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Concert for Earth to take place inside volcano crater

The first-ever Concert for Earth, a nonprofit music festival and global conservation summit, is to take place from inside a volcano crater on the Azores Islands in Portugal.

Organised by Extreme guitarist Nuno Bettencourt – who was himself born in The Azores – via his production company Atlantis Entertainment, the event will feature live and virtual performances from artists, and showcase the work of leading conservationists and organisations from around the world.

Black Eyed Peas, Pitbull, Stone Temple Pilots, Bush, Mod Sun and Girlfriends are set to headline the event, while organisations including Re:wild, Sea Legacy, Blue Azores, The Ocean Cleanup, Innerspace, Juccce, Grounded, and Brian Eno’s Earth Percent will be featured.

“Biodiversity, from wildlife to ecosystems, underpins the existence of life on Earth”

“Biodiversity, from wildlife to ecosystems, underpins the existence of life on Earth,” says Wes Sechrest, chief scientist and CEO of participating partner Re:wild. “We are excited to be a part of Concert for Earth, a celebration of the symphony of life on our unique planet and an invitation to come together to protect and restore nature for the benefit of biodiversity, the climate, and all of us”.

The event promises to be zero- to low emission and any remaining carbon emissions from the event will be offset with support from environmental nonprofit A Greener Festival (AGF).

The festival is set to take place in Sete Cidades, in the Azores, on 22 and 23 July. Select artist performances will be livestreamed worldwide for free on the second day via Veeps, while in-person tickets are available to those local to the Azores.

Those watching remotely can ‘click to donate’ during the livestream, with 100% of donations going directly to the festival’s conservation partners.

 


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GEI 14: Brian Eno preaches climate ‘opportunity’

A keynote interview with Brian Eno and Aurora was one of the highlights of the 14th Green Events & Innovations Conference (GEI), the leading gathering for sustainability at live events.

The duo sat down with host Love Ssega to discuss ‘Directing the energy of music for the benefit of the planet’ to close this year’s GEI at the Royal Garden Hotel, London last Friday (29 April).

A renowned musician, producer, visual artist and activist, Eno praised Coldplay’s efforts to cut their carbon footprint on their current groundbreaking eco-friendly stadium tour.

“The biggest carbon footprint of touring is generally getting the audience to the shows,” said Eno. “It isn’t getting the band and the equipment to the shows, it’s the audiences. If you’ve got 100,000 people coming to a show and they’re travelling an average of say 30 or 40 miles, that’s a huge huge number of vehicles.

“So Coldplay, for example, are now trying to set up systems where they set up a coach service. And in fact, it sounds a lot more fun to me to be in a coach with 30 or 40 other people going to the same show.”

“I’ve now started thinking in terms of the climate opportunity, rather than the climate emergency”

Eno recently founded Earth Percent, a charity providing a simple way for the music industry to support impactful organisations addressing the climate emergency, and spoke of his desire to tell a “second story” on the issue.

“We all know the first story: we’re on course for disaster,” he said. “The apocalypse is just around the corner and so on. But I’ve now started thinking in terms of the climate opportunity, rather than the climate emergency, because if you think about all the things we would have to do to save the planet… we have to change the way we do all sorts of things. And then when you think about that, you think that would be a much better world anyway.

“It’s not just about trying to save what we have. It’s about trying to make something new with this huge prompt that says, ‘We’ve got to change.’ And if we succeed, we’ll end up in a better place in a better place than we ever imagined.

“The invitation is not just to fight back like the resistance, against this huge force that is coming at us, but to sidestep it and say, ‘We’ll just build a new future.’ And I think this is happening already.”

“As things start to disappear from culture, people suddenly realise that they’re valuable”

Eno pinpointed the expression, “The best is the enemy of the good,” for its growing pertinence to the matter at hand.

“What I see happening a lot is people saying, ‘Well, I can’t do this thing that would be the ideal, so I won’t do anything.’ That is really not an option,” he said. “There is going to be a continuous, endless set of choices and negotiations where we try to prevent another 0.1% temperature rise. And we will do that because we will soon start to realise what happens if we don’t.

