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DGTL sets a new precedent for sustainability

Dutch brand DGTL has announced the final piece in its ‘overall sustainability puzzle’ after partnering with SkyNRG, a pioneer in sustainable aviation fuel (SAF).

The new partnership will ensure that all artists flying to and from DGTL’s eight international editions reduce their CO2 emissions by replacing fossil fuel with SAF, using the ‘book and claim’ model.

The festival says it now has a ‘firm handle’ on every aspect of its sustainability cycle, having solved sustainability issues around energy, water and sanitation, food and commodities at their events.

Last year, DGTL’s flagship event in Amsterdam was the first electronic music festival to become fully sustainable, setting a precedent in the international live music industry.

The brand also has editions in Barcelona, Madrid, Santiago, São Paulo, Tel Aviv and Bangalore.

“DGTL’s festivals have a huge reach, which is why it is important we lead by example and plant the seed for change”

“We feel a responsibility to continuously improve and maintain our social and environmental impact on the globe and we are committed to leave the world a bit better than we found it,” says DGTL’s sustainability coordinator Mitchell van Dooijeweerd.

“That’s why we are always researching and implementing innovative measures to progressively reduce emissions. But we’re looking beyond our own emissions too. Through this partnership with SkyNRG, we reduce CO2 emissions together with our artists and ensure that what we do inspires our surroundings.

“Replacing fossil kerosine with SAF is a huge step forward for unavoidable flights. Furthermore, it is a scalable solution that can reduce air travel emissions for other events too where air travel may be unavoidable. DGTL’s festivals have a huge reach, which is why it is important we lead by example and plant the seed for change.”

Under the new partnership, DGTL and SkyNRG – alongside climate tech builder Chooose – will also launch a carbon emissions calculator that both the industry and general public can use to evaluate and reduce their CO2 footprint.

Climate healing and carbon removals will be a key topic at the summer edition of the Green Events and Innovations Conference, taking place online on 16 September 2021. Tickets are available here.


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Dutch festivals reschedule en masse for September

Swathes of Dutch festivals are postponing spring editions until the autumn in order to be covered by the government’s event cancellation insurance scheme.

The government announced the €300 million insurance scheme last month and is now considering a 1 June commencement date, which is prompting an increasing number of festivals to delay events until the second half of the year.

September is shaping up to be a particularly busy month in the Netherlands’ 2021 festival calendar, with newly rescheduled dates from Awakenings, Paaspop, Zwarte Cross, DGTL, Dauwpop and Utrecht Central Park Festival among others.

Amsterdam dance festival DGTL (pictured), which typically take places during Easter weekend, has been rescheduled for 11 and 12 September at its usual location, the NDSM docklands.

DJs including The Blessed Madonna, HAAi, CamelPhat, Honey Dijon, Nina Kraviz and Ricardo Villalobos have been confirmed.

Dauwpop has also been pushed back, from its standard date in May to 4 September, but will take place at its usual location in Hellendoorn.

Awakenings, Paaspop, Zwarte Cross, DGTL, Dauwpop and Utrecht Central Park Festival have rescheduled for September

The 26th edition of the Mojo-promoted festival will host performances from artists including Chef Special, Eefje De Visser, Kensington and Typhoon. Dauwpop’s organisers say they want to book as many of the same names as possible from the cancelled 2020 event.

Elsewhere, the Utrecht Central Park Festival in Transwijk Park has been moved from 5 June to 18 September “to give visitors more certainty that [the festival] can still take place this year”.

According to the festival, 85% of the tickets have already been sold during last year, while the remaining few are on sale now.

The organisers say they’re hoping to re-book the acts that were due to perform at last year’s edition including Kensington, Chef Special, Di-rect, De Staat and more.

Earlier this month, Paaspop, Awakenings and Zwarte Cross announced new dates.

Best Kept Secret, Pinkpop, Defqon. 1, Motel Mozaique Festival and Ribs & Blues are among the other Dutch festivals scheduled to take place in the spring, but which haven’t announced rescheduled dates.

 


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Green Guardians: Food and Beverage

The Green Guardians Guide, spearheaded by the Green Events and Innovations Conference and IQ Magazine, is a new yearly iniative highlighting some of the work being done around the world to reduce the carbon footprint of the live entertainment business.

The inaugural list features 60 entries across ten categories, selected by the Green Guardians committes, which includes representatives from some of the sector’s most respected bodies, such as A Greener Festival, Go Group, Green Music Initiative, Julie’s Bicycle and Vision:2025.

Following on from last week’s feature on organisations conducting ethical and sustainable staffing and personnel practices, this edition of Green Guardians looks at those ensuring we eat and drink in an environmentally friendly way at live events. 

