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With the long-awaited return of Ireland’s festivals and events this summer, we take a closer look at some of the key players in the Irish music and events scene who are taking important steps in their sustainable journey. 

As the only Irish festival currently to have signed up to the European Green Deal for Circular Festivals, Body & Soul is very much leading the way as Ireland’s most sustainable and circular festival.  Native Events founders have been involved with Body & Soul since its very beginning back in 2010 and this year the team are excited to introduce several new environmental impact reducing initiatives, including no flush chemical free waterless natural toilets, solar powered entrance lighting, an off-grid battery powered box office and a reusable cup system.  The ‘One Planet. One Chance.’ cups are expected to remove 50,000 single use plastic cups from entering landfill from this year’s festival alone, with these washable cups being reused at other events  across the UK and Ireland.  Other initiatives at Body & Soul this year include ‘Food on Board’, where food is served on reusable wooden boards, removing the need for disposable plates.

Three reusable cups with 'One Planet, One Chance' logo

One Planet, One Chance reusable cups that will help prevent thousands of single use plastic cups being disposed of at this year’s Body & Soul festival.

It’s not just about rethinking how we consume food and drink at festivals though, it’s about where we get our rest too.  This year Native Events are trialling Ireland’s first ever circular campsite, RE:VOLVE, at Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann and Fuinneamh Music & Arts Festival.  In contrast to the throwaway camping culture of recent years, RE:VOLVE offers a planned camping experience where campers can request a pre-pitched tent, rent camping chairs and equipment and enjoy solar-powered showers.

“We still have a long way to go”, says Native Events Director Megan Best, “But it’s been hugely inspiring to see so many festivals and events across Ireland reach out to us this year, to help them on their journey towards running more sustainable and circular events and festivals.”

Megan continued: “With Ireland committed to halving emissions by 2030, it’s up to all sectors and industries across the country to rethink how they do things and at Native Events, we really believe that music and culture can be the catalyst to inspire change.”

Native Events has also had a busy year working with local councils, where we’ve been providing inspiration and advice on how to run events more sustainably.  Earlier this year we worked with the organisers of St. Patrick’s Day Festival, providing a carbon footprint analysis which can be used to pinpoint priority areas for carbon emissions reduction at future festivals.  May saw the launch of Cork County Council’s ‘Green Festivals Pilot Programme’ where over the next few years we’ll work closely with community festivals like Clonakilty Guitar Festival, Youghal Medieval Festival and Timoleague Harvest Festival, helping them reduce their waste and environmental impact year on year. We’re also really excited to work with the organisers of Dublin Pride for the first time this summer, where we’ll focus on emissions reduction and provide a roadmap towards carbon offsetting for future pride events.

If you’re running a festival or event this summer – and you’re keen to reduce its environmental impact – we’d love to hear from you.  Get in touch ➞