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How summer music festivals are playing it green

July 24th, 2012

From Green Right Now Reports

Musicians and concert events are increasingly finding ways to keep a greener profile.

Last week, the Finger Lakes Grass Roots Festival organizers in Trumansburg, N.Y., (July 19-22) showed attendees how to sort their trash into recyclable, compostable and “utter trash” containers, something they’ve been doing for the last 14 years, according to promoters.

The festival devoted a page on their website devoted to explaining that those utensils that look like regular plastic are actually compostable and can be turned back into “fancy dirt” at a composting facility.

But they’re not the only ones with compostable tableware and recycling bins.

Several musical extravaganzas will be playing it greener this summer, including these:

Edmonton Folk Festival

Edmonton Folk Music Festival in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada (August 9 – 12)

This leading folk festival, at Gallagher Park, features a worldwide list of top performers, including this year, a Woodie Guthrie tribute with Arlo Guthrie and other family members. Musicians from the USA (Arrested Development, Emmy Lou Harris, Bonnie Raitt and more) and Canada (Corb Lund, Jim Cuddy Band, La Bottine Souriante and more) are joined at the festival by performers from Ireland, Mali (Amandou and Miriam) and South Africa.

On the green front, the Edmonton festival also uses biodegradable disposable utensils and takes several more steps to make sure its gathering of 80,000 makes as little impact as possible. The Festival Site Environment crew collects recyclables and trash, aiming to minimize what’s sent to the landfill. The crew also composts organic waste generated during the four-day festival.

Promoters provide a bike lock-up service to make it easier for fans to arrive by foot power instead of by car, decreasing the carbon impact of the event.

The festival also can boast of having a no Styrofoam policy that dates to 1995, reducing waste by all the vendors and the festival’s volunteer kitchen.

Solar panels are installed to supplement power for the festival, running the merchandise tent lights and cash registers.

 

Explosions in the Sky at Lollapalooza (Photo: Dave Mead)

Lollapalooza in Chicago, Illinois (August 3 – 5)

This mega musical road show offers an eclectic selection of music from electronica, to reggae, to indie and hip-hop.  This year’s performers include Red Hot Chili Peppers, Florence + the Machine, Black Sabbath, The Shins and dozens of other bands on multiple stages.

Green Street, a section near the entrance of the 100+ acre festival site will feature art vendors, nonprofit organizations and a farmers market.

On inspired eco-stroke is the Rock & Recycle program that rewards concert goers for collecting a bag of recyclable items by exchanging it in for a Lollapalooza t-shirt.

Bike valet at Outside Lands.

Outside Lands, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco (August 10 – 12)

The performer list at this festival just goes on and on — Neil Young, Foo Fighters, Beck, Andrew Bird, Norah Jones, Stevie Wonder, Jack White, Bloc Party and dozens more — offering something for a variety of fans of all ages.

This year, Outside Lands will feature demonstrations from urban agriculture experts showing people how to grow fruits and vegetables wherever they live. The Full Belly Farms farmers’ market will be selling melons, grapes and apples onsite.

Outside Lands will be selling reusable water bottles that come with unlimited refills of spring water for anyone attending the festival and those who have their own water bottles can purchase refills, cutting the plastic water bottle waste down dramatically.

As in the past four years, one stage will be powered by a 4kW solar array, available for inspection to festival goers who want to explore the technology.

Utensils here also will be compostable and biodegradable, and a bike valet service will enable bicyclists to attend without worry.

Environmental crew carts off sorted trash at Oslo's Oya Festival.

Øya Festival in Medieval Park, Oslo, Norway (August 7 – 11)

The grounds of this festival have a history hundreds of years old, and include the ruins of Maria Church, circa the 11th century.

This festival incorporates music (Bjork, BonIver, Karpe Diem, Florence + the Machine and dozens more), food and shopping, with small pop-up shops and food prepared by Oslo chefs.

The Øya Festival aspires to be one of the greenest festivals in the world (it has been awarded the Greener Festival Award and the Green ‘n’ Clean award on several occasions) with several sustainability initiatives, involving waste recycling and energy reduction. It adheres to a Handbook that encourages vendors to donate leftover food to charity, use organic food and environmentally sensitive packaging and sell goods with a strong environmental message or background.

 

 

 


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