 


Food and beverage

Stack-Cup
Stack-Cup’s vision is to live in a world where consuming is fun, guilt-free and doesn’t destroy the Earth. The team behind Stack-Cup believe that changing consumer behaviour and habits will lead to a better future for our planet.

Stack-Cup’s clients include The O2 (London), The Oval cricket ground (London) and Hong Kong Stadium. All of which had previously used tonnes of single-use plastics every year. However, by partnering with all three venues on the customer experience, cup logistics and washing infrastructure, Stack-Cup was able to implement a circular approach to reusing cups, ensuring that they were returned to the venues time and again.

In each case, there were challenges to overcome, from councils regarding health and safety through to customer deposit programmes. Working with each venue, Stack-Cup continues to fine-tune and improve its service. The company can track its impact by calculating the number of reusable cups, rather than single-use plastics, in venues, which can be articulated both in financial terms and reduction in CO2 emissions. Last year, it removed 14.8 million single-use cups from the economy.

The team behind Stack-Cup believe that changing consumer behaviour and habits will lead to a better future for our planet

The Food Line-up
The Food Line-up was founded in 2012 and is based on the principles of slow food i.e. good, clean and fair. Visiting festivals, the company’s founders became frustrated with the type of food that was being served, mostly by one giant company. They decided it was time food became part of the event line-up, hence the company name, and have been working with specialised chefs to achieve this ever since.

Alongside its main role as “food booker” for large-scale festivals and corporate events, The Food Line-Up has also developed projects such as the circular food-court, together with DGTL Festival; and Brasserie 2050, together with financial services company Rabobank, in the Netherlands. The project aims to address the issue of feeding the world’s rapidly increasing population, which is set to reach almost ten billion by 2050.

The project’s central theme was minimal impact on people, animals and the environment. In addition, all dishes were given an accurate C02 measurement and every dish told the story of a smart technologist, driven farmer or visionary entrepreneur.

The Food Line-up was founded in 2012 and is based on the principles of slow food i.e. good, clean and fair

Øya Festival
Øya Festival uses plates made from wheat bran that is compressed and shaped using steam. The end product is edible and tastes like a very dry biscuit – and has become a favourite amongst beer-thirsty audiences. Uneaten plates can be disposed of alongside food waste, and it is easy for the public to properly source them. Festivalgoers don’t need to scrape food waste off the plates, since food and plates go into the same garbage bin.

The plates are manufactured by Biotrem and are a Polish innovation. They are made from residual products that would otherwise be discarded, and represent a fantastic solution, as they replace a disposable product that would normally be made of single-use plastic.

There are drawbacks, as the plates weigh a lot, both as new products and as part of the festival’s total waste. They also tend to dissolve if left with hot liquid for too long. But all in all, it is a solution Øya is very proud to use, and the carbon footprint is minimal.

Øya Festival uses plates made from wheat bran that is compressed and shaped using steam

Det Runde Bord
Det Runde Bord (DRB) is the food waste partner of Roskilde Festival and many others, and has been spreading its message globally, and inspiring many, since 2014.

The organisation has attended around 100 festivals since its inception, and in total has saved six million meals from ending up as food waste – a significant part of which has come from wholesale food companies and food producers.

As well as food waste, DRB has undertaken a large number of projects relating to the environment involving food for the needy. During the coronavirus pandemic, the organisation was contacted by social workers due to the numerous soup kitchens that were forced to close down. DRB started production within three days, and since the end of March has distributed 500 single packaged meals a day (many thousands in total) to homeless people and drug addicts. The company will continue to do so until these people are in a sound nutritional state.

The organisation has in total has saved six million meals from ending up as food waste

Tollwood Festival
Tollwood Festival unites a zest for life, an enjoyment of culture, and a commitment to a tolerant, peaceful and sustainable world. Since the first festival in 1988, ecological and social commitment has formed the way the festival thinks and acts, and its key focus is to keep its carbon footprint as small as possible.

Tollwood is known for its international gastronomy, which is provided by around 50 restaurateurs, and since 2003, the festival’s catering has been certified in accordance with EU organic council regulation. This means that the event’s visitors can enjoy a diverse selection of 100% organic, vegetarian and vegan food from 20 or so nations. This dedication to organic, plant-based cuisine saves the festival 116 tons of CO2 per year.

As a leader in its field, Tollwood is often contacted by other festivals and venues requesting information about its returnable system and waste sorting systems.

“If you change conditions, you change behaviour! Your guests will act sustainably, when sustainability is the standard. It’s your turn, it’s your responsibility, act now!”