“One of the things that always happens as things start to disappear from culture, is that people suddenly realise that they’re valuable… So I’m hoping that because of the good side of mass media, we might actually be a little bit further ahead of the game this time.

“A heroic figure in this is David Attenborough – nobody has been more effective in making people fall in love with the planet than he has, and I think that’s what it takes for people to realise that this is the place to direct their love. I’m an atheist, but if I were going to pray to anything, it would be this place.”

“We have forgotten how to coexist and make room for everything else but ourselves, which is very sad”

Norwegian pop breakthrough Aurora said: “Apathy is the enemy of progress” and shared the relevance of her single The Woman I Am and LP The Gods We Can Touch, released in January.

“This whole album and song… is very in tune with what we’re here to talk about today: how humankind has changed through times and how the way we perceive each other and the earth, and the way we handle it… and how our touch and connection with nature that used to be so obvious in the past, has become less and less prominent within us,” she said.

“I was just wondering why this had happened, why we’d forgot to live organically as a coexisting thing, because we have forgotten how to coexist and make room for everything else but ourselves, which is very sad. I’m constantly moving in between, ‘Every small change matters,’ but also that, sometimes, small change isn’t enough when you know there’s so much we can do.”

The connection between wellbeing, inclusivity, diversity, equity and environmental sustainability was a recurring theme throughout GEI, which was presented by A Greener Festival (AGF) in partnership with the International Live Music Conference (ILMC).

Representatives from AEG, ASM Global, EarthPercent, Forest Green Rovers, Glastonbury, Music Declares Emergency, OVO Arena Wembley, Roskilde Festival, Royal Albert Hall, SEC, Soul Sutras, We Love Green, UWE and Yourope also appeared at the first green events industry physical get-together in over two years.

 


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Inside the Royal Albert Hall’s sustainability push

The Royal Albert Hall’s Lucy Noble and Neal Hockley have detailed the historic London venue’s sustainability focus in a new interview with IQ.

The Hall’s sustainability group meets quarterly to co-ordinate activities geared towards reducing the RAH’s environmental impact as part of plans to make the building as eco-friendly as possible.

Since 2016, work has been ongoing to change all the lighting in the 5,500-cap auditorium to LED, which has cut electricity usage by two-thirds in the completed areas. However, modernising the beloved Grade I listed Victorian building is not without its challenges.

“There are constraints with the structure of the building being 152 years old now and, because of the listing, not being able to change some of the key features,” explains building project engineer Hockley. “It would be nice to put modern insulation into walls and things like that, which we can’t do, and it would be lovely to get rid of the glass roof because of all the heat gains that come through from that, but obviously that would have massive implications.

“It is a challenge, but it is possible to work with it. We’re running a new filter system, which is far more efficient. We have seen electrical consumption reduce through that and the LED rollout as well. The EU directive to get rid of halogen lighting has driven everyone to try and work to LED. But obviously it’s a large auditorium, and I’m told red is the hardest colour to light against because of the colour rendering. It’s taken us quite a while to get to this point.”

Through various efficiency measures, the Hall has managed to keep emissions at 2019 levels, month-on-month, despite major projects such as new chillers to cool the auditorium.

It has also invested in a £900,000 upgrade of its ventilation system in response to the pandemic, opting to use EC rather than belt-driven fans due to being less harmful to the environment. The VAV (variable air volume) units respond to the CO2 in the air, so can tell when a room is not being used, with the fan speed being turned down automatically. Previously, they would run 24 hours a day.

“When we do a project, at the heart of it is efficiency and trying to reduce our carbon as much as we can”

“At the moment it’s on full speed because of Covid, but eventually we will see the electricity consumption drop, because it can sense the pressure and then the fan speed reduces,” adds Hockley. “It’s just an example that when we do a project, at the heart of it is efficiency and trying to reduce our carbon as much as we can.”

