In recent years, the ecological impact of music festivals has become an increasing concern amongst concert goers as well as organisers. The explosion of music festivals over the last 15-20 years has lead to an independent festival industry with food vendors, musicians, artists, security teams, equipment companies and management crews all taking part in a roving global community of festivals. As high concentrations of young (often financially empowered) consumers, these festivals have become prime locations for branding, marketing and consumption. Given the birth of such festivals in the ’60s as mass counter-cultural meetings and celebrations, the current ecological tragedies of some festivals is ironic.
In response to this, A Greener Festival has been set up in the UK to recognise festivals that are outstanding examples of ecological sustainability. The website also offers advise and support for festival organisers in addressing issues of ecological sustainability.
Notably, the Electric Picnic, Ireland’s own eco and family friendly music festival, was recognised this past year with such initiatives as eco-cups where concert goers could pay an additional €3 to use a sturdier plastic cup for each drink which they would bring back and exchange with each purchase for a fresh cup rather than throwing away the more traditional flimsy cups we’re all familiar with – thus reducing waste and improving recycling efforts.