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Festivals Essay

2431 words - 10 pages

This essay will discuss and present ideas relating to international music festivals and the reduction of their environmental impact. In order to explore this area it is first necessary to look at how international music festivals contribute negatively to the environment, then the processes that organisers and attendees can put in place to reduce this will be evaluated. In recent years there has been an increased interest from event’s organisers, and especially music festival organisers, in achieving sustainability (Mair & Laing ,2012). It can be argued that this interest manifests from many different sources including personal values of the organisers, demand for greening from ...view middle of the document...

It can be seen music festivals have already started to implement changes conscious of environmental impact. Music festivals appeal to a large number of consumers and are therefore a lucrative medium through which to spread the message of environmentalism. Festival Republic (the producers of large festivals such as Reading and Leeds) were early advocators of sustainability employing one of the first dedicated sustainability managers (Julie’s Bicycle, 2011). Leeds festival achieved an 18% decrease in waste emissions due to 42% of waste recycled in 2010 compared to 34% in 2009 earning the festival a 1 star Industry Green in its first year of assessment (Leeds Festival, 2010). Despite this there was an increase in audience travel emissions meaning relative primary carbon emissions increased. This shows that despite encouragement audience travel is one of the hardest areas to address as ultimately it is out of the immediate control of organisers. This is also made worse by the fact most festivals are held on Greenfield sites, meaning they do not lie conveniently on public transport routes (Atkinson, 2010). Organisers of the Glastonbury Festival claim to understand that such a large audience (up to 200,000) can have a negative impact on the local area, so they aim to make the festival one of the greenest and cleanest events anywhere in the world (Royal Geographical Society, 2010). It works in partnership with Greenpeace, promotes the ‘leave no trace message’ and the “Glastonbury Festival Green Traveller” has been created to give incentives for people who travel by public transport (Green Glastonbury, 2014). Showing even the largest event can set good industry standards.
Although music festivals have come a long way in implementing their ‘green’ policies over the past 10 years, it can be seen there are three main issues that need to be addressed namely audience travel, waste management, and energy supplies. According to Julie’s Bicycle moving people to and from festivals contributes 68% of the festival sector's total emissions. Examples from festivals such as Latitude can be implemented across all festivals in order to reduce travel emissions, the festival offers chances to win a VIP upgrade for those who chose to lift-share (Latitude Green, 2014). Whilst travelling by public transport is encouraged to reduce emissions for many the convenience of the car is too appealing and so encouraging lift-sharing is a good initiative. Incentivising the audience is a popular way to encourage consumers to change their behaviour at festivals. This is particularly effective with a younger audience like those seen at Reading and Leeds who are offered incentives to dispose of rubbish properly in the form of beer and money (Edwards, 2010). Putting a value on a piece of waste can effectively change the behaviour of consumers, if a cup is worth £1 then someone will pick it up, ultimately reducing waste (Grant, 2010). Forty nine per cent of the rubbish at Glastonbury...

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