Your guests will act sustainably, when sustainability is the standard

Goodness Gracious Healthy Foods
Prior to starting the business in 1988, company founders Barry and Peter Tiffen, were travelling in South America where they witnessed first hand the destruction being carried
out to primary forests in order to make space for both cattle and palm oil. After seeing the effects this was having on the environment, the brothers set up Goodness Gracious Healthy Foods with the aim of providing healthy food at events and festivals and encouraging people to try a plantbased diet, which is a healthy and more environmentally friendly alternative.

In addition, after realising that very few events provide composting, the Tiffens established a system where they take leftovers to a nearby farmer to be composted.

Keeping busy during the pandemic lockdown, Barry and Peter have been converting a large, overgrown field into an organic allotment, as well as building an eco-house with rainwater harvesting, photovoltaic panels, an air source heat pump and a heat recovery system etc.

 


Continue reading this feature in the digital edition of IQ 90, or subscribe to the magazine here

Amsterdam’s DGTL goes digital

The organisers of DGTL festival, which was scheduled to take place from 11 to 12 April at Amsterdam’s NDSM Docklands, have announced they are hosting an online event in its place, Digital DGTL.

DGTL Amsterdam was among a number of Dutch festivals to be cancelled at the end of last month, following an extension of a governmental ban on all public gatherings until 1 June.

Now, DGTL is joining a growing number of festivals – including South American events Lollapalooza Chile and Colombia’s Estéreo Picnic – to provide fans with online content on the original dates of the cancelled event.

Over two days from 2 to 11p.m. (CET), fans will be able to access live streams from 28 different artists across three “stages” via the Digital DGTL website.

Over two days, fans will be able to access live streams from 28 different artists across three “stages”

Those “attending” Digital DGTL can also sign up to alerts to notify them of when their favourite artists are about to perform. Acts playing the virtual event include Jasper Wolff, Luuk Van Dijk, Deniro, Adriatique and Nicolas Lutz.

DGTL has partnered with Absolut vodka and Kornuit beer, as well as local catering establishments, allowing “festivalgoers” to pre-order food – all vegetarian – and drink for delivery during the festival from a digital bar and food court. Festival merchandise is also available to buy via the website.

Using the hashtag #KeepDistanceStayDGTL, organisers remind fans to keep to their own homes while tuning in to the festival.

Organisers also call on viewers to make a donation to Erasmus MC (Erasmus University medical Centre) during the online festivals, for their work in developing a vaccine and other medicines to fight coronavirus.

Photo: Hanna Norlin/Flickr (CC BY 2.0) (cropped)

 


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Dutch govt bans all events until 1 June

The Dutch government has tightened up restrictions on live events, extending its existing ban on public gatherings until 1 June, applying the ban to events of all sizes and issuing fines to those not in compliance.

The new measures were announced by the cabinet on Monday evening (23 March). Under the new rules, groups of three or more not keeping one-and-a-half meters apart will be fined. Previously, events were banned until 6 April, and gatherings of up to 100 people were still permitted.

Companies not complying with the new rules will face fines or up to €4,000, whereas individuals will be charged €400.

The extension brings the event ban into festival season. Following the announcement, the organisers of DGTL Amsterdam cancelled the 2020 edition, due to take place on 11 and 12 April. Acts billed to play DGTL included Nina Kraviz, Sven Väth, Bonobo, Marcel Dettman and Honey Dijon.

“In light of the current Covid-19 pandemic, we at DGTL believe in putting the health and safety of our visitors, crew, volunteers and society above all. After closely following the advice and precautionary measures from the Dutch government and health officials, it is with deep sadness that we have to officially inform you that DGTL Amsterdam will not be taking place as scheduled,” reads a statement on the festival’s website.

“Despite all the hard work that everyone has put into the organisation of the festival, this obviously feels like the only right decision. Our current priority is to play our part responsibly in the fight against this global health crisis.”

“In light of the current Covid-19 pandemic, we at DGTL believe in putting the health and safety of our visitors, crew, volunteers and society above all”

Organisers will reach our to ticketholders in the coming weeks, offering a ticket exchange for the 2021 event or a full refund. In accordance with recent government advice, fans are urged to give organisers “time and space” and to resist getting into contact regarding refunds.

Organisers of Kingsland Festival, set to take place on 27 April in celebration of Kingsday (the Dutch King’s birthday), are currently working “to find a suitable solution with all authorities and parties involved” and ask for the understanding and patience of ticketholders.

The one-day festival takes place simultaneously in the cities of Amsterdam, Groningen, Rotterdam and Tilburg. Acts scheduled to perform include Afrojack, Wizkid and Fisher.

Awakenings Easter, a four-day series of events across Amsterdam over the Easter bank holiday, will no longer take place. Awakenings Festival is still set to go ahead on June 27 and 28, with acts including Amelia Lens, Avalon Emerson, Charlotte de Witte, Helena Hauff, Ricardo Villalobos and Maceo Plex.

