Ultra Miami and Social Responsibility: How the Festival Supports Environmental and Social Causes
Known for its electrifying music and enthusiastic crowds, Ultra Miami has become a must-attend event for music lovers from around the world. However, the festival is not just about the music – Ultra also places a strong emphasis on social responsibility and environmental sustainability.
Ultra Music Festival, one of the world’s largest electronic dance music festivals, has been recognized for its commitment to sustainability and environmental responsibility through its ‘Mission: Home‘ program. This initiative has won several event industry awards and has received accolades from respected environmental organizations for its efforts to reduce the festival’s carbon footprint and promote environmental awareness among attendees.
Launched in 2010, ‘Mission: Home’ has been able to significantly reduce Ultra’s environmental impact while also promoting a culture of sustainability and responsibility among attendees. In recognition of its efforts, the program has received multiple awards from the Florida Festivals and Events Association, including 1st place Volunteer Program, 2nd Place Education Program, and tied for 2nd Place Sustainability Program, surpassed only by events that were fully-focused on sustainability
In recent years, Ultra has collaborated with organizations like The Florida Festivals and Events Association (FFEA) that promotes and strengthens the festival and event industry in Florida. At their 28th annual convention, the FFEA recognized 60 SUNsational Award winners from a network of over 5,500 events. Ultra’s ‘Mission: Home’ received 1st place in Volunteer Program, 2nd Place in Education Program, and tied for 2nd Place in Sustainability Program.
Furthermore, 159 volunteers participated in the ‘Mission: Home’ activations in 2022. This included supporting educational experiences at Ultra’s Eco Village and waste management with Clean Vibes. It has diverted over 22 Million pounds of event waste from landfills in the past twenty-three years, with Ultra achieving 100% acceptance of recycling loads at local facilities since ‘Mission: Home’s inception in 2019. Volunteers also teamed up with the Bye Bye Plastic Foundation to facilitate dance floor cleanups and surprise attendees with artist appearances and Ultra superhero capes.
Also, the Student Volunteers Program, run by Ultra’s Sustainability Department, gave local university students hands-on experience in implementing event sustainability initiatives. Student volunteers ensured compliance with the festival’s styrofoam and single-use plastic bans with Best Beverage Catering, supported carbon offsetter Climate Futures with an educational VR experience, and observed Stop Ocean Pollution Technologies’ Bayfront Park litter prevention measures. 100% of surveyed student volunteers agreed that their experience helped develop their personal, academic, and professional goals.
Beyond local and state recognition ‘Mission: Home’ received recognition from Oceanic Global, an international NGO promoting industry-specific solutions for protecting the environment. Their ‘Blue Standard’ program includes a rigorous audit of operational sustainability. Ultra received ‘2-Star Blue Verification’ by eliminating 6 single-use plastic types and implementing 3 ‘Blue Actions’ through Oceanic Global’s assessment.
Ultra’s commitment to Mission: Home’s vision was shown in their 2022 Sustainability Report, which highlighted impressive achievements such as diverting 128,000 pounds of waste and a new food and supply rescue program resulting in over 22,000 pounds of resources being reutilized. This led to Ultra being recognized as a leader in sustainability among U.S. electronic music festivals and beyond.
Our ‘Mission: Home’ program has become part of the fabric of our organization. I was thrilled to see it return with us this year and could not be more proud to be recognized as an industry leader in this space.
– Russell Faibisch (Founder and CEO of Ultra)
In conclusion, Ultra Music Festival is much more than just a music festival. Through its commitment to social responsibility and environmental sustainability, Ultra is making a positive impact in the Miami community and beyond. By supporting important causes and promoting sustainability, Ultra is setting an example for other music festivals and inspiring its fans to make a difference in the world.
Image credit: Rukes for Ultra Miami