Happy Earth Day: Top 5 Music Festivals Free of Single-Use Plastics

Earth Day 2024 theme is Planet vs. Plastics. Photo courtesy of earthday.org.

April 22nd is global Earth Day! To celebrate, here’s 5 of the best music festivals free from single-use plastics.

What is Earth Day?

You’ve probably heard of Earth Day before and have seen some advertising around it. Likely you never paid much attention to the noise. It’s just a PR thing anyway, right? For me the day had always seemed like a harmless yet ineffective way to help the environment. This was my (uninformed) opinion for a long time.

My perspective has since changed — Earth Day Network isn’t messing around.

An organization hell bent on moving mountains, specifically those mountains of trash and getting them cleaned up. Since the first edition back on April 22nd, 1970, the network now has a presence in 192 countries, with 15 million cleanup volunteers, and has planted 100s of millions of trees. They’re not lying when they say Earth Day has evolved into the biggest civic event on earth. This is no PR stunt, that’s for sure.

Planet vs. Plastics

This year’s theme is Planet vs. Plastic — highlighting the impact of plastic on human and ecosystem health. To celebrate, I’ve compiled five music festivals which are embracing environmentalism and going single-use plastic free. These single-use plastics are especially harmful to the environment and wasteful even if they are ultimately recycled (which is far from a certainty).

Learn more about the Planet vs. Plastics theme and volunteer opportunities here.

Keep in mind, being single-use plastic-free is one dimension of making music festivals environmentally friendly. Food, energy, water and waste management, and transportation are all important facets contributing to the overall impact of a large-scale music event.

When it comes to greenhouse gas emissions for example, your mode of transportation to the festival is often most impactful. Make sure to investigate all your transportation options this festival season. You never know, you could end up on a rave train in Belgium heading to Paradise City.

Paradise City is embracing the Earth Day ideals

Location: Brussels, Belgium

Date: June 28-30

Lineup: Marlon Hoffstadt, Bonobo, ANOTR, DJ Gigola

On that note, Paradise City Festival just outside of Brussels is my first recommendation. Winning the coveted International Greener Festival Award at this year’s AGF Awards, PCF doesn’t mess around either when it comes to being sustainable. Don’t forget Paradise City is also known for their eco-friendly transportation options including a fully equipped rave train to the festival.

We Love Green is calling from Paris

Location: Paris, France

Date: May 31 – June 2

Lineup: Peggy Gou, Kenya Grace, Kaytranada, L’Impératrice

Keep your eyes peeled as UgS will be coming out with an intriguing deep dive on We Love Green Festival this spring. Especially with the summer Olympics coming to Paris in July and August, the city should be buzzing all summer with quality events and proper music.

Tying back to the eco theme, We Love Green stands true to the name. With a vegan food court, tons of environmentally focused lectures and other initiatives, this festival should be a fun opportunity for those embracing Earth Day.

Earth Day from Santiago?

Location: Santiago, Chile

Date: May 3-4

Lineup: Dax J, Sara Landry, Anfisa Letyago

Not too far from Paris you’ll stumble along the canals of Amsterdam and DGTL Festival. Unfortunately their 2024 event just happened at the end of March, so you’ll have to wait until next spring to appreciate the vibes. Luckily for you DGTL is now a global operation. From Amsterdam to Sao Paulo and most importantly Santiago this May. Check out their website to see how DGTL is aiming to be the most sustainable festival on the planet.

An event of epic proportions: Boomtown Fair

Location: Hampshire, United Kingdom

Date: August 7-11

Lineup: TBD (but rest assured it’ll be good)

Boomtown is not for the faint of heart. A festival of gargantuan proportions, this 5-day event brings more than 60,000 festivalgoers to the green Hampshire grounds every summer. Boomtown Fair should be a bucket list item for anyone who appreciates good music in a crazy festival atmosphere. If curious, read this gonzo piece of a first-hand experience of the 2019 Boomtown Fair.

However, with more people the more important it is to keep on those sustainability initiatives. Along with compostable food and drink serve ware, the festival has a bold climate commitment aiming for net zero scope 1 & 2 GHG emissions by 2026.

Earth Garden on the Maltese Isles

Location: Ta’ Qali National Park, Malta

Date: June 6-9

Lineup: Gentleman’s Dub Club, Groove Armada, Infected Mushroom

A staple in the Maltese festival scene, Earth Garden is the hippy’s dream. Located in the Ta’ Qali National Park, the psychedelic atmosphere and natural surroundings seem to elevate the moods of all who attend.

Those lucky enough to attend in 2023 enjoyed incredible reggae and dub, house and disco, techno, and best of all psy trance from legends Hilight Tribe. Always a perfect launching point to start the summer season, this year’s edition should be no different. Just make sure not to lose your reusable cup and enjoy the adventure.

Festival season is nearly here

Everything you need to know about the best festivals are in our festival section. If you wan’t to keep up-to-date with all things Underground Sound and festivals, then join our Telegram Squad.

Written by Louis Rouffaud

Louis Rouffaud is a sustainability professional with a Master in Sustainability and Energy Management from Bocconi University, writing content on sustainability in the music industry. He is also a hip-hop and R&B enthusiast.

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