Are you looking for a travel experience that’s not only enjoyable but also responsible? Sustainable travel festivals may be just what you’re looking for.
Festivals are an exhilarating way to celebrate music, arts, culture, and community. However, as we become more conscious of our impact on the environment, it’s crucial to consider sustainable alternatives.
From renewable energy sources to waste reduction initiatives, the 7 events that we listed below are leading the way in creating memorable experiences while minimizing your carbon footprint.
DGTL Festival Amsterdam – Netherlands
29-31 March 2024
Born in Amsterdam in 2013, DGTL has now grown into becoming a global brand with editions in Tel Aviv (IL), Mumbai, New Delhi (IN), Santiago (CL), São Paulo (BR).
Featuring impressive stages within raw, industrial settings, DGTL is partnering with the best VJs and create mesmerising light effects and visuals. In addition to celebrating electronic music and art, DGTL is a space for experiments and exploration of revolutionary sustainability projects. DGTL is highly aware of its environmental impact and aims to be the most sustainable festival on the planet and invests heavily in reducing carbon footprint. Not only is the festival known for its plant-based food court and being free of single-use plastics, DGTL became fully sustainable and circular in 2022.
DGTL Amsterdam 2024 is back on March 29, 30 & 31th! Get ready for the whirlwind of artists that they’ve got aligned for you.
The Green Gathering (UK)
3-6 August 2023
The Green Gathering is held in Piercefield Park, NP16 6BE. Piercefield Park is just outside Chepstow, a Welsh border town full of history and charm yet easily accessible. Chepstow has a busy train station and is close to the M4, just 18 miles from Bristol and 125 miles from London.
The site is a mile or so from town, on a hill with spectacular views across the Severn estuary and Wye Valley. The neoclassical ruins of Piercefield House provide an atmospheric backdrop.
The surrounding countryside – complete with ancient woodland, standing stones, grottoes, look-outs and caves – is a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).
The Green Gathering is proud to be the original off-grid festival – all its electrical needs are met renewably. Whether you’re travelling by bus, train, bicycle, car or truck there’s info for you about greening up, making your journey more fun, and cutting costs too.
The organizers are also asking everyone to try and take at least one step (and hopefully some can take a giant leap) to make their travel greener this year.
Øya Festival – Norway
8-12 August 2023
Øya Festival or in Norwegian Øyafestivalen is one of the world’s greenest events. The festival stands out for its environmental initiatives, including offering only vegetarian and vegan food options, generating renewable energy on-site, and reducing waste through extensive recycling and composting facilities.
During the few weeks Øyafestivalen takes place in Tøyenparken, it feels like a small city. With roughly 20 000 inhabitants, offices, roads, toilets, restaurants, police officers, a library, street lights, renovation, nature, culture, bike parking, stores and meeting points. This makes our festival the perfect arena to showcase new technologies, and test new, sustainable solutions.
All food packaging is compostable (and is turned into biogas after the event) and all drinking beverages are reusable cups. And 98% of all audience arrive by walking, biking or using public transportation.
Shambala Festival – UK
24-27 August 2023
Shambala prides itself on being one of the most environmentally friendly festivals around. They focus on zero waste, encourage attendees to car-share, and even measure and offset their carbon emissions. Shambala also promotes sustainable food practices by offering vegetarian and vegan options.
From Congo Natty to Say She She, L’Entourloop to The Go! Team, Grove to Fabio & Grooverider, and Chali 2na to Dutty Moonshine Big Band, 2023 is set to be a blinder.
Boom Festival – Portugal
20-27 July 2023
Boom Festival brings together music, art, and sustainability in the idyllic Portuguese countryside. With a focus on ecological practices, the festival uses renewable energy and prioritizes waste reduction and recycling. Boom also promotes permaculture and hosts workshops and talks on sustainable living, making it an enriching experience for attendees.
Boom won the International Greener Water and Sanitation Award 2022. It is the 10th environmental award Boom gets since 2008. The award is received thanks to the 100% compost toilets that use no chemicals, permanent showers built with recycled materials, separation of toilet liquids and solids — using the solids for compost to fertilise the site, and a brand new on-site water treatment station that can process up to 7 million litres of grey water for reuse on site… Boom really pulls out all the stops and then some when it comes to water and sanitation!
Pohoda Festival – Slovakia
5-8 July 2023
Recognized as Europe’s most environmentally-friendly festival, Pohoda Festival in Slovakia attracts hardcore eco-warriors seeking a sustainable and immersive experience. With a rich history spanning over 25 years, Pohoda has consistently prioritized progressive environmental actions. This open-air festival takes pride in its innovative initiatives, including water-saving vacuum toilets, electric car charging stations, compostable dishes, reusable cups, and a mobile solar power station.
The festival, which is taking place at the Trenčín airport, covers a total area of 72 hectares.
Glastonbury Festival – UK
21-25 June 2023
One of the world’s most famous music festivals, Glastonbury, is also a frontrunner in sustainable practices. They have implemented measures such as banning single-use plastic bottles, promoting renewable energy sources, and providing recycling facilities throughout the festival site.
The Glastonbury Festival aims to encourage and stimulate youth culture from around the world in all its forms, including pop music, dance music, jazz, folk music, fringe theatre, drama, mime, circus, cinema, poetry and all the creative forms of art and design, including painting, sculpture and textile art.
The 2023 Glastonbury Festival of Contemporary Performing Arts took place between 21 and 25 June and followed the 2022 edition of the festival. The three headlining acts were Arctic Monkeys, Guns N’ Roses and Elton John, with Yusuf / Cat Stevens performing in the Legends slot.
Attending festivals no longer means turning a blind eye to our environmental impact. The seven festivals highlighted in this article prove that it is possible to merge entertainment and sustainability. By encouraging waste reduction, promoting renewable energy sources, supporting local communities, and educating attendees about sustainable practices, these festivals are leading the way towards a greener and more responsible future. So go ahead and enjoy the music, the art, and the atmosphere, all while making a positive impact on the planet.