Merriam-Webster dictionary defines carbon-neutral as “having or resulting in no net addition of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere.” According to the United Nations, our planet must achieve carbon neutrality by 2050, and the music and live entertainment industries are contributing to that objective.
Alternative rock band Coldplay is known to have spoken with environmental professionals to commit to reducing their carbon emissions and making their tours as environmentally friendly as possible. This was executed during their March 2022 performance at Costa Rica’s National Stadium. Biofuel, featuring solar panels, kinetic dance floors, and dynamo bicycles powered the event.
Norwegian EDM and House DJ Matoma’s ‘One in a Million’ tour in 2018 focused on lowering the tour’s carbon footprint, making it not only climate neutral but also climate positive.
Looking forward to more environmentally responsible commitments, sustainable concerts, and carbon-neutral events, here are five carbon-neutral festivals around the world you should know. We’ve made sure to chronicle the steps they’ve done to attain carbon neutrality.
Doolin Folk Festival
Doolin, located in Northern Ireland, is an Irish community known for its scenic landscapes, cliffs, caves, beaches, pubs, and traditional music and folk scene. Doolin village hosts the Doolin Folk Festival, which takes place in Hotel Doolin and features local and international performances. The eighth edition, which recently concluded in June 2022, transports attendees to older times and traditions through an exhibition of music, art, and dance.
A relatively newer festival, the organizers pride themselves on their sustainability initiatives, eco-friendly practices, and carbon neutrality. The festival prohibits the use of single-use packaging or products, its wristbands are compostable, and all of the energy consumed is renewable. As planting trees is an excellent strategy to reduce carbon footprint, the organizers plant 1000 native trees on-site each year.
According to its website, Hotel Doolin, the venue of the festival, is Ireland’s first certified carbon-neutral hotel. It also won Ireland’s ‘Green Business of the Year’ award at Ireland’s Green awards 2022. As reported in the Irish Green examiner, ticket sales go directly to the artists, crew, and festival logistics.
The Flow Festival, hosted in Helsinki, Finland, is returning after a two-year hiatus due to the covid pandemic. Established in 2004, the upcoming Flow Festival will take place in Helsinki between August 12 and 14, 2022, with over 150 performers. This year’s acts include rock group Florence + the Machine, virtual alternative rock group Gorillaz, soul and funk singer-songwriter Michael Kiwanuka, DJ Koze, and many others.
It is one of the world’s first carbon-neutral festivals. Each year, they measure the total amount of the festival’s carbon footprint and strive to reduce emissions. Since 2009, the carbon footprint has been calculated in collaboration with sustainable engineering and design solutions company Pöyry (now AFRY) and compensated using approved standardized initiatives.
Flow Event’s own responsibility program, ‘Sustainable Flow,’ ensures that the festival fulfills its responsibilities relating to the environment and sustainability. Zero carbon footprint, green electricity, reusable materials, sustainable meals, and smart transport are all part of this program.
Click here to know about Flow Festival’s Green Initiatives.
Adelaide Festival of Arts is an annual cultural event held in Australia. First held in 1960, the festival featured performances by Dave Brubeck’s jazz quartet and the Sydney and Victorian symphony orchestras. The arts festival highlights a diverse range of theatrical productions, live music, dance performances, literature, and creative art exhibits.
It is also the first major arts festival in Australia to be certified carbon neutral. Adelaide Festival achieved carbon-neutral event status during its sixtieth year with Climate Active, a brand that expresses Australia’s commitment to measuring, reducing, and offsetting carbon emissions. The festival quantifies its carbon emissions and strives to reduce them wherever possible as part of its sustainable practices. The offset of these carbon emissions is invested in a wind-powered project in the state of Gujrat, India.
The DGTL festival was founded in Amsterdam in 2013. It has since expanded to include editions in other countries. Since the outset, the Dutch festival has promoted a socially conscious mindset and has continued to experiment with ways to decrease its carbon footprint. It continues to aspire to be the first circular, carbon-neutral event. You can also add your trip information on the DGLT website to see how much you may lower your carbon footprint when traveling to and from DGTL Amsterdam.
Following the lockdown, the festival planners have redesigned their events to reduce CO2 emissions and raise environmental awareness. DGTL’s initiatives to decrease carbon emissions include the use of low-emission or zero-emission machinery during production, crew cycling or carpooling whenever possible, and booking artists based in the area to reduce travel. DGTL has also partnered with the aviation company SkyNRG to replace all fossil fuels used by the artists on their flights with Sustainable Aviation Fuel.
In 2017, DGTL was recognized as Amsterdam’s most innovative and sustainable organization. A Greener Festival, a non-profit organization that helps music events become more sustainable, awarded DGTL as the world’s most sustainable festival in 2019.
Click here to read about DGTL’s sustainability framework.
Paradise City Festival
Another newcomer to the festival music scene is Paradise City. Established in 2015, it adheres to a sustainable and environmentally friendly strategy. The recent Paradise City Festival was held between July 1 and 3, 2022, in Castle Ribaucourt in Perk, Belgium.
Paradise City went to great lengths to reduce and offset the festival’s CO2 emissions. They promote carpooling and public transportation. There were advantages for carpoolers, cyclists, and public transportation users. Paradise City and Uber teamed up to transport at least three individuals in every vehicle between Brussels and Perk to reduce carbon emissions. There were train services available for attendees, as well as a free electronic bus shuttle service from the Vilvoorde train station to the venue.
A Greener Festival granted Paradise City four stars (the highest possible rating) for the second year in a row.
Download the official Paradise City Festival App by clicking here