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Music events and the things they leave behind

Oct 29, 2021

The global environmental crisis is certainly not a new topic, it’s clear to see that the earth is suffering. Global temperatures have been rising gradually since 1960, how has the music industry contributed to it?

The electronic music industry has been this generation's greatest way of expression and lifeblood. There are a plethora of music festivals that happen all over the world. Though these are entertaining they cause irreversible damage to the environment. Tens of millions of people attend music festivals every year worldwide, the energy consumption and emissions from these events is a serious factor that is often overlooked. With over 800 festivals in 2018 in the U.S. alone.

Most music festivals generate an average of 106 tons (212,000 lbs) of waste per day, to put it into context, one person produces a ton of waste per year. Majority of events and festivals use fuel-powered generators for providing high energy for the events. Generators which have only 25% load capacity are being used not only causing more Co2 to be released into the atmosphere but also higher costs.

Electricity usage accounts for 65% of an event’s carbon footprint, excluding audiences’ travel, equipment and artist transportation and so on. Additionally high electricity is used for sound systems, stage lights, floodlights, camp lights, RV power, vendor power, refrigeration systems, etc. It is hard to estimate the exact energy usage per event. According to some sources it would be somewhere around 16,000 gallons of fuel-burning for a single festival.

Every year there is a constant increase in the number of attendees for an event. Using renewable sources, recyclable products and implementing new policies are important now more than ever. The only way that our beloved festivals will be able to reduce their carbon footprint is if their attendees and organizers take individual actions.

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