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Tackling music festival campground waste

Leading Australian Music festivals have come together to workshop, develop and implement ideas for tackling the growing problem of campground waste.

Following another season when campgrounds at music festivals were left strewn with rubbish, damaging precious natural environments and causing a huge headache for organisers, Green Music Australia and Music Victoria brought together representatives from Falls Festival, Lost Paradise, Unify Festival, Inner Varnika, Party in the Paddock, Rabbits Eat Lettuce, A Festival Called Panama, Strawberry Fields and Grampians Music Festival to discuss plans to proactively tackle this problem.

The festivals have committed to working together, sharing ideas, success stories and lessons learned, with active strategies to change their own practices as well as influence and encourage punters to change their behaviour.

Ideas include:
  • Getting punters to take a ‘leave no trace’ pledge at ticket purchase;
  • Banning single-use plastic items, like water bottles and cups, from festival grounds;
  • Sharing photo evidence of effective waste disposal with fans to show them that their recyclables/compostables are being dealt with properly, ie. not just dumped in landfill.

Simon Beckingham, Founder and Director of Finely Tuned said; “Team Finely Tuned, the organisers of Lost Paradise and the entire extended Lost Paradise family are excited and fully committed to collaboratively identifying and implementing solutions to encourage and assist festival attendees to evaluate and tailor what they bring to the many beautiful festival sites Australia-wide (and beyond!).”

“Particularly in today’s perceived ‘throwaway culture’ its disheartening to witness tent and shade infrastructures left behind, non eco-friendly glitter blocking water supplies and escaping into the eco-system… And as for single use plastic bottles, GRRRRR – lets collectively reduce landfill!”

Rhett McLaren, Event Director of Unify Gathering said; “Its incredible to see a collective coming together of event managers and support staff against waste created from events & festivals. This isn’t a competitive topic and is one where shared experience can bring about the biggest reduction in waste creation and increase waste recovery. I look forward to working with fellow event managers to identify best practice and sharing this knowledge to save new event & festival organisers a lot of time, money and energy by pointing them in the right direction from the start.”

Carly Flecknoe of the Grampians Music Festival said “To ensure music festivals can continue to use magical locations like the Grampians, it’s imperative that we work proactively on ways to minimise our waste footprint. We are so excited to be part of some awesome festivals who are working at grass roots levels to address this issue and share their ideas.”

Erik Lamar from Rabbits Eat Lettuce said “A shift in the collective consciousness of today’s throw away society is crucial if we wish to ensure a future for this planet. Music and Art festivals provide the perfect platform to instil this behavioural and attitude change we want to see in the world. It is reassuring to see so many festivals from around the country motivated to achieving the same environmental goals. The collaborative approach will accelerate progress in the area. With the right intention and thoughtful action anything is possible.”

The festivals and Green Music Australia welcome other festivals to join them in this effort at any stage.

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