Climate change in music festival
Music festivals have the unfortunate situation of both contributing to the climate crisis and being burdened by their own practices. Plastic cups overflowing with bright lights and booming sounds consume energy. Fans and artists fly and drive from all corners of the globe. Festivals create bliss in parks and camps for a few days. The GrubHub-sponsored stage is where they sell the transgressive power and beauty of song. The summers are becoming hotter and more severe, and outdoor spaces are less available. Music is useless if it doesn’t hurt us.
“This summer we have seen a lot of record-breaking heat waves, downpours, and flood events meteorologically. Extreme heat and storms can be a problem when thousands of people gather outdoors or under partially covered conditions,” Daniel Swain, a UCLA climate scientist, said.
Governors Ball celebrated its 10th year with a multiday celebration in New York last month. After the 2019 festival was a disaster, organizers moved the festival to Citi Field. Citi Field is close to the subway and offers “flexibility with possible weather events”. After teasing a possible cancellation due to a storm, organizers decided that the festival’s last day would be open on Sunday afternoon. The stages became darkened as it began to rain within hours. The speaker commanded everyone to evacuate the island immediately. Teenagers piled on the pressure and tore down brand signage and cut through the plexiglass backdrops for photos. Chaos ensued as thousands of people poured onto Ward’s Island Bridge, causing destruction to everything.