Now that we’re able to gather in crowds again, the festival industry is booming! The UK is home to a wide array of noteworthy music events, aimed at music fanatics of all tastes and ages. But just how many of these festivals are doing their bit for the world around us?
Thankfully, there are plenty of sustainable options to choose from – events that boast festival vibes without destroying the planet…
Location: Cornbury Park, Oxfordshire
An amalgamation of awesome music, mouth-watering food, theatre, art, wellbeing, and the great outdoors – what’s not to love about the aptly-named Wilderness festival? It’s not only a nature lover’s paradise, it’s a great option for those looking to party in a sustainable manner.
From wild swimming to lengthy soaks in one of the festival’s half-barrel hot tubs, nature plays a huge part at Wilderness. The best part? Their environmental policies are highly regarded too. The team behind this must-visit event is heavily aware of the carbon emissions and waste emitted from just a few days of festival revelry.
Thankfully, they do all they can to reduce this through a ban on plastic straws, water refill stations, eco-friendly, biodegradable glitter, cup deposit schemes, and more.
Mad Hatters’ Affair
Location: Ely, Cambridgeshire
A relatively new addition to the sustainable festival scene, the Mad Hatters Affair donates all profits to charity. On top of this, they have banished single-use plastic and fuel the festival with renewable energy sources.
Furthermore, at the first event in 2019, they partnered with a series of eco-friendly companies to make the festival as eco-friendly as possible.
The Hay Festival
Location: Hay-on-Wye, Wales
Each and every year, the quaint market town of Hay-on-Wye fashions itself into a cultural event in the shape of a celebration of authors, books, musicians, actors, and more. Despite having grown in massive proportions, this humble festival stays true to its sustainable roots.
The organizers are big on reducing waste, recycling, and using renewable energy suppliers. On top of this, they host a series of ‘Green Events’.
Location: Worthy Farm, Somerset
It goes without saying that a huge festival such as Glastonbury is going to leave an impact on the planet. Despite this, their philosophy is ‘Love the farm, leave no trace’. The organizers behind the event do their utmost to stick to this philosophy. How?
By banning single-use plastic, encouraging festival-goers to travel to the venue using public transport, and ensuring all traders engage in a sustainability survey.
Although a festival renowned for its humour, Edinburgh Fringe doesn’t joke about its sustainability and the planet. They encourage all vendors and performers to go green any way they can. In addition to this initiative, they have previously partnered with Creative Carbon Scotland, which has enabled them to create the Green Arts Portal.
This is an interactive database brimming with guides, ideas, and support for all art organizations keen to embrace sustainability.
The Green Gathering
Location: Chepstow, Wales
Set on the outskirts of the picturesque town of Chepstow, The Green Gathering is aptly named in that it is committed to sustainability in a big way! Located on a hill boasting phenomenal views of the Wye Valley and the Severn Estuary, surrounded by ancient woodland, mysterious standing stones, secret grottoes, and numerous caves, it’s an area shrouded in myth, beauty, and legend.
To ensure the area stays this way, the event organizers adopt renewable energy throughout the venue and encourage artists, crew, and festival goers to travel light.
Location: Secret Country Estate, Northamptonshire
Shambala, committed to being as sustainable as possible, has plenty of things to boast about in the eco sector. This cutesy festival has reduced its carbon footprint by an impressive 80% over the years, through banning single-use plastics and operating on 100% renewable energy.
On top of this, it is now fish and meat-free and refuses to stock any mass-produced beverages.
Green Man Festival
Location: Brecon Beacons, Wales
Set in Brecon Beacons, this festival comes highly recommended by the (eco) doctor! The festival itself only lasts four days, however, guests can stay for longer, which gives them the chance to explore the beautiful surroundings which include lush forests, stunning mountains, picturesque waterfalls, peaceful streams, and more.
As well as being set in the heart of the greenery, this festival stands true to its name in terms of being eco-conscious. All drinks are served in reusable stacking cups and all food traders provide certifiable compostable packaging and cutlery.
On top of this, visitors have the chance to forage, indulge in natural paint-making workshops, and embrace medicinal herb-making sessions.
Location: Eastnor Castle Deer Park, Herefordshire
A festival with sustainability at its heart, El Dorado promises to plant one tree for every ticket sold. Mangrove projects in Madagascar and other locations around the world are helping to cut carbon emissions, while the festival has banned single-use plastics and operates a number of recycling programs, while all visitors are encouraged to leave no trace after enjoying all of the music and other events on offer.
Location: Henham Park, Suffolk
The festival that has it all – from music and dance to comedy, literature events, readings, poetry, and wellness, Latitude is one for the whole family. Set in the beautiful surrounds of Henham Park, the festival works extensively to limit its environmental impact with a sustainability charter with a focus on travel, energy, and waste.
Attendees are encouraged to car share and use public transport to get there, while recycling and water projects help them to protect the green space while they’re attending.