Music Blog: How Download Festival is Turning Greener for 2018

With all the talk about plastic usage and recycling in the UK right now, alongside festival season looming, it’s good to know that some festivals are taking postive steps to go a bit greener.

From experience, a lot of festivals over the years have become a lot more conscious when it comes to recycling and waste. Many already have schemes in place.

For example, the cup recycling scheme. If you’ve ever been to a festival you will notice a plethora of children actively collecting the paper cups and cashing them in for a bit of pocket money.

There’s always a distinct lack of straws and each campsite now has recycling bins available.

Is this enough though?

Probably not as this point.

However, Download Festival is one of the festivals this year that is making more active changes to go greener.

Since 2016 Download Festival has participated in the Creative Green Certification which is an external assessment by Julie’s Bicycle, a charity who support the creative industries to act on climate change.

Download achieved an incredible four out of five stars due to last year’s environmental ethics. Which is a pretty impressive score.

At Download 2017 there was a decrease in overall carbon footprint compared to 2016, and for 2018 they have introduced carbon balancing by adding £1 to the cost of all parking passes which will be donated to the charity Energy Revolution, who invest in renewable energy projects. This is on top of current travel initiatives with Big Green Coach, Liftshare and shuttle buses to encourage the reduction of traffic coming to the site!

It’s also worth noting that in 2017, overall waste at Download Festival decreased by 61% compared to the year previous.

Download Festival is one of the few events that has introduced reusable cups and last year half a million single use cups were saved (hands up who kept theirs!), and the Deposit Return System has seen an amazing 100,000 bottles collected and recycled since 2016.

Did you also know that food traders are not allowed to use single use plastic cutlery or food containers at Download Festival either? This is alongside the plastic straw ban that has been in place since 2016.

Following this, and new for 2018, Greenpeace are hosting a brand-new campsite called Eco Camp in a beautiful part of the Donington Estate, which is home to ancient oak trees and native wildlife, and can host up to 3000 Download attendees, who value spending time in the great outdoors just as much as listening to their favourite bands.

Staying in the campsite is available at no extra cost for anyone who has purchased a valid weekend camping ticket, but they must pre-register in advance and sign up to the set of eco-principles which include respecting the natural environment and fellow campers, being responsible for their rubbish and waste.

Download aren’t the only festival jumping on the greener bandwagon though and you’ll find a lot of festivals are also taking a greener approach with their physical ticket sales. With some festivals opting for mobile tickets and RFID technology. If you think about the sheer volume of attendees for festivals, simple switches from traditional ticketing to technology based solutions would certainly have an impact. A recent survey from also showed tht 45% of ‘Generation X’ (which is the *ahem* older generation) are on board with RFID technology, which is surprising as I would have imagined they would be the harder ones to convince to go for tech at festivals!

Will Download Festival be the greenest UK Festival in 2018?