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GEI Summer Series: Boom Festival shares secret to 20-year success

Boom Festival arts manager Artur Mendes talks to AGF's Claire O'Neill about the creation, development and future of the Portuguese festival

By IQ on 05 Aug 2020

For the latest instalment of the GEI Summer Series, organised by A Greener Festival (AGF) and the Green Events & Innovations Conference (GEI), Claire O’Neill talks to Artur Mendes on what would have been the 20th-anniversary edition of Boom Festival.

The Biennial Transformational festival takes place in Portugal and welcomes over 40,000 people from around the world each year, but was forced to reschedule this year’s event due to coronavirus.

Instead, Mendes discusses the triumphs and trials of running Boom Festival for two decades with O’Neill, including the challenges associated with winning AGF’s Outstanding Greener Festival Award six times.

“Due to the pandemic, we risk going backwards in terms of the whole plastic disposable culture”

Other topics discussed include sustainability challenges that have arisen due to the pandemic, the redistribution of budget for sustainability, and the festival’s work with NGOs and communities.

Speaking of the sustainability challenges that have been presented by the pandemic, Mendes says: “We risk going backwards in terms of the whole plastic disposable culture… the governments and many promoters don’t want to risk the safety and the health of the people. I’m already seeing disposable cups are back in Portugal. We are also concerned about the impact of hygiene chemicals on water biology and health. We don’t know how prepared the infrastructure of festivals and events are for this.”

The interview went live on YouTube and Facebook yesterday (4 August) and can be watched in its entirety above.

The series launched on World Environment Day (June 5) with Preventing Plastic Pollution Post Pandemic, a virtual panel featuring speakers from the environmental and live events sectors.

 


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