The Greenest Festival on Earth? How Coachella Is at the Forefront of Sustainability

We can say with a great degree of certainty that the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival is one of the biggest, most energetic festivals of all time. On average, around 250,000 people attend. Seriously, this is getting close to Woodstock 1969 numbers, and it’s hosted every year. But in addition to being at the forefront of culture, Coachella is also leading the festival world in sustainability and eco-friendliness.

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Image: Business Insider

Of course, it doesn’t take any stretch of the imagination to see how such a massive number of people gathered in one place, consuming, dancing, and partying, could make a mess. Coachella, however, realized this, and every year goes through great (and innovative) lengths to reduce its carbon footprint. Hypegalore will give you a little lowdown about the festival and the steps it takes to be as green as possible.

From Gig to Mega Gathering

Coachella has interesting beginnings. In 1993, due to a dispute with Ticketmaster over pricing policies, Seattle grunge icons, Pearl Jam, refused to play in L.A. Consequently, the Empire Polo Club in Indio, California, was selected as an alternate venue. The event drew in around 25,000 concert-goers, thus proving the venue was capable of hosting large gatherings.

Over the subsequent years of the 1990s, the venue hosted a few more events and started to evolve into something special. In 1999, the venue hosted its historic inaugural event. And, alas, the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival was born.

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Image: Coachella

By the time Coachella’s inaugural event rolled around, its lineup already boasted megastar artists such as Red Hot Chili Peppers and Iggy Pop. In the early 2000s, Rolling Stone labeled the venue “America’s Best Music Festival.” Fast-forward 20 years, and we expect to see Coachella 2020 feature Rage Against The Machine, Frank Ocean, and more yet-to-be-determined huge names.

In addition to live music, Coachella also exhibits art, with an emphasis on interaction. The art showcasing features a lot of installation art and sculpture. Festival attendees that have been on the frontline report that the event is a truly colorful and unique experience.

Eco-Friendliness & Sustainability

As we mentioned, huge events like this one could potentially be occasions for much environmentally hostile activity. But not Coachella. Let’s have a look at the brilliant ideas participants and organizers came up with in order to reduce the event’s carbon footprint.

The organizers of Coachella started an initiative called “TRASHed:: Art of Recycling”. The campaign was designed to push local artists to creatively decorate the numerous trash and recycling bins scattered across the festival grounds. The rationale here was to make the disposal containers as appealing and inviting as possible, thus encouraging attendees to always throw their waste away safely.

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Image: LiveKindly

Another cool idea was an initiative called “Carpoolchella.” The program aims to reduce gas emissions by encouraging attendees to carpool in groups of four or more and rewarding those that do. The reward is entry into a lottery where the prize is festival VIP tickets… For life!

Festivalgoers can also cash in discarded trash for points at the “Recycling Store.” They can then use their earned points to purchase merchandise such as clothing, food and beverage, and Ferris wheel rides. Yes, indeed, Coachella always has a Ferris wheel. It seems they really nail down the definition of the word ‘fun.’

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Image: Greeningz

Last but not least on the list of eco-friendly initiatives is “Polar Bear Dating.” This project gives attendees who pass a quiz on climate change a chance to “go on a date” with a polar bear-dressed mascot. The date includes a behind-the-scenes tour of the concert as well as backstage passes. So far, organizers and analysts report that there has been a super drastic reduction in the amount of pollutants the festival produces, compared with previous decades and other festivals.

Props to the organizers, especially to Global Inheritance, for implementing these amazing sustainability programs and for raising awareness. We hope you enjoyed this article, and hopefully, we’ll see you there this year.