The venue’s artistic director Lucy Noble is one of the speakers at this year’s Green Events & Innovations Conference (GEI), the leading gathering for sustainability at live events. Presented by A Greener Festival (AGF) in partnership with the International Live Music Conference (ILMC), the 14th edition of GEI will take place at the Royal Garden Hotel in Kensington, London on Friday 29 April.

Noble, who is also chair of the UK’s National Arenas Association (NAA), reveals the RAH is introducing a green rider for promoters, encouraging them to use the venue’s own PA and lights; bring cups or bottles to refill from the coolers, or use Harrogate Spring Water if bottles are needed; and dispose of any show-related waste via the recycling companies listed in the rider.

“You wouldn’t believe how much wastage there is in terms of food, single use plastics, etc, so this is trying to combat that and I think most people are up for that now,” she tells IQ. “We will soon get rid of plastic front-of-house. We haven’t had plastic straws, forks and knives for many years, it’s all wooden now, and we try to use sustainable suppliers.

“We work with Harrogate Water, who are moving to a bottle that is 100% made from recycled materials and is 100% recyclable. People sometimes look at plastic and think it’s the big evil, but if you work with plastic that is from a recycled nature it can actually be really good. Harrogate Water is already operating on a net zero basis and we try to work with companies with strong sustainability credentials.”

“We will put a carbon management plan together over the course of this year”

Hockley, who has worked for the RAH since 2016, is in the process of putting together a carbon management plan for the venue, including key performance indicators (KPIs) around achieving net-zero carbon.

“We will put that plan together over this year,” he says. “It’s bringing items that the Hall is doing already under one document, if you like, with KPIs so that we can benchmark where we are every year. So with our energy, we’ve benchmarked a year, but there are other things that we need to benchmark as well and that plan will bring everything together and demonstrate how we are going to get to net zero.”

The venue has also brought audio in-house, dramatically reducing the number of lorries travelling to and from the Hall, with the majority of shows now using its audio rig. In addition, it plans to integrate a power monitoring system where any member of staff can log in and check the amount of power being used on a show-specific basis, allowing them to monitor the emissions created by a single show and work with the promoter to cut them.

Tonight (25 March) sees the continuation of the Teenage Cancer Trust charity concert series at the Hall with a concert by The Who, followed by Liam Gallagher (26 March) and Ed Sheeran (27 March).

 


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Exit Festival kicks off 20th anniversary celebrations

After postponing this year’s festival twice due to spikes in Coronavirus, Exit Festival has finally kicked off its 20th-anniversary celebrations with a smaller, hybrid event.

Last weekend, the Serbian festival launched Life Stream, a four-day socially-distanced festival which invited 500 fans per night to watch live performances in its Petrovaradin fortress in Novi Sad.

DJ’s including Carl Cox, Charlotte de Witte, Nina Kraviz, Adam Beyer and Black Coffee performed on the specially-built stage where the Exit’s mts Dance Arena would usually be.

Footage from Life Stream, which has been organised in partnership with the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), will be broadcast over two long weekends (17–20 and 24–27 September), along with videos and messages about looming environmental and hunger crises.

Exit’s Life Stream also included the international panel Conscious Music, which featured key members of the WFP including David Beasley and Exit’s Dušan Kovačević.

Life Stream will be broadcast over two weekends, along with messages about environmental and hunger crisis

Beasley pointed out that due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the number of people exposed to extreme hunger has increased to as many as 270 million, which is an increase of over 80% compared to the previous year.

According to Kovačević, if humanity does not change the direction it is moving in, our planet may become uninhabitable over the course of the following decades, due to the worsening climate changes.

He added that with the Life Stream project Exit wants to set a good example and encourage other festivals to use their media space to draw the public’s attention to the environmental and hunger crisis.

The Life Stream concept will be developed as an open-source platform and will be offered to other festivals and events around the world, for free.

Exit Festival will return next year from 8th to 11th July, with performances from David Guetta, Tyga, Eric Prydz, Four Tet, Boris Brejcha and more. Next year also marks 60 years of the United Nations World Food Programme.

 


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Green Guardians: Power

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 those providing environmentally friendly food and beverage options at events, this edition of Green Guardians looks at those ensuring events are powered in a sustainable way.

