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Top 5 Green Festivals in 2020

23rd February 2020 Print

Every year we’re offered an exciting selection of festivals to choose from around the world. Avid festival goers and music lovers will have their own personal favourites, with tickets selling out almost instantly. However, over recent years there’s been a drive for eco-friendly festivals, so this begs the question, what are the big festivals doing to become green? Here, we’ll explore the best five green festivals to look out for this year.

Glastonbury, England

Turning 50 this year, Glastonbury is held at Worthy Farm and is the UK’s best-known music festival. Attracting 203,000 people in 2019, there are bigger capacity plans for the festival in June. However, while the media often reports on the rubbish left at the festival, it is in fact an eco-friendly occasion in many ways.  Each attendee is required to sign a Green Pledge when they pay for their ticket, stating they’ll recycle, bag up rubbish, use the toilets correctly and avoid single-use packaging wherever possible. 

Back in 2014, 54 per cent of the waste produced on site was recycled, while in 2018, 132 tonnes of food waste was turned into compost.  

Burning Man, America

2020’s Burning Man festival is from 30th August – 7th September, and is expected to be the biggest yet. While crowds continue to grow, the culture of the festival remains the same. Since its beginnings as a simple burning effigy on a San Francisco beach in 1986, crowds have flocked each year to the now full-blown festival. With attendances continuing to grow, organisers have agreed to a cap of 80,000 partygoers to ensure the negative environmental impact risks are limited. 

As well as this, the project has set three broad goals to be achieved over the next 10 years:

- Create a net positive ecological and environmental impact

- Handle waste ecologically

- Remove more carbon from the environment than we put into it

By setting these achievable goals, the festival is certainly showing that it has the planet’s interests at the forefront of its planning and you can view its 2030 Environmental Sustainability Roadmap.

Green Man, Wales

Just what it says on the tin. This festival is ‘green’. No straws have been used in the bars since 2007, and to buy a drink at the bar you must purchase a reusable stacking cup first. Also, for glitter lovers, you will only be decorated in biodegradable glitter made from plant cellulose and metallised aluminium by face painters.

In regard to food, all tea, coffee, sugar, and bananas are Fairtrade, while meat and fish products must reach standard levels. Mobile phones can be charged via solar panels, while portable generators will also be providing power supplies. 

GM20, held in the Brecon Beacons between 20-23 August, is expected to top last year’s showing, which saw Four Tet, Father John Misty, and Stereolab among the headliners. This year will see the likes of Little Dragon, Mac Demarco, and Michael Ki-Wanuka perform. 

Secret Solstice, Iceland

Fancy trekking a little further out? Take in the magnificent scenery on offer in Iceland. Between 26-28 June, Reykjavík plays host to Secret Solstice with artists such as TLC, Primal Scream, and Cypress Hill headlining. 

In recent years, organisers have gone above and beyond in their efforts to reduce their carbon footprint. This has seen them incorporate the use of geothermal energy, hybrid vehicles, and intensive recycling programs, leading to the event being certified as CarbonNeutral.  

We Love Green, France

Over the last few years, this festival has become one of the most popular in France. The Parisian festival, held on 6-7 June, prides itself on being music-led but with a committal to the environment — as the name suggests. Taking place in the woods of the Bois de Vincennes, the city’s largest public park, it’s a picturesque venue perfect for an eco-friendly festival.  This year sees Lana Del Rey, Wizkid, Bad Bunny, and Disclosure amongst the headliners. 

We Love Green’s website claims that it is ‘a celebration, influencing audiences, raising awareness and changing behaviours. The program offers a range of insightful activities including discussions and workshops on sustainable living’.

With a plethora of festivals to choose from, why not do something different and go green?