A wave of climate-conscious initiatives has been sweeping the music events space. DJs, pop stars and rock stars alike are driving the mission to make music planet-friendly. With their unique ability to bring people together both physically and emotionally, they are a vital part of keeping the environmental movement energised and motivated. Music activism! We’ve rounded up some of our favourites….
Coalition is fundamental
Key players in the music world are coming together with a shared love for people, the planet and animals, to transform the music business and create events that OG Woodstock hippies would be proud of.
Music Declares Emergency is a coalition of music industry giants, like Warner Music, and is in discussion with the European Union to plan campaigns around COP 26 (where global administrations will be renewing their Paris Agreement commitments) and ensure that governments are held accountable to meet those commitments. Their “No Music on a Dead Planet” campaign was bolstered by global superstars like Billie Eilish and 1975.
Music X Green is an online directory for projects across the music industry focused on sustainability. You will find everything from eco-friendly wristbands (complete with seeds to plant post-event) to a report on the carbon footprint of music streaming. The site lists numerous sustainability consultants who can advise events on how they can reduce their carbon emissions and waste and put together an eco-friendly event to remember.
Climate Live, led by Fridays for Future, is a global youth organisation with events planned in 40 countries in 2021, primarily in the lead up to COP 26. Supported by DJs BLOND:ISH and Ida Engberg, they aim to Engage, Educate and Empower a massive audience of music lovers and would-be activists.
Bye Bye Plastic, created by the aforementioned DJ Vivie-Ann aka BLOND:ISH, is a non-profit team of global music professionals on a mission to wipe out single-use plastic across the whole industry. Their suite of green initiatives includes an Eco Rider (put your hands in the air for single-use plastic-free DJ booths!), Plastic Footprint Calculator and consultancy services.
Innovation in Asia
From the trailblazers at Wonderfruit to Singapore’s Garden Beats, festivals in Asia have been especially innovative when putting the planet first. Eradicating single-use plastic is old news and a total shift towards sustainability and carbon neutrality is in full swing. Conscious festival planners are taking a broad look at the impact of each element of their events – everything from reusable or rented cups to upcycled art installations is an opportunity to turn a once-wasteful industry into a leading example of how to do business right.
And it’s not just the event space going through a transformation, the underground scene is going sustainable too. Hong Kong-based, FuFu Records launched their latest project in March ’21, Project 88 – Double Happiness, in partnership with the NGO, One Tree Planted, with a goal of planting at least 880 trees. 80% of the sales revenue will support reforestation and rebuild the habitat of critically endangered species,
But how does the rest of the world, and in particular Europe, measure up?
Europe is the festival capital of the world, home to some of the biggest attractions like Glastonbury and Tomorrowland. Drawing much bigger audiences than their Asian counterparts, festivals in Europe can either have a much bigger negative impact on the environment or a positive one.
In an effort to reduce the more than 23,000 tons of waste produced by music festivals in the UK annually, Glastonbury does have some measures in place like compostable food containers as well as festival attendees being asked to ‘leave no trace’ by taking their trash home. Belgium’s Tomorrowland is also making moves towards lowering its impact by using low-energy power generators to reduce fossil fuel consumption. The usual chemical toilets have been replaced with vacuum versions, saving around 7.5 litres of water peruse. The large scale events still have a way to go on their journey to responsible revelry so we have compiled a list of events in Europe leading the charge.
Celebrating 10 years of music and environmentalism in 2021, We Love Green creates its event with 8 key sustainable principles in mind; energy, food, water, waste, transport, carbon offsetting and circularity. Expect an eclectic line up of global acts and a beautiful Parisian backdrop.
Buy tickets for the next event here.
Another eco-rave celebrating a milestone is Shambala, which has been creating a veritable utopia in the English countryside now for two decades. Celebrated for their innovative environmental policies, Shambala used the 2020 break to develop a five-year plan for environmental and social justice – 25KX25: 25,000 POSITIVE ACTIONS BY 2025.
You can buy tickets here.
As the name suggests, Green Man is an event with planet protection at its core. As well as banishing pointless plastic, powering the main stage with solar and feeding hungry fans with Fairtrade food, they gather all camping equipment left behind by hungover party goes and donate them to Help Refugees and Newport to Calais Aid Collective.
Get your ticket here.
This green gathering takes place in scenic Arhaus, Denmark. From its beginnings, Northside set itself ambitious sustainability goals and by 2017, all food, wine, champagne and coffee served was organic. Planet-conscious practices include solar and wind-powered stages and an elaborate waste management system with sixteen categories to be recycled or upcycled, with very little heading for landfill.
Tickets are available here.
Every year, Oya creates a sustainable city wonderland for their annual event in Scandi city, Olso. Working towards a festival that is renewable, plant-based and circular, organisers are committed to using their event as an opportunity to platform innovative and experimental green initiatives.
You can get your ticket here.
Yes, that’s right. Asia’s favourite conscious festival is making its European debut this summer in a dream Parisian location. Keep an eye out on our website for more details and we hope to see you there!
Music activism is growing, and when each of us do our part at these events, we can have an even bigger collective impact.
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