 


Power

Midas
Midas recognised during the early stages of its development, that in order to respond to client demands and requirements, it should own the machinery itself.

Investment in plant is one of the company’s main annual expenditures, and to complement its fleet, Midas stocks large quantities of mains cable and distribution products, and can cater to both the UK’s smallest events and to its most prestigious festivals.

As part of its services, Midas offers full site design, often working to very tight timescales and budgetary demands, sometimes in the most challenging and sensitive locations around the UK.

Midas sees all contracts as bespoke by nature and therefore treats them accordingly in order to deliver efficient, reliable and, above all, safe electrical systems.

Operations range from optimised generator sizing, to avoid plant running inefficiently, to road haulage and logistics. The Midas aim is to deliver cost-effective solutions to festival power hire clients, whilst at all times minimising the impact on the environment.

Midas sees all contracts as bespoke by nature and therefore treats them accordingly in order to deliver efficient, reliable and safe electrical systems

MHM
MHM was incorporated in early 2010 as a supplier of power generation, solar-hybrid generators, fluid storage, lighting towers, engine drive welders and product-related accessories to the UK and Irish rental markets for both purchase and rehire. The company has been awarded the prestigious SafeHire certification quality mark, which is governed by Hire Association Europe.

All MHM products are manufactured in a purpose-built facility based near Milan, Italy, that has individually designed production lines that produce the MHM range of equipment swiftly and efficiently, without compromising on quality or safety.

In keeping with modern-day requirements, MHM places particular emphasis on environmental considerations as it develops its product range. Examples for this progression include the increasing use of hybrid technology, LED lighting, solar power, clean fluid storage and emission-efficient diesel engines.

MHM undertakes to pursue the use of renewables to power their equipment wherever and whenever possible.

MHM undertakes to pursue the use of renewables to power their equipment wherever and whenever possible

Immersa Off Grid
Immersa Off Grid is a sister company to Immersa Ltd, which provides energy consumers, large and small, with bespoke energy solutions, utilising renewable energy generation and storage.

Immersa Off Grid focuses on the deployment of renewable energy and storage to festivals and events, principally on a rental/leasing basis, with the goal of replacing existing dirty/expensive equipment and infrastructure, such as diesel generators with clean alternatives, including temporary solar arrays with battery storage.

The use of solar and battery storage in concession-stand vehicles has a direct positive impact, as there is no diesel generator running to power the vehicle, meaning no noise and no exhaust fumes. This has an easily definable impact on people working in the vehicle, and everybody who visits it.

If all such concession stands at an event were powered in the same way this would have a huge effect on the localised environment and would be of great benefit to all those attending.

The use of solar and battery storage in concession-stand vehicles has a direct positive impact

Greener
Greener was founded in January 2018, in order to make an impact on the carbon dioxide footprint of on- and off-grid energy markets, using mobile batteries and smart energy planning.

The idea emerged in 2014, after a backstage visit to one of the biggest festivals in The Netherlands. Greener’s founders were shocked to discover how little thought had gone into accurately and efficiently planning the power supply of equipment such as lights, audio and food trucks.

As they investigated further, they saw the same lack of planning for energy efficiency in other areas, like construction sites and grid maintenance. Instead, all they could see was unnecessarily massive equipment running on very low efficiency rates – a situation they felt compelled to change.

The people behind Greener are convinced that there are many opportunities to make practices in the energy sector less of a burden on the environment. The company sees solutions in technological innovation and it is bringing these to the market to make our world greener.

The people behind Greener are convinced that there are many opportunities to make practices in the energy sector less of a burden on the environment

Wattsun
In the event, construction and film sector, more than 100 million litres of fuel are burned per year. This is associated with pollution, noise, odour and high costs. With the threat of climate change that we, as individuals, can no longer close our eyes to, organisations are being held increasingly responsible for pollution. Wattsun pop-up Power was established to help address this.

In 2015, Wattsun began the development of its portable battery systems and several prototypes were built that ultimately led to the current Wattsun products for which it has obtained a worldwide patent.

