Bonnaroo, a weekend-long music and arts festival held every year in Manchester, Tennessee, opens this Thursday and runs through Sunday, June 15.
Like most most such events that attract 100,000 or so fans, Bonnaroo generates a mountain of disposable cups, plates and utensils and food waste.
But unlike similar events, which send that mountain of plastic and food leftovers to the dump, Bonnaroo composts it.
Organizers for this festival, held in a field on a 700-acre farm an hour south of Nashville, decided 11 years ago to make their waste go away by using compostable cups, plates and utensils for food and drinks. The materials are composted on site, and used by the farm. Last year, the festival composted 120 tons of waste.
“We’ve always said we don’t want just to be the best festival. We also want to be the greenest festival – and persuade others to follow,” said Sustainability Director Laura Sohn.
“We believe our commitment to being green doesn’t hurt the Bonnaroo experience, but instead defines it and makes it even better. Our fans want to eat good food, enjoy great music and change the world for the better. We help them do all of that here.”
The festival relies on Eco-Products of Boulder, Colorado, to provide its disposal, compostable dining supplies.
“There’s nothing better than seeing our cups and plates go from serving thousands of festival goers to serving a farm,” said Wendell Simonson, vice president of marketing for Eco-Products.
Bonnaroo features jazz, hip-hop, rock and many more types of music. The festival also provides an “entertainment village” with cinema, silent disco, theater performers, a beer festival and a comedy club.