Ideas for a More Sustainable Festival Anna Falkenmire

The summer festival season is in full swing, with none other than Port Macquarie’s Festival of the Sun kicking off last Thursday.

The beach-side festival brought artists like Didirri, Vera Blue, Kwame, Skegss and Winston Surfshirt to the stage to charm festival goers with their unique tunes and enrapturing lyrics. It attracted market stalls and food trucks and thousands of people, including heaps from Newcastle.

The festival has always been a blast, with its delightful location, free-range camping, BYO alcohol and overall chilled-out vibe. This year certainly didn’t disappoint.

It is such a fun, unique and intriguing festival, but this goes far beyond the fashion and the music. It is because of the path they are blazing.

FOTSUN has a huge focus on sustainability, and this year’s event really let that shine.

The 2018 theme may have been circus, but the festival did not clown around when it came to the environment. In an extremely bold move, single-use plastic was banned entirely from the event – including water bottles.

Recycling bags were provided to all camp sites, with a full bag of cans being exchangeable for ice.

Food vendors used cardboard containers and biodegradable cutlery, and campers had the option of renting a KarTent – a cardboard tent.

Promoting environmental consciousness and incentives for recycling appear to have worked. The can recycling station at the festival collected over 20,000 cans this year, compared to 5000 last year.

It’s such a promising step forward and a huge commitment from FOTSUN to try and change the wasteful culture of music festivals.

As most of us would agree, dressing up and dancing under the stars to live music is an incredible feeling – festivals are such a good time! But we shouldn’t have to harm the earth to have fun.

As the other big festivals (that we still LOVE and support) play catch-up, there are some easy-peasy things YOU can do to ease your earthly conscience and have a more sustainable silly season.

Here are some ideas: 

1. Reduce, reuse recycle. Take a little time to plan ahead: drink from cans and recycle your empties, pack a reusable water bottle and some food so you aren’t forced to buy plastic everything.

2. Upcycle old outfits. While no one likes to clog their Instagram with outfit repeats, it is so simple to alter things you already own compared to buying new. Cinch your fave dress with a belt at the waist, add a hat or different shoes, style your hair differently, knot up your t-shirt. Some more heavy handed DIY could even be cutting up the clothing you have (think old band shirt as a crop top) or dying or bleaching a piece to alter it completely.

3. New is old. If you must buy something “new”, shop vintage! Shop second-hand! You’ll look totally unique and totally cool with minimal environmental impact.

4. Camp like you mean it. Use a decent tent that can be reused again and again. Not only are you likely to be way more dry and comfy, but you won’t be one of those people that leave their plastic tents behind for landfill.


Shop our Eco-friendly festival fashion edit here:



Cover photo of Janis Joplin at Woodstock, 1969 - by Elliott Landy