Summer is halfway through and festival season is in full swing. Music festivals have become increasingly popular over the years. Festivals have become inclusive of music, art, comedy, food, drink and much more. They beat to the drum of their own business model, with a continuously growing ‘behind the scenes’ team. These teams are not only taking care of the consumer experience, but are focusing on taking care of the environment that the experience is based upon.
With climate change looming over us, it is hard for festival directors to look past the impact their ‘business’ may have on the environment. Many festivals have taken steps towards becoming environmentally aware. Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival and Coachella now have full-time sustainability teams that ensure the festival is doing their part to help out. Bonnaroo and Coachella publicly provide and market a detailed sustainability report once the festivities are over. The transparent business model is an approach more and more festivals are beginning to take, allowing conscious consumers to be more aware about what impact their actions have on the environment. However, not all festivals have the teams and marketing budgets to present their data in the ways that the larger festivals do.
The word sustainability has become consistent with marketing strategies today. Many companies do use sustainability and ‘transparency’ to bring awareness, while ensuring that the customer is a priority. There is no legal reporting system in place or legal environmental standard that festivals must abide by. Yet, there are companies that are starting to take steps to address these issues. ‘A Greener Festival Award’ is a non-for-profit organization that does exactly this. Festivals sign up with the organization and have an ambassador from the organization come review the in’s and out’s of their festival. The mission of the organization is to “…help music and arts events and festivals around the world adopt environmentally efficient practices.” They have created a detailed criteria that festivals must meet in order to win the award based on their overall ‘green’ performance. This organization has the ability to break down every section of the criteria, analyze the festivals practices and come up with a ranking system based on their findings. The company then provides recognition (Outstanding, Highly Commended, Commended) for the festivals that have the highest rankings.
‘A Greener Festival’ radiates positivity moving forward that the company will grow, inspire other companies and send ambassadors to North America to critique these festivals. The desire is to push these incredible festivals to work towards being the most sustainable they can be. Companies like ‘A Greener Festival’ are a step in the right direction towards transparent business models that put the environment first.