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How A Music Festival Convinced 1400 To Take Their Rubbish Home

Date: 06-Apr-17
Author: Marty Middlebrook

A Festival Called Panama - Waste Free Music Festival © Festival Called Panama

A Festival Called Panama - Waste Free Music Festival

Since the days of Woodstock, music festivals have had a reputation of being loud blurs with the addage "If you remember it, you weren't really there." The aftermath image of thousands of plastic cups, muddy fields and rubbish everywhere are synonymous festival season.

But the "This is Panama Festival" in Tasmania took steps to ensure no waste was left behind and the environment was as important as the music.The festival website emphasised "This is a ZERO WASTE event. You are responsible for your rubbish removal. 'You ship it in, you ship it out'." The festival also ran on solar power and promoted a clothes swap, "Please bring along 2-5 unwanted but valued items for trade & exchange at the Great Panama Clothes Swap. Swapping works best when there is a high standard of items to exchange."

Before the event and throughout the weekend, organisers used both signage and social media to promote respecting the environment.

"Remember that time the PANAMA punters were the best? This [Photo of a handful of items] was all the litter we found on site after everyone left last year. Let's see if we can post a picture of nothing at all this year."


In the video below festival organisers walk the campsite after 1400 adults had camped for three days at PANAMA 2017 to find virtually no waste. "Thanks for taking care of the place."

(Song 'All Lost' by Jack Grace - filmed and edited by Jeremy Virag)


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  1. A Festival Called Panama
  3. ABC News 24th March 2017


Marty                                             Middlebrook
Author: Marty Middlebrook

Marty started with Planet Ark in 2012 and is currently Head of Operations. "I grew up playing outside. I love that Planet Ark not only champions time in nature, but that it also demonstrates the actual benefits and positive effects for people – and how fun it is!"

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