Written by Katie Stalker via

Summer time is synonymous with being outdoors – and what better way than to be listening to your favourite music, surrounded by those you love? Festivals are an all-age friendly way to indulge your fun side, but these events are a huge undertaking on the areas that host them. Festival Vision: 2025 is a shared vision for a sustainable festival industry. It was conceived as part of The Show Must Go On report, a festival industry response to the 2015 global climate change talks in Paris, proving that festivals are more green than ever.

We round up the greenest parties to attend this year, based on what they’re doing to minimize environmental damage and plastic waste – for a truly positive weekend in the sun.


Headline Act: Runs on 10o% renewable energy
Line-Up: Jake Bugg, Benedict Cumberbatch and Helen Pankhurst

Hay festival is the UK’s leading literature and arts festival, bringing together readers and writers from around the world to share stories, inspire, and debate society’s most important issues. This year, it is running on 100% renewable electricity, making it cleaner and greener than ever before. For this year’s Forum they bring you four events focusing on the way we produce, supply and regulate the food we eat, and finish with a debate about the future for our energy production.Plus, The Hay Festival Foundation is a registered charity created to support the aims of the Festival in Britain and internationally, so you can attend various festival sites from Wales to Mexico – just consult their website for the dates.


Headline Act: Plastic-straw free
Line-Up: Guns’n’Roses, Ozzy Osbourne and Marilyn Manson

Earlier this month Download Festival, one of the Vision:2025 festivals pledged to tackle their CO2 footprint with Powerful Thinking, announced the major improvements being made to this year’s festival to make it the greenest Download yet. At last year’s festival there was a decrease in the overall carbon footprint by 96 tonnes of CO2e compared to 2016. For this year they’ve introduced carbon balancing by adding £1 to the cost of all parking passes, which will be donated to the charity Energy Revolution, who balance travel by investing in renewable energy projects. This is on top of all their other current travel initiatives with Big Green Coach, Liftshare and shuttle buses to encourage the reduction of traffic coming to the site. For 2018, food traders are not allowed to use single use plastic cutlery or food containers – and they are ahead of the curve in having banned plastic straws since 2016. So you can rock out to acts such as Guns’n’Roses and Ozzy Osbourne, safe in the knowledge that you’re helping to impact change.


Headline Act: Disposable-plastic free
Line-Up: Nubiyan Twist, The Last Poets and Thom Ashworth

Shambala is committed to being as environmentally sustainable as possible – it’s in their DNA – and their green credentials are considered pioneering, Europe-wide. The festival has reduced the carbon footprint of the festival by over 80%, achieved 100% renewable power, become meat and fish free and eradicated disposable plastics. No drinks are sold in disposable plastics, they have only reusable bar cups across the festival and there are no plastic straws. No food is served in plastic and you won’t find single sachet sauces. They encourage ‘Shambalans’ to bring their own reusable hot cups, and charge a 25p levy per drink for disposable hot cups – which goes towards getting them properly recycled. There’s no plastic glitter, and they are now even using reusable cable ties. Plus, there’s music from legends to rising stars, and an array of green-focused workshops and activities.


Headline Act: CO2-balancing and energy-efficient
Line-Up: Chaka Khan, Mura Masa and Silk City

Another festival that is part of the Energy Revolution initiative, thanks to all of the people who balanced their Bestival journey in 2017 they saved 12,420 kg of CO2 – the equivalent of 40,228 fossil-fuel travel miles! The balancing donations went to powering a community owned wind turbine in the Forest of Dean, installing solar PV systems to feed renewable power to the grid, and helping to install biomass-heating systems in charity-owned outdoor pursuit centres in Scotland. It is also proud to team up with My Cause UK volunteers once again to run the Eco Bond scheme – an initiative to keep Bestival tidy. Every volunteer that signs up with My Cause UK gets the opportunity to choose a charity they want to support – simply by giving a few hours of their time at the festival.

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