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Gateway to plastic-free events? 10 strategies festivals can use to transform the music industry

Festival-goer raises hands to form a heart towards the stage

Attention festival-lovers! As the UK gears up for a summer of festivals, let's dive into Vision 2025’s “More than Music” report. What are UK music festivals doing to create a better world in 2024? Get ready to be inspired by 10 key areas for optimism and collective action! 

1. Impact policies

A festival’s true impact shines through its policies. 

Inspired by events already leading the charge with transparent sustainability policies and carbon measures, we’re calling all festivals to green the scene as we dance to the beat of collective action! 

2. Artist advocacy

When artists ignite the spirit of eco-conscious fans, the stories in their music build a life of their own.

Igniting the switch to an eco-conscious culture, artists like Apache, Coldplay and Billie Eilish are passionate champions of sustainability in the music scene.

Armed with beats that resonate with the promise of a plastic-free future, these creative earth advocates prove that music can drive meaningful change! 

3. Inviting imagination 

If you’ve ever felt the pulse of a 4am DJ set reverberating through your veins as the skies turn from dusky indigo to a soft purple haze, you’ll have felt the inextricable realisation that music unites us.

Festivals are built on the exchange of creativity, inspiring action and driving collaboration across the events sector. The music festival scene is a diverse cornucopia of sonic inspiration and social innovation, where we’re invited to imagine the future, free from our everyday. 

4. Ambitious targets 

Plant-based menus, biodegradable serveware and PHA cup return schemes are just a handful of eco initiatives you might see in the fields this festival season.

And if cutting out single-use plastic is your game, we’ve got you! Team up with Bye Bye Plastic to join our green-hearted community of Eco-Rider artists, or let us calculate your event’s plastic baseline to dance the first steps towards a plastic-free transition this festival season 🌿

5. Sustainable investments  

Diesel generators are energy guzzlers, pumping out carbon at a rate the planet can no longer sustain.

The need to shift to sustainable energy is inevitable for the future of plastic-free events - and by going green sooner, festivals bolster their resilience against future challenges while opening up exciting new revenue streams from renewable sources.

6. Conscious campaigns  

Close your eyes for a moment and imagine that post-festival Monday morning…walking back through the festival campsite, only to see THOUSANDS of discarded tents, food waste and camping gear.

No Tent Left Behind” is a 2024 initiative by Decathlon, launched in efforts to raise awareness and reverse the staggering 50-90% of abandoned tents sent to landfill. 

7. Challenging social norms

Not showering for a week during festival season?

Multi-day festivals could save up to 37 million litres of water as thousands of festival-goers skip the showers to party in muddy fields!

Who says going wild isn’t part of the fun? 

8. Low-carbon travel 

Thousands of vehicles descending on a hidden enclave of countryside for a weekend of partying is destined for three things: more traffic, more emissions and a whole lotta frustrated festival-goers.

But what if we could groove green?

Enter green coach travel. Discover the festivals teaming up with public transport heroes like Big Green Coach and snag your eco-friendly ride for the summer.

9. Reclaim, reuse, recycle 

Reusable water bottles are a must-have for every eco-raver, especially when adorned with awesome designs by the super-talented artists at Bye Bye Plastic’s Earth Day and Night Weekender!

But it's not just bottles on the circular agenda – we’re talking reclaimed decor for set designs, recycled plastic wristbands, and durable cotton to level up eco merchandise. 

10. Reconnecting with nature

With earth-shimmering music and a sprinkle of something magical, festivals have the unmatched ability to reignite our connection with nature.

Fuelling our desire to protect the precious resources we have, there are few moments more stirring than the view towards a starry night sky as a blanket of electronic music captures our dreams and everything feels possible. 

Read ‘More than Music: What are UK music festivals doing to create a better world in 2024?’ report in full here.  

Music is the Connection, Collective Action is the Solution!

Let's evolve together and eliminate single-use plastics in the music industry. Our shared dance floor is the perfect stage for positive change. 🎶

Want more? Keep following Bye Bye Plastic for a spotlight on the hottest eco festivals coming to a field near you this summer…👀🔥

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