Green Up Your Festival: Outside Lands 2012 Edition

By their very nature, music festivals tend to be unfriendly to nature. But lately, fests around the world have caught green fever. In this edition of Green Up Your Festival, we’re taking a look at some of the initiatives taken by Outside Lands in San Francisco.

Outside Lands was founded in 2007 and quickly became what we fondly call a “mega-festival”. Huge headliners bring upwards of 60,000 festival junkies a day into Golden Gate Park and with them a significant environmental footprint. Since the beginning, Outside Lands has made festival greening one of their priorities. Eco Lands is the central hub of most of their efforts and even features a stage powered completely by alternative energy. A few other things at Outside Lands…

Waste and Recycling
Last year, Outside Lands diverted a whopping 77% of waste from landfills. That translates to 78 tons of compost and recyclables. Outside Lands also transforms trash pickup into a scavenger hunt. Find pieces of recyclables around the grounds (bottles, cans, biodegradable cups) and turn them in for a sweet prize. Between 8-10pm, grab a trashbag, fill it up, and receive free merch.

Bike Power
Festival fans are encouraged to ride bicycles to Outside Lands. What’s the perk? How about front row VIP bike valet? And if you’ve never been to San Francisco, this festival junkie can vouch that bicycles are the best way to get around the city. The production crew will also be using cargo bicycles around the backstage for transport rather that golf carts.

Local Food and Drink
Yum. A certified organic farm will be on hand at Outside Lands selling melon slices, peaches, corn, green beans, and more. Need something to wash that down? Check out Wine Lands and Beer Lands which feature many local wineries/breweries.

Refillable Water Stations
It’s wonderful that this is becoming the norm at music festivals around the world. Purchase an Outside Lands stainless steel bottle and get free refills all weekend.

The conservation movement isn’t just about one festival during a single weekend. Eco Lands features workshops like urban gardening and hookups to local community organizations that keep fans conserving long after the last set.

Born during a sweaty, backstage, Bonnaroo downpour, the editor-in-chief's mission in life is to dance, write, and travel to every great festival that this wide world has to offer. While his identity remains a mystery, you may have already met him, probably when he helped himself to your party favors.