This weekend I made my way up to Castleton-on-Hudon, New York to do a set of poetry at a first year music festival called Camp Springer. It was a great time and I definitely recommend anyone in the Tri-state area to check it out if they do it again next year!
With festival season officially underway, I thought I’d investigate which festivals actually practice the most sustainable practices. Conveniently enough A Greener Festival is an international organization whose entire purpose is to promote greener practices amongst music festivals, and they give awards for sustainability:
Of the Festivals in the US only Lighting in a Bottle won an Outstanding, with Bonnaroo securing a Highly Commendable, but with the 2015 festival season beginning I’m curious to see who else from the US will make the list!
While most festivals have non-profits booths (or in the case of Floyd Fest a featured non-profit) and environmental sensibilites often times these large events take place in areas that are ecologically unaccustomed to the massive amounts of traffic and pop-up infrastructure. I’ve been to festivals where a lot of rain and little organization turned a field meant for parking into a pile of mud and trapped vehicles. While grass will grow back, I think about the air pollution put out by all of the vehicles, water and waste disposal, and the enormous amount of electricity that goes into powering the stages and events. All told, these have to leave a large environmental impact.
And don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to call everyone who attends festivals hypocrites or call them short-sighted, I attend festivals and very much enjoy myself at them, I just think it’s important to keep in mind that our good times can leave a lasting environmental mark.