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Eco-friendly practices and pro-environmental behaviours: the Australian folk and world music festival perspective

Marisol Alonso-Vazquez (Entertainment Business Management, JMC Academy, Brisbane, Australia)
Christina Ballico (Queensland Conservatorium Research Centre, Griffith University, Brisbane, Australia)

Arts and the Market

ISSN: 2056-4945

Article publication date: 2 July 2021

Issue publication date: 1 September 2021




The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has once again brought to our attention one of the three main pillars of sustainability–the environment. It has also brought into sharp relief the fragility of the live music festival sector, whose success hinges fundamentally on the capacity for both travel and mass gatherings to occur. Considering this intersection of environmental sustainability and the live music festival sector, this paper–which reports on events occurring long before the global pandemic took hold–examines the ways in which eight Australian folk and world music festivals successfully engage in eco-friendly and pro-environmental practices and educational activities at their events. Findings from this research will assist industry practitioners in being able to engage in similar practices at their events, as well as further academic understandings of the relationship between the environment and the live music sector, and the role of environmental communication practices within this.


This study engaged an exploratory research design using interviews to gain an insight into the perceptions of eight live music festival promoters regarding their patrons' on-site eco-friendly behaviours and engagement with the eco-friendly initiatives at their events.


Social support within the on-site festival community (applied here through the notion of a sense of communitas), coupled with the provision of eco-friendly initiatives and effective environmental communication approaches, were key pivot drivers to support patrons' pro-environmental behaviours. Engagement with environmental authorities and experts during the festivals was found to validate their eco-friendly approaches.


This paper provides details of, as well as insights into, the success of the eco-friendly and pro-environmental education practices engaged at select world and folk music festivals in Australia. It broadens and builds upon existing understandings of environmental communication practices.



The authors are grateful for the feedback received from the guest editors Dr. Chris Anderton and Dr. Sergio Pisfil and anonymous reviewers.


Alonso-Vazquez, M. and Ballico, C. (2021), "Eco-friendly practices and pro-environmental behaviours: the Australian folk and world music festival perspective", Arts and the Market, Vol. 11 No. 2, pp. 76-91.



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