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Tackling the Environmental Issues Faced by Music Festivals.

Andy Robertson

Great strides have been taken in recent years by music festival organisers to tackle environmental issues raised by festivals. As most take place in remote locations there will always be an inadequate infrastructure to cope with the thousands of event goers that attend each event such is their popularity. 


The disruption caused by a large music festival can most notably be measured by the aftermath of damage evidenced by mountains of rubbish left behind at the end of a weekend of partying. Research conducted by Oxford University shows that UK festivals produce 84,000 tonnes of CO2 a year. CO2 comes from generators producing electricity and trucks bringing water, scaffolding and toilets to and from the festival site. However, it is agreed that largest component is caused by festival goers travelling to and from the festival site. The key issue of rubbish dumped at the end of a festival can clearly be shown by the staggering statistics from Glastonbury with 54tonnes of cans and plastic bottles, 9.12tonnes of glass, 11.2tonnes of tents and 193tonnes of compostable material including food and paper cups, this all goes to landfill. 

During the current absence of any notable live music festivals taking place it is an opportunity for organisers to assess the impact of their festival on the environment and make plans to address environmental issues that they can control. 

Communicating with event goers about their obligations to contribute towards making the event environmentally friendly is a key componant. From transport arrangements to stressing that event goers should take their rubbish home the participation of the event goers can significantly add to reduction in key environmental impacts.

Organisers should also consider moving their power generation away from diesel generators to alternative power sources. Many festival organisers have opted for biofuel generators but hydrogen powered electricity generators are probably the most environmentally friendly power source that can provide the huge power supply needed. Wind and solar power unfortunately are expensive to install and provide very little useable power.

As this is a time to reset and re think how music festivals are run and organised there is plenty of time to research and plan for more environmentally friendly events. There is now no excuse to say organisers did not have time to plan and make necessary arrangements, they should be using this downtime to plan for better events and investigate opportunities to become a more environmentally friendly event. Many music festival organisers claim to be environmentally friendly but is this just hyperbole? For sure music festivals will come under more scrutiny regarding their environmental impact credentials. If the organisers are confident in their efforts this will always make great PR for the music festival. 

Using an events management software solution like FestivalPro can help make the planning and running of music festivals more efficient with built in functionality to manage every aspect of the event logistics. The guys who are responsible for this software have been in the front line of event management for many years and the features are built from that experience and are performance artists themselves. The FestivalPro platform is easy to use and has all the features a music festival organiser needs to plan and control elements that impact on their efforts to be an environmentally friendly event.   

Photo by Felix Mittermeier from Pexels

Andy Robertson
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