The world’s greenest music festivals
By OVO Energy Friday 23 June 2017
Festival season is upon us – and it’s good news if, like us, you embrace an eco lifestyle. In fact, right across the world ‘green festivals’ are growing in popularity. We’ve picked a few of our favourites; complete with solar power showers, clever recycling policies and more.
21 - 25 June 2017, Somerset, UK
Back in the summer of 1970, the first Glastonbury festival was all about raising awareness of the need to save our little planet. It was attended by just a handful of musos and eco-warriers – in stark contrast to the hundreds of thousands we see at the festival today.
Glastonbury’s organisers have continued with their green festival ethos and take their role to minimise the environmental impact seriously. They enlist thousands of volunteers to contribute to sustainability and recycling, and this year they’ve installed hybrid generators that integrate wind and solar power with a diesel generator, as well as 1,500 square metres of solar panels – the largest privately owned solar PV array in the UK.
What’s more, they openly support their main three ‘earth charities’, Greenpeace, WaterAid and Oxfam, having donated over £2 million to good causes in 2015 alone.
You’ve just missed this year’s festival, but tickets for next year’s event go on sale in October.
8 - 12th August 2017, Tøyenparken, Oslo
At Øyafestivalen in Norway, the organisers have tried to make all aspects of their festival environmentally-friendly. From waste disposal, to food, power supply to green transport, Øyafestivalen is a showcase for Norway's solid green credentials.
The festival waste is hand-sorted according to 16 categories, allowing almost 70% of their waste to be recycled and reused. To give you a better example, they saved a staggering 40,000 tonnes of CO2 in 2015 which is the same as the yearly use of 15,000 cars!
They serve 97% organic food on edible plates to their tens of thousands of volunteers, artists, crews and visitors and have at least 50% meat-free options on their menus. Any leftovers are donated and distributed to food shelters and those in need in Oslo. Top marks to Norway for leading the way for green festivals!
Green Man festival
17 - 20 August 2017, Brecon Beacons, Wales, UK
The clue’s in the name when it comes to this festival’s green music credentials. Impressively, the whole festival is geared around raising awareness of environmental issues and promoting a sustainable lifestyle.
They encourage their visitors to have a more environmentally-friendly festival experience from the get-go. All festival goers are handed several plastic bags when they arrive: clear for recycling paper, cardboard, plastic, cans and glass and black bags for all the non-recyclable waste. These can then be dropped off at the rubbish holding points – easy.
They even have an area, affectionately known as ‘Einstein's Garden’, boasting three stages powered entirely by sustainable sources. So, it’s a festival that’s green by name and green by nature.
7 - 10 June 2018, Manchester, Tennessee, USA
Bonnaroo is a haven for green thinking. Since their inception, they've teamed up with waste management experts, Clean Vibes, to divert biodegradable waste that would've otherwise ended up in a landfill.
As well as their own permanent installation to harness solar power, they host locally-sourced community dinners (with all the food coming from within a 200-mile radius of the festival) and those who ‘carpool’ their way to the venue, receive VIP tickets.
As if this wasn't enough, they have a special area called ‘Planet Roo’ to give festival-goers a place to relax, partake in yoga classes, learn about sustainability and find out how to grow their own food in the Learning Garden.
What's more, they take their environmental responsibility very seriously, publishing an annual sustainability report detailing their green credentials after each year's festival. In 2016 alone, they diverted 347.18 tonnes of waste away from landfills.
Bonnaroo 2017 has already passed, but it’s not too late to get next year’s dates in your diary and join the ‘Bonnaroovians’ on their green festival journey.
Top tips to be a green festival goer
Why stop at choosing a green festival for your summer exploits? You can also follow these tips to contribute your bit to the effort against global warming and help create a more sustainable future.
Along with our tips on how to be a greener festival-goer, you should also consider:
Travelling by public transport, lift share or bike.
Taking a reusable water bottle – and using it!
Packing your own crockery and cutlery to limit plastic waste.
Taking your tent and other camping equipment home with you.
Recycling your rubbish.
Remembering to put steps in place to make sure your home is energy-efficient while you’re away.
So, don’t think that being eco-friendly means that you can't listen to good music outdoors in a field with thousands of other festival-goers. These green music festivals have embraced the sustainable lifestyle and actively encourage you to do the same!
Image courtesy of iStock