Members of the Party with the Planet alliance have reignited discussions around how to tackle the serious problem of festival waste.
The alliance, led by Green Music Australia, consists of major music festivals, promoters, artists, social enterprises, and nonprofits, including Splendour in the Grass, Beyond the Valley, Strawberry Fields, B-Alternative, Bettercup and many more. Launched in 2019, Party with the Planet saw artists including Hilltop Hoods, The Veronicas and Angie McMahon encourage their fans to pledge to be more environmentally conscious at festivals.
In March this year, Green Music Australia in partnership with the NSW Environment Protection Authority held a roundtable gathering in Sydney to connect businesses and share knowledge on varied challenges and issues in waste management. Rubbish from events damages the natural environment, impacts festival sites and causes a huge headache for organisers.
Featuring guest speakers from Red Hill Entertainment (Unify Gathering, NYE on the Hill), the NSW EPA and Byron Music Festival, along with breakout sessions, the day celebrated success stories, including best practice methods for data monitoring and running reusable crockery and cup systems, as well as how to overcome hurdles to do with audience behaviour like campsite littering.
Attendees included Dark Mofo, Pangea Festival, Panama Festival, Sydney Opera House, ICC Sydney, NSW EPA, Theatre Royal Sydney and Lost Paradise.
Photos from our March roundtable. Left to right Jess Zickar (ICC), Heather Clarke (Sydney Opera House), Helen Whitkin (Plastic Free July), Bridie Moran (Green Music Australia). Photo credit: Anna Hay
"I'm loving all the good things happening [in this space]. Pangea Festival is thrilled to help support and be part of growing sustainable events across Australia and beyond," said Alison McCrindle, Pangea Festival.
"I personally loved the point made from the Dark Mofo team regarding the UN Sustainable Development Goals and how addressing social inequities is a key part of the sustainability equation,” said Jess Zickar, International Convention Centre Sydney.
“'The EPA is proud to partner with organisations like Green Music Australia to tackle single-use plastics. By working together to find innovative solutions to problems like festival waste, we can minimise environmental damage while continuing to hold world-class events,” said Liesbet Spanjaard, EPA Executive Director Engagement, Education & Programs.
The event was the third in a series of Party with the Planet roundtable events and followed a special Plastic Free Afternoon Tea held in December 2022. Together with the Sydney Opera House, Jack Johnston, Take 3 For the Sea, and Plastic Free July. Green Music Australia invited Sydney live music venue operators together to meet with companies tackling the problem of plastic waste, including a tour of Jack Johnson’s world renowned green touring operations.
Party with the Planet members learning from Jack Johnson's team!
As well as supporting industry, Green Music Australia is helping festival attendees learn how to lessen their impact. Did you know that research has found over 50% of waste generated at music festivals comes from campsite litter? The average tent is made largely of plastic and weighs approximately 3.5kg, the equivalent of 8,750 straws!
With festival patrons creating enormous amounts of waste, Green Music Australia’s new app Camping Buddy will help music fans better plan their festival campsite experience. Designed in partnership with Queensland University of Technology, the campsite planner tool uses behaviour change techniques to nudge people towards borrowing before buying and adopting other sustainable habits, like bringing their own reusable water bottle & cups and packing ’nude food.’
Currently in beta testing, Camping Buddy was recently trialled at Lost Paradise and a new update will soon be ready for testing by festival attendees.
Are you a festival or event organiser and want to join the Party with the Planet alliance? Please contact us.
This project has been supported by The NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA), and the New South Wales Government through its Environmental Trust.
The Cleaner Campsites (Camping Green) project is delivered in partnership with Queensland University of Technology and all Party With The Planet events and activations are made possible with our network of festivals and businesses, Australia-wide.