I mean, High Sierra Music Festival in northern California--sure. They just continue to get greener, including by converting used vegetable oil from their food vendors to biodiesel and using it to power their stages. And the new Green Apple Music Festival? Well of course--it's in their name!
But festivals in the middle of red states like Kansas and Tennessee?
Bonnaroo, taking place next weekend in Manchester Tennessee, is boasting a highly admirable and creative list of green initiatives, including:
They have also invited the World Resources Institute, Rock the Earth, and Natural Resources Defense Council to raise awareness among fans about simple steps they can take to help stop global warming. Given that the festival organizers, Superfly Presents, hail from New Orleans, it is fair to say that they now take global warming very seriously and want to make sure their fans do as well.
Wakarusa, occurring this weekend just outside of Lawrence, Kansas, has announced more modest initiatives, focused on the purchase of enough Green Tags, or renewable energy credits, from the Bonneville Environmental Foundation (BEF) to offset the environmental impact of powering the four-day festival. The festival organizers state that by purchasing Green Tags, which represent the real savings in carbon dioxide and other pollutants that occur when green, renewable energy replaces electricity produced by burning fossil fuel, they will offset more than 63,000 lbs. of greenhouse gasses (primarily measured as carbon dioxide).
For individual concertgoers, the festvial offers the option of "greening" their travel to and from Lawrence. Attendees can purchase Green Tags to offset the energy used to travel to the show. BEF established three levels at which people may green their travel to the event, those traveling from "near" (310 miles or less), those traveling "far" (between 310 and 960- miles), and a third option for those traveling by air. Each purchase will offset the corresponding amount of carbon dioxide that is put into the atmosphere per person during a vehicle or plane trip.
While society's current rise toward sustainability still has a long long way to go, the growing influence of the music industry as a supporter, promoter and enabler of sustainable living and business holds tremendous potential for affecting massive positive change. To realize this potential, festival organizers should make certain to incorporate an empowering and effective educational component into their greening initiatives. One that presents fresh and positive perspectives of sustainability's benefits that really hit home for a wide range of people, well beyond "The Choir". That is, help the masses of music fans understand how each green practice benefits not just the environment, but also the economy, public health and safety, national security, and quality of life.