Music festivals will always have a huge impact on the environment, it's inevitable. Tens of thousands of people all traveling from all over the country is bad news for a start, before you even take into account the huge energy requirements and massive amounts of waste. However, some are making a good attempt at minimizing their impact - I attended Latitude festival last weekend, and I was impressed by the amount of thought that went into it.
It was easy to get there on public transport. I traveled to the nearest train station, and there were regular shuttle buses to the venue. This cut down on the number of people who drove to the festival significantly. If you absolutely had to drive, then you could use the festivals own lift-share scheme to make sure that your car was filled up. You could also cycle to the event, with secure bike racks being made available, although I doubt I could have made it with my tent.There were also recycling bins inside the festival, so people could separate their waste out easily. However, all packaging inside the event was required to be biodegradable anyway, and there was staff wandering the event to pick up rubbish and put it in the right container. All drink sold in the venue was in reusable cups, with a deposit to encourage re-use, and stall holders were discouraged from handing out plastic bags.
Ecover were also on site, providing free shower gel and washing up liquid to anyone who wanted it, although, I'm ashamed to admit, the queues at the showers meant I wasn't able to sample any. The whole event lived up to a quote from their website, "Live by the 'LEAVE NO TRACE' philosophy – take only photos, leave only footprints." ::Latitude Festival