San Francisco, United States || 10 to 12 August
At the city’s largest music festival, compostable cutlery and food containers will help divert over 90% of waste away from landfills and towards recycling initiatives. Concertgoers can refill reusable bottles at water stations, pick up organic produce at the farmers’ market and learn about how to compost at urban gardening workshops. Festival headliner and environmental campaigner Janelle Monáe will certainly approve.
Wales, United Kingdom || 16 to 19 August
Two party essentials will be given an eco-makeover at Wales’ biggest festival: All the craft beer and cider served will be sourced locally, and only biodegradable glitter will be allowed. Social media addicts will love the bicycle-powered phone chargers on site, while fitness fanatics can bliss out with outdoor yoga. Welsh singer Cate Le Bon’s return to Green Man’s solar-powered stage will mark her only festival performance this year.
Northamptonshire, United Kingdom || 23 to 26 August
This pint-sized electronic music festival, which will feature artists like Kolinga and Old Baby Mackerel, preaches and practises radical sustainability. Here, you’ll find solar panels and composting toilets, as well as organic and plant-based fare (including vegan beer). About the only carbon emissions Shambala generates come from travel, so public transport and carpooling are encouraged.
Bali, Indonesia || 20 to 21 July
With its palm trees and radiant sunsets, Potato Head Beach Club is a sensational setting for this festival. But the event won’t just look and sound good – it will also do good by tackling issues such as waste management. For instance, the festival stage will be made from recycled plastic bottles, drinks will be served in biodegradable cups and eco-minded art installations will dot the grounds.
Yuzawa, Japan || 27 to 29 July
The festival’s stages will be fuelled by biodiesel and solar energy, while waste will be sorted by hand. Plus, everything from pamphlets to staff jackets will be made from recyclable materials where possible. It’s fitting, then, that Bob Dylan – who has long inspired eco-activists with his socially conscious songs – will be taking to the stage for his 101st performance in Japan.
Byron Bay, Australia || 20 to 22 July
Kendrick Lamar and Lorde will surely steal the spotlight, but the festival’s eco-friendly initiatives – from its zero-trace campground to its rainwater roof collectors – are pretty impressive, too. There’ll even be voluntary Eco Cops and Waste Warriors patrolling the grounds. Festivalgoers can get nerdy at different workshops on sustainability, or get their hands dirty by planting trees around the North Byron Parklands.
Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia || 6 to 8 July
The largest annual live music festival in Mongolia is a non-profit event held in the village of Gachuurt at the edge of Gorkhi-Terelj National Park. It’s surrounded by abundant natural beauty, including a deep glacial lake, hot springs and unique rock formations. It’s worth braving the suspension bridge and climbing the 108 steps up to the park’s Buddhist monastery, which offers views of a ger (Mongolian yurt) camp flanked by alpine peaks and meadows. The festival’s three stages will play host to both established and up-and coming-acts, while the Replay art fair will feature recycled art and fashion from local artists.
Idanha-a-Nova, Portugal || 22 to 29 July
With its “adapt to nature” philosophy, this remote lakeside festival is committed to promoting an eco-friendly lifestyle. Last year, Portugal experienced a severe drought, so the festival developed a biological water treatment system to reuse wastewater in its permaculture gardens. In addition, 70% of the festival’s stages, tents and rest areas will be made from natural and recycled materials, using pre-industrial building techniques. Bus services will be operated from Lisbon and Madrid in a bid to reduce the festival’s carbon footprint even further.
Incheon, South Korea || 10 to 12 August
Innovative waste management technology, a tree-planting campaign and fields of wildflowers have transformed the Sudokwon Landfill Site into an eco-friendly leisure destination, complete with a public golf course and sports stadium. It’s the perfect spot for this three-day rock festival, which is so named for its five pillars: music, passion, sustainability, a DIY ethos and friendship. More than 60 Korean and international acts will perform at this year’s edition, from heavy-hitting headliners to emerging bands and DJs who spin late night dance anthems.
10. Øya Festival
Oslo, Norway || 8 to 11 August
This big-hitting music festival will once again attract over 60,000 attendees with an international line-up that includes Arcade Fire, Kendrick Lamar and the Arctic Monkeys. For the first time ever, one of the festival stages will run entirely on solar energy (the rest run off the main power grid instead of inefficient generators). Free bicycle parking and tune-ups will encourage attendees to pedal to Tøyen Park, where they’ll find meat-free and sustainable organic fare and a full recycling and waste management program operated by student volunteers.
This article was originally published in the July 2018 issue of SilverKris magazine.