Sharing inspiring stories for eco living and green innovation


As the summer months approach, so does festival season. Festivals are a great way to enjoy the warm weather, listen to good music, and spend time with friends and family – what’s not to like? However for the more environmentally-minded, this may be an activity that does not seem to align with sustainable living. Many of us have heard the horror stories of the debris left behind at some festivals and the impact they can have on the local area. Yet fear not! Here is a small guide to some festivals around the UK that focus themselves around sustainability and protecting our environment.

Glastonbury Festival, Glastonbury (21 – 25 Jun)

Despite its size and the inevitable impact that Glastonbury will have on its surrounding environment, the festival itself has a very green philosophy. The main motto of ‘Love the farm, leave no trace’ holds a strong message for Glastonbury’s principles and initiatives. In 2019 single-use plastics were banned across the site and the solar farm that covers Worthy Farm’s cow sheds powers the farm, festival offices, and production area using renewable energy. As well as internal efforts to ensure sustainable production, over the years Glastonbury has donated millions of pounds to partners at Greenpeace, Oxfam and Wateraid⁴.

Green Gathering Festival, Chepstow (3 – 6 Aug)

This off-grid festival centres itself around sustainable living. Along with music and entertainment, this festival offers health & healing, crafts, talks and workshops with the Permaculture Community providing ideas and tools for living sustainably. From how to set up a food co-op to making natural toiletries, this community hub is a ‘thriving hub of interactive fun and learning’¹.

Shambhala Festival, Northamptonshire (24 – 27 Aug)

Having already reduced the festival’s carbon footprint by 90%, achieved 100% renewable energy, become meat, fish & dairy-free, and eradicated single-use plastics, it is clear that Shambhala is deeply committed to being a sustainable, net-positive, respectful festival². The ‘Green Shambhala’ campaign also heavily encourages those coming to the festival to follow these same commitments. Whether it be through providing ample information or preparing low-impact travel options for the festival goers (such as the biofuel shuttle bus from the train station), Shambhala makes sustainable fun accessible to all.

Boomtown Festival, Winchester (9 – 13 Aug)

Boomtown’s ongoing storyline reflects the process of industrialisation & globalisation, and the consequential social & environmental fallout. This ‘parallel world’ is used to ‘confront society as we know it and inspire a better reality’³. A large part of this is Boomtown’s Green Mission that is committed to a circular festival and net zero scope 1 & 2 GHG emissions by 2026. Some of the initiatives involved in this are the Eco Bond which is a refundable deposit that you can receive from your ticket in exchange for a bag of litter that has been picked up at the festival, and also the Big Boomtown Bike Ride. In 2019 the principal campaign was to encourage festival goers to take their tents home. Headlining artists helped to spread the message, and a video informing the crowds how much environmental damage can be caused at festivals when litter is left behind was played at both of the main stages during the closing ceremonies. Despite its size, this festival is community driven and its ethos can be felt throughout.

Green Man Festival, Brecon Beacons (17 – 20 Aug)

Green Man Festival is an opportunity to reconnect with the natural world. Although it is officially a four-day long event, festival goers are welcomed to arrive a few days earlier to explore the surrounding scenery. Sustainability is a fundamental part of the festival being a founding supporter of Vision 2025 pledging to reduce their environmental impact by 50% by 2025. Along with locally sourced food & drink, reusable & compostable cups and cutlery, and compostable toilets, one of Green Man’s most notable environmental efforts is its collaboration with Help Refugees and Newport to Calais Aid Collective. This campaign collects unwanted, undamaged camping equipment and spare food, and donates to these organisations. Not only does this initiative help refugees in need, but it also assists in reducing the amount of waste sent to landfill after festivals. 

In addition to this shortlist of sustainable festivals we recommend checking out Tentshare, a platform through which users can lend and rent tents creating a sustainable camping community. 

¹ Permaculture. What’s On? The Green Gathering Festival. Available at: Accessed: 16/05/23

² Green Shambhala. Shambala Festival. Available at: Accessed: 16/05/23

³ Tickets. Boomtown Fair. Available at: Accessed: 16/05/23
⁴ Our Green Policies. Glastonbury Festival. Available at: Accessed: 17/05/23