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Can music festivals be truly sustainable?

The annual Coachella Music Festival has attracted more than 250,000 people in recent years, right on the water Edge – the scarce Indio Valley desert ecosystem in Southern California. The sheer number of attendees generates over 1,250 tons of waste per year within the venue and campsite. The onus to reduce this falls on all involved: creating a more sustainable experience depends on the actions of the individuals who attend the festival, and how Coachella has succeeded in creating a system where sustainable choices are enough Easy, non-disruptive for those looking for weekend freedom, parties and musical connection.

As many participants acknowledged, it’s a delicate line. “The resource operations team is at the heart of Coachella’s waste diversion operations,” says Sunny Sohrabian, former manager of environmental sustainability projects and initiatives at AEG, the entertainment group behind the festival. The team operates 24/7 and covers everything from putting trash bags into compaction trucks, to setting up about 6,000 trash pens, to quickly disposing of the bins. become full. “Most people might consider the work we do to be dirty and unfulfilling, but our department provides a vital service that contributes to the overall success of the festival,” said Chantal Stamp Resource Team Director said Brian Valdez.

“Our team is primarily BIPOC and most of our team members come from the local community,” Stamp added. “Our team members understand the impacts of climate change and pollution, especially on frontline communities as they experience them, as most of them come from historically marginalized communities.” While Coachella’s resource operations The sector’s pride in their work is palpable, but it also highlights the timeless fundamental fact that those who bear the least responsibility for the climate crisis or environmental harm often lead the way in solving the problem because it directly harms their communities. .

Galilee Center is a support A local nonprofit for vulnerable children and families, festival goers who have received over 000 tons of sleeping bags, coolers, tents and clothing that would otherwise have been sent to the landfill over the years, Pass it back to the local community. “I am grateful for the positive impact their donations have had on our efforts to help low-income families in the East Coachella Valley,” said Gloria Gomez, the organization’s CEO.

But even the more attractive sustainable development plans face up the challenge. How do you inspire a primarily music audience to take the time to learn about sustainability? The Global Succession Team is keen to try this question every year as the project continues to grow and attract more participants. This year, they gamified their recycling system for attendees, who can win artist guest passes by making environmental concept art. At their pop-up recycling shop, attendees can win instant VIP upgrades, 250 Coachella merch, vintage Coachella posters, and entry to two Sweepstakes of VIP passes as currency.



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