Music Business

Eco Revolution: Music Festivals Go Green

Screen Shot 2015-04-28 at 11.44.30 PMMusic festivals are considered by many to be the happiest places on earth. These havens of freedom, fun, and expression are the perfect chance to let go. But besides being a place to rock out and feel free, many people see them as a huge pile of trash – literally.


Guest Post by Brendan Clemente, California Roots Blogger

You see, when thousands upon thousands of people come together to experience a music festival, the amount of trash generated can be pretty massive. Not to mention, people fly from all over the world and even drive across entire countries to attend them. Hosting a big and successful music festival can potentially create quite the ‘carbon footprint.’

The good news? Being ‘in-tune’ with the environment is turning into a major priority for some of these festivals. It’s amazing to see how festivals are reacting, and spending thousands upon thousands of dollars making sure that they do everything in their power to offset any potentially negative environmental impact on our beautiful earth. This trend may not be as big as many would hope, but let the following festivals act as proof that someone cares. These three very different and very unique festivals right here in California all take a very serious approach to greening. 

California Roots

This rapidly growing festival in Monterey, CA is held inside the very same fairgrounds the famous Monterey Pop Festival was held back in 1967. When Jimi Hendrix first torched his guitar on stage in Monterey, a revolution of love began.

Screen Shot 2015-04-28 at 11.51.30 PM

The love continues to flow here, as tens of thousands of people come each Memorial Day Weekend and appreciate good vibes. With some of the biggest names in reggae, as well as many other genres of positive music, California Roots has turned into an impressive and beautiful mecca of happiness.

The founders of this festival are committed to leaving the gorgeous fairgrounds just as nice as they found them. Long distance shuttles, compostable dishware, bike and skate valet, free refillable water stations, local food, and even people to help you place your trash in the right bin–this all works toward the festival founders’ aim at being a zero-waste event. 

'The greening of a festival is challenging, but we are committed to improving every year.   When we first set out to green our festival we started small by working with the Offset Project to help sort landfill, recyclables and compostables.  Each year we've added new elements to lessen our impact on Mother Earth and will continue to do so until we are completely Zero-Waste event.  We appreciate everyones help in achieving this goal.'–California Roots Co-Founder, Dan Sheehan


The now world-famous festival boasts some of the biggest names in every genre from hip hop to indie. April 10-12 and 17-19 this year will bring two weekends of music and fun for hundreds of thousands of people in California from all over the world.

They are committed to reducing their carbon footprint in some of the most entertaining ways you can imagine. With everything from a “Recyclosaurus Rex’ that eats your empty bottles, to charging your cell phone by pedaling a bicycle, they make an effort to reduce waste in fun ways. It’s no easy task greening such an enormous event, but it’s great to see that they care enough to put creative thought into developing ways to make it clean and conscious.

Lightning In a Bottle 

Also known as ‘LIB’, this festival takes place between May 21st and 25th. The musical vibes are certainly on point here, as some of the best DJ’s in the world come each year to rock out with thousands upon thousands of festival-goers.

One of the coolest things about this festival is its effort to educate attendees. ‘The Temple’, or ‘The Temple of Consciousness’, is a place in the heart of the festival where people gather to listen to visionaries, teachers, healers, activists and more. This unique environment aims to leave visitors with more knowledge and a better understanding of culture, spirit, science and ecology. Along with free water, LIB encourages a ‘take-in take-out’ trash policy and uses solar energy to power stages when possible.


Many music festivals are working tirelessly toward doing what’s right for the environment and making sure they work to be sustainable. The fact that more and more festival organizers are heeding the call to environmental awareness is a wonderful step, and pushes a unique and creative balance in the way festivals are run. 

Festivals like the ones listed are just a fraction of thousands from all over the world doing amazing things to create greener environments. Lots of the ideas and programs implemented by these micro-communities could truly benefit all forms of communities, not just temporary ones.

In addition to music festivals, it is as much our responsibility as individuals to take a step back and do what we can to preserve the brilliant world we live in. Let the natural beauty of our surroundings bring about the desire to truly change for the better.

Share on: