The Best Sustainable Festivals

Festivals are notorious for their poor environmental record, but many are striving to change the ethos, booking sustainability as their headline act, where good vibes never destroy the atmosphere!

Skiddle Staff

Date published: 7th Jun 2023

Every time summer comes around, the choice of what festivals to attend always comes to the forefront of debates with your pals. With countless options available, a major variable in making the most informed decision is by prioritising those festivals with an eco-friendly ethos. Historically, music festivals have been notorious for excessive energy consumption and waste production. However, in recent years, a positive shift has occurred as organisers strive to minimize their environmental impact. From locally sourced food and low-emission transport to renewable energy usage, several UK festivals are leading the charge towards sustainability.

The scale of waste generated at music festivals is staggering, estimated at around 23,500 tonnes annually in the UK alone. Plastic cups, discarded tents, and glitter are just a few examples of the debris left behind after a weekend of revelry. Thankfully, many festivals have recognised the need for improvement and have actively taken steps to enhance their sustainability practices. With this in mind, we've decided to champion the festivals that have embraced sustainability as their headline act, where good music and environmental consciousness merge harmoniously. Scroll down and check it out!




Equinox Festival

Image: Equinox Festival on Facebook

When: Friday 15th - Monday 18th September 2023

Where: Chalk Farm in Lincolnshire

The tagline of Equinox is 'For the people... Not the profit' and this rings true throughout the festival, especially its sustainability outlook. The festival applies a multitude of tactics to try and curb its emissions and footprint. From having an entirely solar-powered stage in the Soundscape Stage; to the variety of green heritage arts and crafts like green woodwork, flute making, rope work workshops, drum circles and chainsaw carving, Staff making, a blacksmith’s forge, permaculture, heritage/history; to supplying a massive range of vegan food options; it truly has a solid grasp on its sustainability, and at the same time, is an absolutely wicked festival with an incredible range of music. 


Tickets for Equinox Festival

Buy tickets:



Knockengorroch Festival

Image: Knockengorroch Festival on Facebook

When: May 2024, TBC

Where: Galloway, South West Scotland

Having just had the 2023 edition, which marked 25 years of this incredible festival tucked away in the Scottish Highlands, the initiatives pushed by Knockengorroch are huge in terms of sustainability. Such initiatives include the Discee Centre which equates sustainable, local food production with music, art and talks; working with Oceanallover for the first time with a commission highlighting the beauty and mystery of the adder, a species whose numbers are rapidly and alarmingly declining; DIY Knock, which is a chance to come down to the farm on-site and meet like-minded people whilst engaging in outdoor conservation, building and creative work.

Basically, they stay true to the land the festival inhabits and promote sustainable ways in which to preserve and sustain the area, with regular talks and art exhibitions on how to do it. A real inspiration for more rural festival sites.


Find more information, and some FAQs, for Knockengorroch Festival by clicking, or tapping - HERE



Kelburn Garden Party

Image: Kelburn Garden Party on Facebook

When: Friday 30th June - Sunday 2nd July 2023

Where: Kelburn Country Centre in Largs

Kelburn Garden Party as a festival, constantly strives to manage its operations with sound environmental policies at its core. Aiming to inspire their audience, suppliers, performers, and crew to make a positive impact on climate change. They have an environmental minimum standard policy built into the heart of the festival. This includes monitoring and measuring impacts, food concessions minimum standards, providing public transport options at a reasonable cost to the customer, a single-use plastics ban across all events, a waste management & recycling policy with an aim to recycle 100% of festival waste, as well as working to implement a tree-planting programme at the Kelburn Garden Party which will see several thousand trees planted across the Estate and other key locations in Scotland.

They are constantly improving and their commitment is more than admirable. It also helps that the festival is absolutely bouning nd a fantastic weekend; grab your tickets for this year's edition below!


Tickets for Kelburn Garden Party

Buy tickets:





Image: Shambala on Facebook

When: Thursday 24th - Sunday 27th August, 2023

Where: Kelmarsh Hall in Northampton

Shambala is a true frontrunner in the eco-festival scene, completely and utterly committed to being sustainable, circular, regenerative, net positive, earth & life respecting, and future thinking – it’s in their DNA. Their green practices are considered truly pioneering worldwide. They have reduced the festival’s carbon footprint by over 90%, achieved 100% renewable electricity, become meat fish & dairy-milk free, and eradicated single-use plastics.

Plus, they are currently on a roadmap for 2025, which they say is going to take them further than sustainable, to becoming profoundly regenerative. This means that everything they consume, and everything they do, results in a measurable improvement on what was before. From having a supply chain that is totally free from funding conflict, fossil fuels, unethical employment practices and environmental damage. To designing and successfully implementing a completely regenerative food sourcing system, with a clear environmental impact label on all their consumables, enabling audiences to make informed decisions on what they’re filling their bellies with on-site. To implementing a fully circular ‘materials economy’ – designing out waste completely from Shambala. No waste from the build, no waste from the break, and no waste from the audience.

Shambala truly leads the way on sustainability and has policies that every single festival on the planet should try to implement.


