GreenHouse Fest
April 24, 2023

How to reach carbon neutral festivals?

The season of summer festivals is fast approaching with all the great music, and the pollution it produces, Consequence spoke with a number of experts in the festival and environmental fields looking into the possibilities of carbon neutral activities and solutions:

A host city with a large and interested population - reduces the need for distant travel

Public transit options - the most effective travel option

Access to a clean-energy municipal grid - avoiding big diesel generators

Camping can help reduce electricity usage and transportation emissions from commuters

Cutting out meat and other animal products

Plentiful water refill stations are also a must, to stave off dehydration and the use of disposable bottles

Rethinking festival hours - a festival that runs from 11:00 am to sundown could do away with lighting entirely

It’s good to witness the current flourishing of what we might call Green Pop – though others may prefer Eco-Pop, Eco-Rock, etc... - challenging the current state of our environment - PopMatters writes proudly about the new wave of music dealing with climate change, and nature protection. PM presents American folk musicians that preceded them - Woody Guthrie, Neil Young, Chris Webby, Joan Baez, Phil Ochs, Malvina Reynolds, Tom Paxton, Pete Seeger, and Don Maclean.

A beautiful story in BBC about ballerina Ilmira Bagrautinova from the world-renowned Mariinsky Theatre who, dressed in full costume, performs scenes from Tchaikovsky's 'Swan Lake' - on the frozen Gulf of Finland. It's her eco-protest against the construction of a port in Batareinaya Bay, a popular beach about 100 km west of St Petersburg. Bagrautinova told the BBC "we are hoping that nature, beauty and harmony will triumph".

In 2016, streaming and downloading music generated around a 194 million kilograms of greenhouse-gas emissions - some 40 million more than the emissions associated with all music formats in 2000 - author Kyle Devine says in his recent book 'Decomposed: The Political Ecology of Music'. Given the special circumstances the figure for 2020 will be much greater. Devine Devine incorporates his ecology of music into a more comprehensive vision of anthropogenic crisis, the cost of having all the music at the touch of a finger, New Yorker reports.

Tame Impala have announced a partnership with the nonprofit REVERB in adopting eco-friendly initiatives, in order to reduce environmental waste while on tour, Happy Mag reports. The collaboration will include free filtered water refill stations at shows to reduce single-use plastic waste, Eco-Villages where fans can learn more about environmental nonprofits, and the band will fund projects that eliminate greenhouse gases, donate unused food and hotel toiletries to local shelters, recycle backstage and on tour buses, use reusable water bottles for all band members and crew, and more.

In the last few decades, musicians have come to rely heavily on touring to generate revenue, and that means more travel, more concession stands, and more cars jammed into parking lots, which means more carbon in the atmosphere and more waste on the ground (and in the water). To limit their carbon footprint some bands have stopped touring (Coldplay), others are cooperating with Reverb, a nonprofit that supports musicians looking to neutralize or at least lessen the environmental impact of their work. Its premier service involves embedding a trained Reverb staff member within a band’s preëxisting crew, with the exclusive purpose of handling the logistics associated with running an environmentally responsible tour.