Gasparilla Music Festival Goes Green

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Recycling and carbon offsets are part of the music festival’s green initiative.

A music fest is a great space for sponsors, vendors and startups to introduce new ideas and technologies.

Awesome bands. Check. Local food and craft beers. Check. High-tech lighting and sound system. Check. But, beyond the music, food, and festivities, the Gasparilla Music Festival (GMF) is going the extra mile to ‘go green.’

The second annual festival, taking place on Saturday, March 9th, in downtown Tampa will implement several sustainability initiatives that will reduce the event’s impact on the environment. GMF has received a donation of 5 metric tons of Verified Emission Reductions (VERSs) or carbon offsets generated by methane capture and reduction projects across America.

The festival’s carbon offsets from Boulder, Colo.-based Renewable Choice Energy will offset 100% of the event’s onsite emissions. This commitment by GMF to reduce carbon emissions has an impact similar to planting 128 trees or avoiding the carbon emissions from consuming 560 gallons of gasoline.

To reduce waste and encourage recycling, GMF has partnered with the City of Tampa to recycle all paper, plastic, aluminum and glass used during the festival. Festival organizers have also partnered with Boxed WaterTM to completely eliminate plastic water bottles during the festival.

Organizers also hope to lessen the environmental impact of traveling to and from the festival by implementing a Travel Impact Reduction program. A comprehensive transportation page on the GMF website will encourage attendees to carpool, and promote transit options including HART bus lines, the TECO Line Streetcar as well as biking, walking and using river taxis.

GMF volunteers will also work with food vendors to reduce the amount of non-recyclable materials they distribute, while also encouraging them to use local and organic foods.

GMF has worked with consultant Taylor Ralph, founder and President of Tampa-based REAL Building Consultants, to develop a plan not only for this year’s festival but also for the long term sustainability of the event.

“Hosting a music fest in an urban environment at the mouth of a vital environmental asset, the Hillsborough River, puts us in a position to lead by example,” said GMF president David Cox. “A music fest is not only the perfect opportunity to implement proven, cost effective solutions to reduce environmental impact, but it’s also a great space for sponsors, vendors and startups to introduce new ideas and technologies.”

GMF will take place on four stages in and around Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park and Kiley Gardens in downtown Tampa. This year’s lineup includes The Meter Men with Page McConnell, Best Coast, Dr. Dog, Ozomatli, Black Joe Lewis and the Honeybears, Dawes, Lord Huron, The Iguanas and more.

General admission tickets are available for $25 through the GMF website ( and at select local ticket outlets. Tickets are $30 the day of the festival. Admission is free for children ages 12 and under.

Visit for festival updates, including the complete lineup, food and beverage offerings, and sponsorship opportunities.

The Gasparilla Music Festival presented by Tech Data is sponsored by FL Legal Group, the Tampa Bay Times, Yuengling Beer, Tito’s Handmade Vodka, Soulshine, Trombley & Haynes, P.A., Tower Radiology Centers, Carte Blanche Wines, Wilkes & McHugh, P.A., Gulf Shore Bank, the Kimmins Foundation, Malio’s Restaurant, Franklin Street, Cigar City Brewing, St. Somewhere Brewing Co., Sierra Nevada Brewing Co., Tampa Chamber of Commerce, NorthStar Bank, Hill Ward Henderson, Ferman Motor Car Company, and

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Jamie Zinober
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