Refill Revolution Enters 6th Year at Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival

As Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival gets underway June 13-16, 2019, so begins the sixth year of #refillrevolution, a partnership between Plastic Pollution Coalition, Bonnaroo, and Steelys Drinkware to provide branded reusable steel cups that eliminate the need for single-use plastic cups and bottles. 

The program has diverted millions of plastic cups and water bottles from landfill over the past six years.

“The best part of Refill Revolution is the support we get from our fans,” said Laura Sohn, director of sustainability for Bonnaroo.

New this year and as extension of #RefillRevolution, Bonnaroo has joined BYOBottle, a music industry campaign created by Jack and Kim Johnson and the Johnson Ohana Foundation, C3, REVERB, /rCup, Partisan Arts, Green Music Australia, Live Nation, and others, to rock reusable water bottles and turn the tide on plastic pollution. Bonnaroovians can bring their own empty reusable water bottles to refill at water stations to reduce plastic waste.

Learn more about BYOBottle. Artists, venues, nonprofit organizations, and fans can join here.

Photos by Brandise Danesewich

Follow the #RefillRevolution on our social channels: Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

From its roots at ‘Roo, PPC is building a scalable Refill Revolution project for other festivals and events, supporting a true revolution in sustainability and plastic pollution reduction worldwide. The program provides festivals and event planners with models for developing a reusable infrastructure, top to bottom, while partnering on messaging and branding to get the word out to fans, followers, and other festivals.

Join our global Coalition.

In conjunction with Earth Day, the Sustainable Concerts Working Group (SCWG), led by multi-platinum recording artist and PPC notable member Jack Johnson and his team, announces the launch of BYOBottle (Bring Your Own Bottle), an environmental campaign that engages artists, venues, festivals and fans to reduce plastic pollution in the music industry by promoting reusable water bottles and water refill stations at music events.

BYOBottle, modeled after Green Music Australia’s successful BYOBottle Campaign, encourages artists to travel with reusable water bottles and to take action by including language within their riders, requesting venues to provide water refill stations backstage in lieu of disposable water bottles, and more.  BYOBottle also encourages music venues and festivals to commit to greening by providing water refill stations for both fans and artists. Fans are also encouraged to make their own BYOBottle commitment and show their support by bringing their own reusable water bottles to concerts and festivals whenever possible, reducing the use of single-use plastic, and sharing their BYOBottle commitment on social media.   

“There is a powerful wave of momentum building to reduce plastic pollution. BYOBottle is a campaign that the entire music industry can unite around, and everyone I’ve been talking with is excited to join and be part of a solution. Expectations are changing around what makes a positive and successful music event, and sustainability is a huge part of that. I’m excited to help show what concerts can look like if artists work together with fans and venues or festivals to reduce plastic waste,” said Jack Johnson.

Artists who have signed on in support of BYOBottle include Ben Harper, Bob Weir, Bonnie Raitt, Dave Matthews Band, Dawes, Dead & Company, Empire of the Sun, Flume, Jack Johnson, Jackson Browne, Keb’ Mo’, Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real, P!nk, The Lumineers, Maroon 5, Steve Earle, Steven Van Zandt, Wilco, and more.

Lollapalooza, one of the largest music festivals in the United States, has committed to provide an increased amount of water refill stations for both fans, artists, and staff and will continue to make a wide range of reusable bottles available for purchase. C3 Presents will also promote the BYOBottle message at other festivals throughout the year including Austin City Limits Music Festival and Sea.Hear.Now. Telluride Bluegrass Festival, Ohana Festival and Australia’s Byron Bay Bluesfest, Splendour in the Grass, and Falls Festival have also signed on. Venues have also made the BYOBottle commitment to provide water refills stations to artists and fans, including 30 Live Nation owned and operated venues and Forest Hills Stadium.

“Live music brings people together and provides an amazing platform to reach fans. C3 has a long history with sustainability and we are proud to support programs like BYOBottle, which helps bring attention to the important issues like the plastic pollution crisis and provides a simple course of action to drive positive change in greening the music industry,” said Farid Mosher, Senior Guest Services Manager at C3 Presents.

In support of BYOBottle, Jack Johnson will host a press conference at Bluesfest (Byron Bay, Australia) on Saturday, April 20th, alongside musicians Lukas Nelson and Nicky Bomba, of Melbourne Ska Orchestra.  

For the full list of pledged support visit, www.byobottle.org/partners.

Artists, venues, festivals, non-profits, business partners and fans who visit www.byobottle.org and join the campaign are provided tools and resources, including environmentally focused “Green” language for artists to include within their riders, reusable water bottle and water refill options and vendors, guides on how to promote reusable pint cup programs, eliminate plastic straws and reduce the overall plastic footprint of shows with access to case studies, research, articles and much more.

Humans purchase about 1,000,000 plastic bottles per minute, and it is predicted that by 2050 the oceans will contain more plastic, by weight, than fish. The music industry’s momentum to combat the plastic epidemic is growing and BYOBottle continues the pursuit by working with artists, venues, festivals and fans in efforts to turn the tide on plastic pollution.

About Sustainable Concerts Working Group (SCWG):

The Sustainable Concerts Working Group is a collective of music industry leaders and environmental advocates who believe in an environmentally responsible and sustainably driven music community. SCWG brings together experts in the field to disseminate tools and resources that can help each stakeholder: artist, venue, festival promoter, fan to do their part to drive long term positive social and environmental change.

