How can I be greener at music festivals

10 Jul 2023
3 min read
People at a summer music festival

The summer music festival season is in full swing. Whether you like several stages and hundreds of acts or prefer a smaller festival in a local farmer’s field, festivals are a great opportunity to go green and small changes can make a big difference.

I live near Glastonbury and as environmental scientist I’ve witnessed the changes the Eavis family have made over the years to make Glastonbury greener and more environmentally friendly than it ever has been. The good news is though, you don’t need to be anywhere near Worthy Farm to have a green festival experience.

Resell your festival tent

Tents at a music festival

With over 250,000 tents a year ditched in the UK it’s a great way to reduce tents ending up in landfill.

There are ways to make a difference when you’re there, while you travel and even afterwards too. Outdoor and sports retailer has launched an initiative to buy back tents with their ‘no tent left behind’ campaign.

With over 250,000 tents a year ditched in the UK – many of them at music festivals – it’s a great idea and a way to reduce tents ending up in landfill. Simply take your used tent back to your local store and the team will check it over and buy it back so it can be resold.

Organisers are doing their bit

Octopus energy built a wind turbine and installed solar panels at Glastonbury. Along with other measures, this ensured the energy needed for the site was clean and green.

Ditch the sequins

There are small changes music lovers can make to how they attend too, sequins are plastic and a lot of festival goers love glitter – but you can get biodegradable versions of both very easily which won’t harm the environment.

Leave plenty of time to queue for the loo

We all know about festival toilets but peeing in rivers is a pollutant so make sure you leave yourself enough time to queue before things get desperate.

When it comes to toilets too, lots of festival goers prefer to bring their own toilet roll, if this is you, why not use bamboo toilet paper which is better for the environment, or there are toilet roll companies who invest profits into building hygiene solutions and toilets in third world countries.

Try something different

Vegetarian food at a music festival

If you’re normally a carnivore why not give some veggie food a go?

There are always amazing food stalls at festivals and a lot of them are vegan, veggie and plant based – if you’re normally a carnivore why not give some veggie food a go? The likelihood is that you’ll surprise yourself with how tasty it is.

Travel together

Sustainable choices can start before you get there too, there are lift share apps and some of the bigger festivals give discounts for train and coach travel to encourage revellers to keep the carbon footprint of the festival down. Where you can, share travel to keep costs and carbon emissions down.

Whether they’re big or small, lots of festivals have talks by people who know what they’re talking about when it comes to the environment, green issues, sustainability and climate change – why not attend one and bring a friend to see what you can learn?

Try volunteering

For festivals where tickets are often a sell out, lots of charities – including green and environmental ones – will give you free tickets if you volunteer for them.

Water Aid and Greenpeace have this initiative in place for Glastonbury. Oxfam are a great place to start looking.

Finally, support the small guys – there are niche festivals that happen across the country where smaller venues and farmers are doing their best to showcase music and talent and producers from their area, why not see what you can find?

Who knows, you might be able to find a festival round the corner where you can walk home afterwards and won’t even need a tent.


The information in this article was correct at the time of writing and is provided for guidance only. Please see the full disclaimer in our terms and conditions.

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