Six music festivals with a positive impact in 2022

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If the pandemic has made you want to travel and experience music, but also make sure your hard-earned money goes to a good cause, check out this selection of festivals from Porto to New York.

A light show during a performance at DGTL Amsterdam.

Photographed by Tim Buiting

Posted 16 April 2022, 06:06 BST

After two mostly fallow years, music festivals are making a triumphant return – and most are bigger and better than ever. This year’s festival calendar is packed with old favorites and new offerings, catering to pent-up demand for live music. From mega weekends and boutique deals to greenfield gatherings and metropolitan multi-venues, festival-goers are spoiled for choice this year. So it’s perhaps more important than ever to make sure your time, money and your travel miles are spent wisely this summer.

The enforced downtime has given organizers a rare opportunity to reflect on the environmental and societal impact of their festivals and to make changes for the better. Issues such as sustainability, gender equality and activism have driven the bill up and now take center stage. From a fully circular electronic event in the Netherlands to a mixed festival in Spain, we have selected six festivals that will have a positive impact in 2022.

1. DGTL, Amsterdam

April 16-17

The DGTL brand is as widely celebrated for its electronic music events as it is for its green technologies. The brand’s flagship event at the NDSM industrial docks in Amsterdam has become something of a testing ground for urban sustainability, offering pioneering solutions for all sorts of ecological problems. According to DTGL, the 2022 edition is set to be the world’s first fully circular festival, including “tea pee” concepts and optional steps to reduce CO2 emissions. The event, held in a huge former shipyard, also uses less than 100ml of waste per visitor and zero diesel consumption. Additionally, DGTL is sharing the secrets of its sustainability success via a master plan, which can be used by other festivals and cities. So this Easter, electronic music fans can dance to artists like Jon Hopkins and Soul & Dixon with a cleaner conscience.

2. Primavera Sound, Barcelona

June 2-12

In 2019, Primavera Sound launched its “New Normal” campaign, becoming the first globally recognized music festival to achieve and commit to gender-balanced programming with a bill comprised of at least 50% women and men. non-binary people. While some festivals are using the pandemic as an excuse to take a rain check on such promises, Primavera Sound’s Marta Pallarès says festivals “can’t afford to go pale, masculine and stale again.” Although the Barcelona festival doubled in size for this year’s late 20th anniversary edition, it once again delivered on its promise. Acts such as Megan Thee Stallion, Dua Lipa, Lorde, Jorja Smith, Charli XCX, Caroline Polachek, Clairo, Little Simz, Courtney Barnett and Celeste are helping to tip the gender balance. These are just a few of the more than 400 acts that will perform at Primavera’s waterfront residence, Parc del Fòrum, over the two weekends in June. Located between Barcelona’s Sant Martí neighborhood and Sant Adrià, the venue provides a lush Mediterranean backdrop for world-class acts.

A child on his father’s shoulders in front of the Primavera festival stage.

Photographed by Kimberly Ross

3. LGBT+ Music Festival, Portugal

July 1-3

Porto will become the epicenter of European Pride festivities in July, when the city hosts both the Gay Pride March and the LGBT+ Music Festival. The festival will see LGBTQ pop stars, gay icons and allies performing on four different stages across Portugal’s second largest city. Iggy Azalea, Melanie C, Little Boots, Gloria Groove, Bimini Bon Boulash, Todrick Hall and Jodie Harsh are set to make appearances. The main festival site will take place on the banks of the Douro River, with other stages located around the medieval quarter of Ribeira. Festival-goers will also have the chance to explore Porto’s vibrant queer scene via a number of afterparties at venues across the city.

The main stage of the Exit festival.

Photographed by release festival

4. Exit, Serbia

July 7-10

Social activism is in the DNA of the Exit festival. The Novi Sad-based event was started two decades ago as a student movement against President Milosevic as they struggled for peace and freedom. It is said to be the first place where young people from all the former Yugoslav republics met after a decade of civil wars. After the Yugoslav general elections in 2000, Exit moved from the city’s University Park to the medieval Petrovaradin Fortress on the Danube bank, but social responsibility remained a key focus. Through the festival foundation and partnerships with the Serbian government and the United Nations, he works on projects to address the hunger crisis, deforestation and climate change. These projects and partnerships are woven into the fabric of the event, where festival-goers can see some of the world’s greatest speakers, artists, scientists, entrepreneurs and activists take the stage alongside music titans such as Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds and Calvin Harris.

Stage at the Pol’and’Rock festival.

Photographed by Michal_Kwasniewski

5. Pol’and’Rock, Poland

August 4-6

Known as the Woodstock Festival in Poland, Pol’and’Rock aims to create “a refuge for all lovers of freedom”. The Płoty-based event has been around for over 25 years and typically attracts an audience of nearly half a million people, making it Europe’s largest free festival. Pol’and’Rock uses its gigantic platform to promote ideals of love and friendship, forging a refuge from some of the more conservative aspects of Polish society. One of the traditions of the event is to unfurl a huge Polish flag over the audience on the main stage to show that everyone belongs below. The festival is also an advocate for LGBT+ rights in Poland and has previously invited queer-friendly artists such as Skunk Anansie, Polish pop star Majka JeżowskaPol and Polish singers Ralph Kaminski and Krzysztof Zalewski. Another highlight of the event is the tent of the Academy of Fine Arts, which hosts hundreds of different NGOs, associations and organizations. Greenpeace and Amnesty International are among the organizations mobilizing to make festival-goers aware of their initiatives through workshops, debates and presentations.

6. Let’s Get Fr.ee, New York

August 20-21

Launching this summer in New York’s diverse Queens borough, the Let’s Get Fr.ee festival will celebrate artists of color. The festival is the brainchild of Afropunk founder Matthew Morgan, whose goal is “to close the equity gap between blacks, browns, Asians and other underrepresented people in the music industry. entertainment, with the goal of achieving a diverse workforce at all levels of the industry”. by 2030”. To implement this, the festival is committed to only working with brands and companies that commit to long-term systemic change. Morgan enlisted artists such as Missy Elliott, Kali Uchis, Jhené Aiko, Ozuna and Anderson .Paak & the Free Nationals for the cause. They will perform at historic Flushing Meadows Corona Park, home to the US Open tennis championships and a 12-story globe sculpture from the 1964 World’s Fair.

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