: July 7-9
Where: Trencin, Slovakia
Program of the festival: Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds, The Libertines, Metronomy, Lianne La Havas…
Appointed The greenest festival in Europethis Slovak open-air festival is for hardcore eco-warriors.
For more than 25 years now, a commitment to implementing progressive environmental actions has been at the forefront of Pohoda’s philosophy.
They have vacuum toilets that save water, there are charging stations for electric cars in the parking lot, compostable tableware, reusable cups and a mobile solar power plant, all of which help keep the environment green. and environmentally conscious festival-goers. .
Where: Oslo, Norway
When: August 9-13
Program of the festival: Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds, Gorillaz, Florence + the Machine, AURORA, Michael Kiwanuka, First Aid Kit…
One of Oslo’s biggest music events, this Norwegian gem puts as much energy into sustainability as it does into running a stellar lineup.
Since the festival’s maiden voyage in 1999, they have been the purveyors of eco-friendly efforts such as sustainable food experiences, green purchasing policies, fossil-free transportation, emission reductions and sophisticated stewardship. sustainable resources.
Head over to Global Citizen’s Climate Action NOW page and see how many actions you can take today to defend the planet.