This summer, hundreds of thousands of millennials – and others – will flock to music festivals across the country.

Festival attendees might not usually consider environmental impact when buying tickets, but some of them are making cool changes to go green this summer. We took a look at what these festivals are doing and ranked them by how environmentally-friendly they are. 

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Here’s our top 7!

7: Coachella

As the largest festival in the nation, it can be tough make sustainable happen. Still, with carpooling incentives, recycling art, and a human energy phone charging playground, Coachella is putting in one heck of an effort! Because plug-in charging stations were so 2014.


 And if we do save the arctic, please, please don’t try to swing with real polar bears!

6: Outside Lands

Outside Lands has a 100% solar-powered stage! Awesome that the sun is giving more than sunburns at a festival. With massive lighting and sound systems sucking up tons of electricity at shows, solar makes a lot of sense.  The stage is accompanied by refillable water stations, composting hills, and a beach cleanup. Outside Land sure does shine!

5) Lollapalooza

At Lollapalooza, turn in your recycled trash and earn a free T-shirt, which works because when you’re at a festival you usually want to wear more clothing. Actually though, it’s a cool way to encourage recycling, since one of the main hurdles with festival sustainability is encouraging attendees’ participation. They also have a “green street” sustainable market selling local goods: so good. 

4) Telluride Bluegrass Festival

Telluride purchases enough carbon credits to off-set the festival’s entire carbon footprint! That includes all of emissions from cars, trucks, RVs, city busses, segways, and whatever other motorized contraption is getting you there. They’re also serious about reducing, reusing, and recycling; there’s literally a whole pro/con list on their website dedicated to cup choice. It’s detailed.

3) Bonnaroo

With an ethos of community and responsibility, it makes sense the Roo is leading the way. This giant festival installed their own advanced eco water filtration system. Call it a home field advantage (Bonnaroo owns their grounds), but Bonnaroo strives to set standards, with $1 of every ticket going to make their land greener every year. That’s 88,000 tickets, FYI. 

2) Lightning in a Bottle

Greener Festival awards calls them the “Greenest Festival in America.” Let’s see why: solar and wind powered lighting, biodiesel generators and vehicles, no disposable water bottles grey water air pollution control – I don’t know what that is either – and carbon credits to offset the rest. They also have DIY environmental workshops to take home, doesn’t that sound like a better souvenir than a tote bag? Yes? No? Well that’s just your loss.

1) Pickathon

And here’s why Pickathon shines the brightest, or rocks the hardest, or whatever. Pickathon was actually created to be sustainable. They’ve implemented almost all of the above features and then some. With a full array of solar panels, an EcoShuttle for transport, and absolutely no disposable cups or dishware to be found, Pickathon is picking apart the sustainability contenders. 

Don’t agree with our choices? Let us know what you think!

P.S. Want to support sustainability and clean energy more than one (or twelve) weekends a year? Sign here to stand up for sustainability in your state