Lead SCWG organizations launching this BYOBottle campaign include the Jack Johnson team, Green Music Australia, REVERB, EFFECT Partners, Plastic Pollution Coalition, Live Nation, AEG, C3 Presents, Partisan Arts, Synergy Global Entertainment, and guidance and support from the Johnson Ohana Foundation, Julie’s Bicycle, We-Refill, Tangaroa Blue, UPSTREAM, Algalita, Lonely Whale, Surfrider Foundation, 5 Gyres, the UN Environment Clean Seas campaign, and many more.

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As Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival came to a close on Sunday, John Borg of Steelys Drinkware together with Plastic Pollution Coalition announced that more than 2 million plastic cups and water bottles were diverted from landfill through the Refill Revolution program since the inception of this program. 2017 marked the fourth year that Plastic Pollution Coalition partnered with Bonnaroo and Steelys to provide Refill Revolution branded reusable steel cups that eliminate the need for single-use plastic cups and bottles. 

This year, a number of musicians, actors, artists, and leaders added their voices to the Refill Revolution movement, including U2’s The Edge, actor and activist Adrian Grenier, and leaders of environmental organizations. 

Festival headliner U2 used S’well Bottles and their The Joshua Tree branded bottles on stage and The Edge used his Refill Revolution steel cup off stage at the festival. “Ocean plastic pollution is yet another alarming example of how simple everyday decisions can impact our natural resources,” said The Edge previously to PPC. “Reusable water bottles are a much cooler and smarter choice than disposable plastic.”

“Plastic straws are the gateway issue into raising awareness about single-use plastic,” said Jackie Nuñez, of The Last Plastic Straw. Adrian Grenier of Lonely Whale Foundation added: “The challenge is to get people to refuse single-use plastic straws. Right now we have the simplest opportunity to make a change. It’s time to stop the status quo.”

Nuñez continued: “Plastic straws are used for minutes at best and tossed ‘away’ in our environment, where they will outlive us all and generations to come. The stainless steel straws were a hit at Bonnaroo and a great conversation starter about solutions to the global plastic pollution problem.”

Grenier, who “loved the reusable cup program manifested by Plastic Pollution Coalition,” also promoted Lonely Whale’s Strawless Ocean resource, a toolkit that helps individuals talk to local businesses about their plastic footprint.

During a panel conversation on the Solar Stage on Friday, Grenier, along with Bonnaroo’s Director of Sustainability, Laura Sohn, and Henry Pincus, founder of Think Twice Drink Twice, encouraged festival go-ers to refill – even plastic bottled water before trashing it. “At least 25 percent of bottled water comes from municipal sources sold to you at a 500 percent markup,” reads the Think Twice Drink Twice website. “That means there’s a good chance you’re already drinking really expensive tap water.”

“The best part of Refill Revolution is the support we get from our fans,” said Laura Sohn, director of sustainability for Bonnaroo, who added the festival is working with partners to upscale sustainability programs to reduce even more waste. 

With over 2 million plastic cups and bottles diverted from landfill over four years, momentum for Refill Revolution is growing.

Thank you to our Refill Revolution partners: ChicoBag To-Go Ware Steelys Aardvark Paper Drinking Straws S’well Bottle Life Without Plastic and Dert Bags. To get your own reusable gear, visit our LifeWithoutPlastic store.

From its roots at ‘Roo, PPC is building a scalable Refill Revolution project for other festivals and events, supporting a true revolution in sustainability and plastic pollution reduction worldwide. The program provides festivals and event planners with models for developing a reusable infrastructure, top to bottom, while partnering on messaging and branding to get the word out to fans, followers, and other festivals.

Photos by Brandise Danesewich, Ross Stewart, Dianna Cohen, James Brown.

Join our global Coalition.

If you could create your own community, what would it look like? Would it be sustainable and tread lightly on the earth? Each year, Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival transforms wide open spaces on “The Farm” in Manchester, Tennessee, into a place for tens of thousands of people to eat, drink, and experience life and music together.

“We have the luxury of creating an ideal community because we build the site from scratch each year,” explains Laura Sohn, Director of Sustainability for Bonnaroo. The tangible signs of the Bonnaroovian code (“respect the farm and respect your surroundings”) include the reusable steel cups offered at the festival that eliminate the need for single-use plastic.

For the past three years, Plastic Pollution Coalition has partnered with Bonnaroo to promote the steel cups and a greater Refill Revolution movement to reduce our plastic footprint on this planet. This year, Bonnaroo will take the revolution further by promoting education on sustainable communities within the smaller Planet Roo area.

“Planet Roo is a haven for sustainability and global consciousness, and a diverse group of non-profit organizations will be represented this year,” explains Sohn, who adds that the education Academy will have classes and workshops on everything from social justice ballads to cooking classes and how to take the sustainability message back to your community. “The reuse message ties in so well with the idea of what a healthy community looks like.”

In addition to promoting the reuse message, PPC will provide education on how to get involved in the Refill Revolution at home and how to start a plastic bag ban in your town. In the words of Bonnaroo co-founder Rick Farman: “The dream is that people take what they learn here and bring it home with them and live their lives differently.”

See also: Voices of the Refill Revolution

From its roots at ‘Roo, PPC is building a scalable Refill Revolution project for other festivals and events, supporting a true revolution in sustainability and plastic pollution reduction worldwide. The program provides festivals and event planners with models for developing a reusable infrastructure, top to bottom, while partnering on messaging and branding to get the word out to fans, followers, and other festivals.

Join our global Coalition.