Updated May 13, 2019. Popular UK music festival Boomtown says it may soon be a meat-free event.
In a social media post at the beginning of the year, one of the fair’s organizers theorized on what a fully meatless event might look like. A fan poll saw 360 versus 138 in support of the move.
While the Boomtown Fair hasn’t released an official statement on the issue, the event’s Head of Music Kaptin Barrett commented on the festival’s “meat-free discussion” on Twitter as well. “I’m fully behind the idea,” he said, “so let’s see how the next couple of months pan out.”
In 2018, the event organizers did say the summertime festival would “prioritize” any vendors who are “sustainable, veggie or vegan and those who use renewable energy sources…” Ironically, the four-day music event is held on a dairy farm, the Matterley Estate.
According to the website thefestivals.uk, when Boomtown announced this year’s lineup, coordinators told the audience, “The future of Boomtown is unwritten. We must consider environment, sustainability, and consequences in order to survive.”
In a recent social media post, Boomtown celebrated its environmental successes: “The biggest achievement was earning a ‘commended’ award,” whihch came from assessors A Greener Festival that measures various festival impacts from local ecosystems to power usage.
“More of you than ever decided to take the biggest step towards minimising carbon footprint by opting for coaches, trains and car sharing,” Boomtown noted, adding that its first bike ride was a success, with new locations coming this summer.
It also offset car usage with a school project. “To offset the damage from individual cars, 370,591 energy miles were balanced,” the event added, “money from every car pass purchased was donated to Solar 4 Schools a project that aims to put solar panels on the roofs of every school in the UK!”
The festival has also pledged to try to significantly reduce single-use plastic waste. In a statement released in May on social media, the event revealed that no single-use plastic bottles would be sold on site. Instead, Boomtown is collaborating with WaterAid to provide refillable water stations.
Plastic cutlery, packaging, and straws are also banned, and compostable cups will be served from all bars.
If Boomtown does ditch meat from its vendor lineup, it would be in good company. Northamptonshire’s Shambala festival pulled meat and fish from its festival lineup three years ago. (But it permitted an “insect cafe” in 2016.)
In the states, the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival isn’t meat-free but its vendors skew heavily toward having vegan options–a move fostered by the event’s vendor coordinator, Nic Adler, who also helms the popular Los Angeles Eat. Drink. Vegan. festival.
Circle V, a music and food festival launched by vegan musicians Moby and Tony Kanal also keeps its vendor areas free from animal products.
A growing number of summer fests, fairs, and concerts are turning to food to help reduce their environmental impact. Even sporting events are getting in on the action with stadiums now serving vegan burgers, hot dogs, and sausages.