Find more information, and some FAQs, for Shambala by clicking, or tapping - HERE



Green Gathering

Image: Green Gathering on Facebook

When: Thursday 3rd - Sunday 6th August 2023

Where: Piercefield Park in Chepstow

The Green Gathering is a festival that since its inauguration has championed low-impact alternatives. It goes beyond hedonism and offers a platform for creativity in tackling ecological and social issues. The event features campaign stalls, activist workshops, spoken word venues, and music stages showcasing emerging socially conscious talent. Traders and caterers prioritize ethical sourcing. The festival also focuses on passing on heritage craft and renewable technology skills. Various areas like Permaculture, Nature's Way, TrAd Village, and Radical Flank provide opportunities for connection, grieving, and rebellion, with attendees often leaving inspired to change their outlook, habits, and lifestyle, equipped with a new mindset and developed skills, courtesy of the initiatives at the festival, to make a positive impact on the world.



Isle of Wight Festival

Image: Isle of Wight Festival on Facebook

When: Thursday 15th - Sunday 18th June 2023

Where: Seaclose Park in Newport

For its massive size, being one of the biggest on this list, the myriad initiatives at Isle Of Wight Fest are insanely admirable, and a testament to what can be done at the larger festivals in terms of sustainability and low footprint. They aim to be the most sustainable festival in the UK, using methods like No waste from the festival being sent to landfill; having sustainable travel encouraged via key ticketing partnerships; Strict Environment Requirements document issued to food and beverage suppliers with clear rules around plastic, waste and renewable materials e.g. only compostable serve ware and cutlery are allowed to be used; A deposit return scheme for cups and bottles to encourage re-use; Water reduction measures such as the use of push taps across the site – with all water piping then donated to local farms at the end of the festival for use in irrigation; and a goal of a 50% cut in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030.

This year, they are going a step further; Solo Agency has struck a groundbreaking deal with an Isle of Wight biogas firm to generate more than 950,000 kWh of electricity using grass from the Isle of Wight Festival site, almost twice the amount of energy used during the festival!

They are truly paving the way forward for bigger festivals and long may it continue!


Find more information, and some FAQs, for the Isle of Wight Festival by clicking, or tapping - HERE



Green Man Festival

Image: Green Man Festival on Facebook

When: Thursday 17th - Sunday 20th August 2023

Where: Glanusk Park in Glanusk

Set amidst the Brecon Beacons, Green Man offers a week of nature and eco-friendly bliss. They're committed to sustainability—no plastic straws or single-use cups; Food packaging and cutlery are compostable; moving from portaloos to compost toilets (which saves thousands of litres of water and avoids any chemical use); a solar stage which is 100% powered by solar energy, with the rest of the festival powered entirely by hydrogen, solar or hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO) - HVO is a fossil-free alternative to diesel, resulting in up to 90% reduction in Greenhouse Gas emissions. The lineup also includes workshops on foraging, herbal medicine, natural paint making, and saving the planet. Get hands-on with mud pies and soil conservation too. Plenty for the eco-conscious and curious!


Find more information, and some FAQs, for Green Man Festival by clicking, or tapping - HERE 



Wilderness Festival

Image: Wilderness Festival on Facebook

When: Thursday 3rd - Sunday 6th August 2023

Where: Cornbury Park in Oxford

Wilderness Festival takes an active approach to measuring and reducing its carbon footprint. With a dedicated sustainability team, the festival develops a sustainability action plan and supports climate-positive initiatives in the music industry; aiming to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 50% by 2030.

Energy consumption is a major contributor to emissions, and Wilderness focuses on reducing usage and transitioning to renewable sources. They have already achieved significant milestones, such as using 100% renewable Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil (HVO) in 2022. The festival also utilizes LED lights and encourages efficient power distribution by suppliers.

It is truly doing it's part in trying to become carbon neutral, and long may it continue. 


Find more information, and some FAQs, for Wilderness Festival by clicking, or tapping - HERE




Image: Green Gathering on Facebook

When: Thursday 20th - Sunday 23rd July, 2023

Where: Henham Park in Beccles

Latitude, a fantastic festival, offers a beautiful location and always has an impressive lineup. But something that often goes unmentioned regarding the festival is its commitment to the environment, focusing on reducing carbon emissions from travel. They provide a lift-share site, partner with Big Green Coach, and encourage public transport usage, even offering a cycling option in collaboration with Red Fox Cycling. Latitude's dedication to sustainability extends to recycling, composting, and waste management, as well as using compostable wares for food. They have a volunteer-run 'Green Team' and collaborate with NiftyBins for effective recycling. Discarded tents and camping equipment are donated to refugee charities. Latitude was awarded Best Family Festival at the UK Festival Awards, making it an ideal choice for eco-conscious families.


Find more information, and some FAQs, for Latitude by clicking, or tapping - HERE



Hebridean Celtic Festival

Image: Green Gathering on Facebook

When: Wednesday 12th - Saturday 15th July 2023

Where: Lews Castle Green in Stornoway

Concluding the Hebridean Celtic festival on the picturesque island of Lewis, The Proclaimers will bring an unforgettable finale to the event in 2023. From July 12th to 15th, this extraordinary gathering will feature remarkable performances by celtic-fusion sensation Talisk and beloved trad-rock favourites Skerryvore.

Yet, What sets this festival apart is its commitment to sustainability and environmental consciousness. In a conscious effort to reduce carbon emissions, zero-carbon alternatives are prioritized over generators, resulting in the elimination of emissions equivalent to 27 return car journeys to Edinburgh. Moreover, the organizers have implemented measures to minimize equipment transportation and have successfully eliminated single-use plastic from the festival since 2018.




Check out our What's On Guide to discover even more rowdy raves and sweaty gigs taking place over the coming weeks and months. For festivals, lifestyle events and more, head on over to our Things To Do page or be inspired by the event selections on our Inspire Me page.








Festivals 2024