One of the biggest music sites, Consequence of Sound, just profiled Pickathon and interviewed Pickathon Founder Zale Schoenborn on how to build an environmentally sustainable festival! Since Pickathon’s been a pioneer for years in greening music festivals, some of the brand-new ideas we developed in 2022 are getting national attention now. Folks are starting to realize that the giant installations that are hallmarks of much larger music festivals take up a huge amount of resources and push audiences into big open fields in the hot sun.
Instead, Pickathon’s leading the field in mapping a music festival to the contours of the land. Now stages can nestle in forests in the shade or come out into meadows under the stars. As Zale says in the article about Pickathon 2022, “We were using what the land gave us. And we were able to reduce our footprint by half.”
The Consequence article brings up some interesting points about what makes an Environmentally Sustainable Festival and how we can move past lip service to direct action.
-Location and Local Culture – Flying in artists from all over the world is a big carbon sink, but Pickathon works frequently with Northwest artists and we draw much of our various lineups from Northwesterners. We celebrate our regional artists, culture, food, and drink!
-Rethinking Stages and Slots – We curate the festival carefully so that it not only fits into the landscape of Pendarvis Farm, but each artist fits on each carefully designed stage at the exact time of day they’re playing! That’s how we get the best vibe.
-Zero Waste – Pickathon’s been a pioneer of the zero waste festival, eliminating single use cups and dishes in favor of our reusable and collectable bamboo plates/utensils and metal cups!
-Healthy, Vegetarian Food – Always a priority at Pickathon, we love our healthy, veggie-forward food folks and in 2022 we even debuted a Farmer’s Market at the festival to be sure that festival goers could enjoy fresh, locally sourced fruits and veggies.
-Free, Plentiful Water – A BIG part of Pickathon, especially as temperatures mount! We have free water stations all over the grounds and encourage folks to use their reusable cups or water bottles to keep hydrated!
-Conscious Camping – If you’ve seen the mountains of garbage left behind at certain festivals afterwards, it’s such a powerful moment to look around Pendarvis on Tuesday morning to see clean grounds with very little garbage of any kind. Pickathon festival goers know to pack out their gear and to keep Pendarvis looking beautiful!