Mojo festivals including Paaspop (2 to 4 April), Momo Festival (16 to 18 April), Dauwpop (21 May), Ribs and Blues (30 May to 1 June) are no longer taking place, although all will return in 2021.

Major Mojo festivals such as A Campingflight to Lowlands Paradise, Woo Hah!, North Sea Jazz Festival, Down the Rabbit Hole and Pinkpop are all currently going on as planned once the ban is lifted.

Other Dutch festivals going ahead this summer include Mysteryland, FKP Scorpio’s Best Kept Secret and Defqon.1 Weekend Festival.

 


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DGTL to be first 100% sustainable electronic music fest

The team behind the flagship Amsterdam edition of DGTL festival has created a circular blueprint for festivals – also applicable to cities – becoming the first electronic music festival to become fully sustainable.

The DGTL sustainability programme has been running since 2013, aiming to create a completely circular, or sustainable, festival in terms of energy, water and sanitation, food, waste and transport.

The festival was among those to pledge their commitment to the Green Deal and become fully circular by 2025 at Amsterdam Dance Event (ADE) in October. A special festival-focused panel is taking place in collaboration with the International Green Deal at the Green Events and Innovations Conference (GEI) in London on Tuesday 3 March.

The festival was among those to pledge their commitment to the Green Deal and become fully circular by 2025

Working with the City of Amsterdam and central government, this year’s DGTL Amsterdam, which takes place on 11 and 12 April, will be entirely powered by renewable energy sources. The event will also implement a fully circular sanitary system.

The festival is introducing a fully plant-based food menu and will use biodiesel to fuel all machinery used pre- and post-event. Special deals on train travel to the festival aim to deter fans from flying.

Artists playing at this year’s DGTL Amsterdam include Bonobo, Nicola Cruz, Nina Kraviz, the Black Madonna, Theo Parrish and Honey Dijon.

Tickets for GEI 2020 are available here. The conference will feature speakers from The Membranes singer John Robb, Live Nation, Extinction Rebellion, AEG Europe, Mojo Concerts, CAA, and more.

 


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Festivals make green pledge at ADE 2019

A group of 20 festivals from seven different countries have pledged their commitment to increasing sustainability efforts today (Friday 18 October) at ADE Green, the environment-focused sub-conference of Amsterdam Dance Event (ADE).

Representatives from Dutch festivals including Amsterdam Open Air, DGTL, Down the Rabbit Hole, Lowlands, North Sea Jazz and Into the Great Wide Open, as well as Denmark’s Roskilde, the UK’s Boardmasters, Boomtown and Shambala, Ireland’s Body & Soul, French festival We Love Green, the Berlin edition of Festival Republic’s Lollapalooza festival, and others, signed the Green Deal Festivals Circular onstage with Dutch environment minister Stientje van Veldhoven.

A meeting for the Green Deal was held earlier this year in London, as part of the Green Events and Innovations Conference (GEI). Tickets for GEI 2020 can be found here.

The pledge will see the participating festivals become completely circular, or sustainable, by 2025.

“This deal has a great value for all involved,” said Roskilde’s Freja Marie Frederiksen, speaking at the event. “We can all learn from each other and improve things much more quickly.”

“Collaboration is the key to the urgently needed change in how we deal with energy, water, food, mobility, plastic and other materials,” added Paul Schurink of Green Events International, organising partner of ADE Green and an initiator of the green deal along with the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management.

“Collaboration is the key to the urgently needed change in how we deal with energy, water, food, mobility, plastic and other materials”.

“With a combined number of over three million festival visitors we can make an enormous impact.”

Topics discussed throughout the day at ADE Green included responsible plastic use, DJ’s air miles and innovative ways to change the industry. A workshop run by sustainability expert Douwe Luijnenburg instructed delegates on how to manage events in a environmentally friendly way.

Elsewhere, green initiatives will again take centre stage later today at the launch of Exit festival’s Life Stream, a project aiming to increase audience awareness around environmental issues.

The team behind the Exit events will broadcast performances from DJs Artbat, Coeus, After Affair, Andrew Meller and DJ Jock live from the Faralda Crane Hotel in Amsterdam from 7 p.m. to 1 a.m. Environmental imagery and statements will be incorporated into the live stream.

The Life Stream platform will be used throughout Exit Festival’s 20th anniversary event, which takes place from 9 to 12 July 2020 in Novi Sad, Serbia.

More than 9,000 delegates registered for this year’s ADE which kicked off on 16 October and wraps up on Sunday, 20 October.

The industry will once again unite to tackle issues surrounding sustainability at GEI12 in London on Tuesday 3 March in London, on the opening day of the International Live Music Conference (ILMC).

 


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