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The Gap Year Blog

Top 5 Eco-Friendly Music Festivals

11 Jun 2018 11:15 AM

Photo Credit: flickr | Agnieszka Maros

Edited with Permission by Frontier

Summer is here again and the all-important sunshine brings along the promise of a favourite global past time: Festivals. However the environmental impact of thousands of people camping near music stages constructed and transported specially for purpose can be huge. So if you’re looking to party all night while still reducing your carbon emission, here are this summer’s top 5 eco-friendly music festivals.

Secret Solstice - Iceland

Iceland’s biggest music festival is particularly extraordinary as it is one of the world’s only carbon neutral festivals! This means that their carbon emissions have been balanced out by trees purchased for a conservation project in Madagascar.  Set over the weekend of summer solstice, there is a whole 21 hours of daylight each day meaning that energy bills at are an all-time low thanks to the dramatically named ‘midnight sun’. They are also partnered with Icelandic GlacialTM, another carbon neutral company, to adhere to strict recycling rules onsite. The energy used for the festival is also 100% renewable as it uses almost exclusively geothermal energy. This is partly in the form of volcano-power. That’s right, it’s a music festival powered by volcanoes. You don’t get much more rock ’n’ roll than that!

Photo credit: Flickr | M.A.

Latitude - UK 

Everyone’s favourite multi-coloured sheep festival has been putting in the effort to reduce the environmental impact that only 40,000 people dancing in an enclosed field can create. Since their humble beginnings in 2007, Latitude has repeatedly shown its commitment to making Latitude a green festival. Rather than just rely on their own steam to make Latitude green, they work closely with Julies Bicycles, a not-for-profit organisation that advocates for environmental sustainability within the cultural sector. This means that sustainability is enmeshed in all of Latitudes practices from recycling to energy usage and to ensure continued support they are monitored every year. Latitude is also part of the Festival Vision 2025 pledge, which aims to reduce diesel consumption and waste created by the festival by 50%. It does all this while still being one of the best Indie festivals the UK has to offer this summer.

Photo credit: Flickr | Jon Mould

Boom Festival - Portugal

Boasting a wide range of awards for contributions to the environment, Boom Festival not only focuses on the festivals own impact, it also contributes to a number of other nature and conservation development projects. Ongoing projects, such as Boom Off Grid, aim to increase energy efficiency and rely where possible on renewable sources such as wind and solar energy. Other inventive solutions include collecting waste vegetable oil! Bio-construction is used all around the festival site, drawing on materials that harness rather than harm ‘Mother Earth’s’ natural beauty. The festival also has some interesting ways of dealing with waste including the attractive-to-look-at-but-only-on-the-outside compost toilets. Fertilizer is not cheap. It isn’t just our waste Boom is interested in; they are also committed to reducing food waste as festival goers are encouraged to make sure all food scraps go in the food waste bins around sites. They also take rubbish to the max with awesome art installations with the waste they can’t recycle.

Photo credit: Flickr | Global Stomping

Lollapalooza - Chicago, US 

Lollapalooza is cleaner than your typical British festival for a few reasons. The first is that you’re less likely to find a Hunter welly buried in a foot and a half of mud. The second is their innovative ‘Rock and Recycle’ programme, where festival goers are rewarded on the basis of how much they recycle. In 2016 over 1000 fans earned festival goodies through their recycling efforts and the scheme resulted in almost 150 tonnes of recycled or composted waste. CamelBak water filling stations meant that festival goers were kept hydrated without the need for excessive plastic water bottle use, preventing the use of around one million single use bottles. On top of all this, Lollapalooza is more than just environmentally conscientious as it advocates for a host of other charities including Black Lives Matter, Oxfam and Chainlink a charity that provides cheap repairs and knowledge about how to fix your own bicycle. This festival is an all-round good egg.

Photo credit: Flickr | jareed

Splendour In The Grass - Australia 

For the mere price of 3 Australian dollars, Splendour in the Grass offers punters the opportunity to offset their carbon emissions from the festival, with a ‘Carbon Offset’ option with each ticket sold. All the money is invested into Australian renewable energy projects and means buyers can rave the night away guilt-free. They also offer Camp Zero Footprint, a campsite dedicated to minimising their impact on the environment in every way they can. Anyone can get in and being a Zero Footprint camper includes morning tree planting and it is an absolute requirement that all of your camping and cooking gear is reusable. To add to the excitement, the cleanest campsite in Camp Zero Footprint wins a VIP pass to next year’s festival. Don’t let it be said that being green has no upsides.

Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons | Simonpilot

Limiting the impact we have on our environment is an extremely important part of tackling climate change. Attending festivals that are taking serious steps towards being environmentally friendly shows the entire industry that it is an issue people are passionate about and will encourage other major festivals to follow suit. Eco-festivals also attract the waviest garms, and if that’s not the point of a festival, what is?

By Marnie Woodmeade- Online Journalism Intern

Frontier runs terrestrial & marine conservation, community, teaching and adventure projects in over 50 countries - join us and explore the world!