Rock, Roll & Recycle: Sustainability at Lollapalooza

In 2017, Lollapalooza earned the Illinois Sustainability Award for its conscious environmentally-friendly efforts. Programs include Rock and Recycle, an initiative where concert-goers receive a large garbage bag to fill with recyclable materials they find lying around the fest. When that bag is filled, they return to the Rock and Recycle booth to collect a specially designed exclusive Lollapalooza t-shirt.

In 2016 there were about 1,100 participants in the Rock and Recycle program according to Farid Mosher, Senior Guest Services Manager of event production company C3. In 2017, the number jumped to nearly 1,750 partaking in the clean-up effort.

In addition, C3 works with organizations that prevent taking up space in landfills and instead compost.

“We work with a partner from Loyola University and their Institute of Environmental Sustainability,” said Farid Mosher, Senior Guest Services Manager of C3.

That program has been part of an immense increase in the environmental waste disposal initiatives of the festival.

In 2016, the organization diverted five tons of compost and increased that number to 15 tons in 2017.

The company also offsets their carbon emissions – a process that according to is “used to compensate for emissions used by funding an equivalent carbon dioxide saving elsewhere.”

Even the food vendors adhere to specific sustainability recommendations. There are restrictions against using products such as Styrofoam and plastic, and they are instead encouraged to use biodegradable and compostable items.

Mosher also explained the organization’s efforts to make the festival comfortable and accessible to people with special needs.

Nearly 500 persons with disabilities visit the Lollapalooza Accessibility Center during the four-day event.

The center features programming information with large print, charging outlets for power wheelchairs and sensory assistants like headphones for guests with Autism or Down Syndrome. Even some of the larger-named acts have ASL interpretation for the hearing impaired. Attendees can also get a wristband that allows them access into special accessible areas of the festival.

Mosher says that this does not encompass everyone with these needs, only because not all people who would benefit visit the Accessibility Center.

Mosher’s company also works to bring a non-profit presence to the festival. This year the number of nonprofits doubled from 10 to 20 since 2017.

Read the full story or listen to the podcast from 2018 here:


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