Why sustainability matters for festivals too

As festivals become more popular and ticket sales increase, so does the live entertainment industry’s impact on the environment. It’s important our festival communities practice sustainability to take care of the land and environment so we can do it all again for years to come.

Electric Forest 2019
Electric Forest 2019

Sustainability is a group effort so I’ve teamed up with Festpop to highlight ways festival attendees and producers alike can be a part of the global sustainability movement.

How do festivals affect the environment? Glad you asked!

Before attendees even get to the festival, most major festivals build tiny cities to accommodate thousands of fans flocking to one area. The fast-built temporary infrastructure results in massive amounts of energy used to power the construction.

Heaps of cheap material and potentially reusable items head to a landfill once the festival is over. Then you have to take into account all of the carbon emissions related to travel from the artists, attendees, and festival staff.

All of these examples are just scratching the surface of how festivals impact the land and environment.

The BPM Festival: Portugal
The BPM Festival: Portugal

Instead of focusing on the negatives, I’ve dedicated my career to promoting sustainable initiatives at events. Over the past few years, I’ve worked with small local festivals like Jam Room Music Festival in Columbia, SC to large national festivals like Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival in Manchester, TN.

I genuinely believe music not only brings people together from all backgrounds, but festivals can also be the foundation for making attendees, and ultimately the community, more aware of our collective impact so we can continue to gather and enjoy live music for the years ahead.

In this section of the Festpop blog, you’ll learn how festivals in the US are being leaders in the event industry, meet individuals that make sustainable initiatives a reality, and find out ways you can do your part the next time you go to a music festival.

I’ll be posting these blogs twice a month so be sure to subscribe to the Festpop newsletter to know what’s up.

Alexandra Thompson, Sound + Color, Events & Sustainability

Here are some other reads from Festpop staff:

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