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European festivals unite to create greener future

Pohoda Festival, Boom Festival, We Love Green and Dour Festival team up with environmental NGOs to launch GEX, working to make festivals more sustainable

By IQ on 12 May 2020

Slovakia's Pohoda festival is leading the campaign

Pohoda Festival is one of the co-initiators of GEX

image © Lucia Kotrhová

A collective of festivals and non-governmental organisations have launched Green Europe Experience (GEX), an initiative working to create a more eco-friendly future for music and arts festivals.

Portugal’s Boom Festival, Dour Festival in Belgium, Pohoda Festival in Slovakia and French event We Love Green have teamed up with sustainability groups A Greener Festival (AGF) in the UK and Germany’s Go Group in Germany as the co-initiators of GEX.

“In the middle of these demanding times, we feel an even stronger urge to use this special moment in history to take a deep breath and work towards healing our connection with this planet,” reads a statement from GEX initiators. “We understand that the big challenges ahead can only be addressed in a co-creation process.”

Using the two main focal points of scenography – festival decor, artwork, installations, design and signage – and food, GEX will work on developing ways to allow festivals to become fully circular through a process of implementation and review.

“We understand that the big challenges ahead can only be addressed in a co-creation process”

The project will take place over a period of three years, with the first year dedicated to minimising the ecological impact of scenography and the second focusing on food.

All findings will be shared with the teams of the festivals involved, local suppliers and stakeholders. A manual will be drawn up and distributed for the use of the wider festival and events industry.

“The GEX project brings together some of the most visionary organisations in this space to act as a catalyst to collectively accelerate the positive changes we need to make,” comments AGF co-founder and director Claire O’Neill.

“We look forward to exploring, learning and sharing ways for creative expression and precious social interaction that puts people and the planet at the forefront.”

GEX is co-funded by the European Union’s Creative Europe Programme.

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