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Ultra Must Festival Makes Huge Strides Toward Sustainability with ‘Mission: Home’

Caroline O'Keefe

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Amidst other recent and amazing Ultra Music Festival news, (yes, the Miami edition will be returning home to Bayfront Park!) we have further buzz to share surrounding the world-renowned festival’s sustainability project. UMF has officially committed to continuing ‘Mission: Home’ in 2020 after reports show 2019 efforts were successful. 

The environmental organizations noted that attendees followed suit, “We were thrilled that the venue appeared exceptionally clean. There were enough waste stations, appropriate messaging, and volunteer staff to establish the social expectations, which the attendees followed.” Virginia Key Beach Park Trust Special Events Liaison, Michelle Swaby-Smith, agreed, “The sustainability plan ‘Mission Home’ was like no other. We were astonished at how clean the park was… even the attendees did their part,” she wrote in an email to City of Miami Commissioners.

“We are happy to announce that our Mission: Home sustainability initiatives including our Leave No Trace policy, single-use plastic reduction efforts and recycling program will continue in 2020 and beyond.” – Ultra’s Senior Manager of Sustainability, Vivian Belzaguy

2019’s edition was applauded for “setting the bar in festival greening,” and earned Ultra an “A” on an unbiased, third-party report card compiled by VolunteerCleanup.org, Surfrider Miami and Debris Free Oceans. 

Environmental education content available throughout the event reached roughly 55,000 attendees per day for three days. A video about the Leave No Trace initiative aired on Ultra’s YouTube channel, which garnered 30 million views over the course of the weekend. All of Ultra’s Mission: Home sustainability initiatives were shared online, creating a sustainability model for events all over the world to see. 

Below is a summary of some of the project’s most notable marks:

  • 100% percent of recycling loads were accepted by the local facility
  • Avoided the use of 526,000 single-use plastic items
  • 31% of the waste created during the event was diverted from landfill
  • 60,360 pounds of waste were diverted through recycling and composting efforts
  • 56,660 pounds of waste recycled
  • Mission: Home education & awareness campaign reached 2.7 million people before gates even opened

Caroline is an avid electronic music enthusiast. Born and raised in the Boston area, Caroline relocated to New York and then again to Florida to complete her Bachelors Degree in Social Entrepreneurship & Business. First attending Wagner College in Staten Island, she transferred to Rollins College in Orlando. Her passion for EDM and music festivals has taken her up and down the East coast, and inspired her to pursue her dreams within the industry. Electronic music truly has been a blessing in her life, and landed her on a path she is sure is her life calling.

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