A Greener Festival: Bonnaroo

How Bonnaroo reduces the impact on the environment

Photographer: Marc Broussely01 June 2009

From our inception, the festival has strived to make the most sustainable choices while maintaining the ultimate experience for the fan, setting the standard in sustainability and greening practices for North American festivals.

The Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival
is committed to partnering with the fans, other festivals, musicians, the community in which we work, and artists to affect change. To take our sustainability practices to the next level the festival is a proponent of behaviour changes, long-term investments, purchasing locally, and the ripple effect of education.

Bonnaroo’s overarching sustainability principle is: local is sustainable. We will use this principle to guide our decisions for 2009 and beyond.

To further these goals the festival has:

-    Continued the festival’s long-term commitment and investment to sustainability and the environment by have a year-round Sustainability coordinator on staff.

-    Incorporated the festival’s environmental mission statement in ALL sponsorship agreements and vendor contracts. Working to further the festival’s ripple effect through our partnerships with vendors and sponsors.

-    In the ultimate outreach project the festival formed a long-term partnership with the Carbon Shredders. The goal was to get patrons to commit to reducing their carbon footprint by 10% in the coming year. For the first time ever, the festival created a year round strategy of outreach to fans through contesting, message boards, and mailers about reducing your carbon footprint. After a successful year the partnership will continue.

-    Expanding composting collection. Will increase the number of manned stations and the number of volunteers throughout the site to encourage fans to put their compostable materials in the correct collection area.

-    Bonnaroo typically recycles 3 tons of PET bottles per event. While we are proud of our high capture & recycle rate, the truth is that bottled water, even when recycled, still generates a lot of pollution and waste. This year we are introducing Bonnaroo’s Bottle-Less Water Program, powered by STANLEY ninteen13. Throughout the concert site, Bonnaroo will have multiple FREE water stations, flowing with fresh, clean drinking water.
-    In 2009 the festival will tie into the Tennessee Valley Authority electrical grid. This will reduce the use of generators on-site by 80%. Additionally it will allow us to offset our electrical consumption with local green power.

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