The Wattsun is extremely user-friendly. Thanks to the intuitive design and simplicity of operation, anyone, even without technical knowledge, can operate the system. The design immediately gives the user the idea that the modules are stackable and no matter how the module is stacked, clockwise or counter-clockwise, it always works, while the loading and unloading programme is automated in such a way that the user does not have to think about charging and discharging.

In the event, construction and film sector, more than 100 million litres of fuel are burned per year

We Love Green Festival
Having decided to create a music festival with a prominent focus on environmental issues, We Love Green organisers really had to start from scratch.

The festival site, located in Bois de Vincennes forest in Paris, is not supplied with electricity, so organisers had to find innovative energy solutions. Solar panels were installed onsite and despite the technology only being available in the UK at the time, they have since managed to source French, local providers willing to bring solar energy to temporary events.

We Love Green now uses 100% renewable energy powered by biofuel generators that use 100% French-produced rapeseed biofuel; and green hydrogen, which is produced in Paris with electricity from a wind farm.

“Rethinking” is We Love Green’s key strategy, according to co-founder Marie Sabot. “You have to rethink your way of doing things: you have to rethink design, rethink organisation, rethink implementation. We have to readjust ourselves to prioritise the health of our planet and its ecosystems.”

“We have to readjust ourselves to prioritise the health of our planet and its ecosystems”

Power Logistics
Power Logistics is a global leader in the provision of temporary events power, with a customer-focused service and respected track record that spans two decades.

The company’s logistical and electrical safety records are exemplary, and they also provide services within permanent venues as well as temporary, green-field events. It maintains a whole host of equipment and services in-house, from a fleet of dedicated event generators suitable for use with biodiesel, to an extensive stock of mains cabling, distribution and lighting equipment. In addition, it also has the facilities and expertise to fabricate new products, as well as adapting existing equipment to meet a client’s specific requirements.

Being energy efficient is at the forefront of everything the company does. It continually investigates new and alternative methods to make events as carbon efficient as possible. Sustainable solutions and reducing impact on the environment are key to ensuring Power Logistics’ business is both efficient and cost effective for its clients.

Power Logistics is a global leader in the provision of temporary events power

ZAP Concepts
ZAP Concepts offer consultancy in energy and sustainability; specialising in energy assessment, measurement and logging, together with the design of optimal power supplies for live events, through the use of its unique and internationally awarded Smart Power Plan.

The company not only accurately manages power at festivals and events, it is also active in the field of energy consultancy for both indoor and outdoor venues and public and private land-owners. The organisation designs and specifies permanent grid power connections for sites, based on the power needs of the different events that take place there, reducing or removing the need for temporary generators.

ZAP also works with developers of innovative energy systems by offering coaching and executive support. In addition to providing practical advice, it can also form the bridge between the technical developers of these systems and producers of festivals and events to achieve successful pilot schemes.

 


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

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

Green Guardians: Staffing and Personnel

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 artists and activists doing their bit to make the world a cleaner and better place, this edition of Green Guardians looks at those pioneering ethical and sustainable staffing and personnel practices.

 


Staffing and personnel

My Cause UK

My Cause has provided more than 6,000 proactive front-line volunteers to the UK’s biggest events such as Boomtown, Boardmasters, Bestival,  Download Festival, Noisily, NASS, Love Saves The Day, Lovebox and many more.

My Cause offers event organisers an ethical and sustainable alternative to existing staffing providers by channelling its fees to the charities its volunteers nominate. That provides My Cause with a switched on, engaged and reliable team to represent client events in the best possible way. So far, it has donated almost £150,000 to more than 1,000 charities chosen by its volunteers.

My Cause director Rob Wilkinson notes, “When you are looking to book crew, volunteers, or staff from any supplier don’t just look at your bottom line but ask about what they do to care for and support their team. Well briefed, motivated and well cared for staff on your front line will bring your green credentials to life better than any sign or page in a programme ever could.”

“Well briefed staff on your front line will bring your green credentials to life better than any sign or page in a programme ever could”

Roskilde Festival
Roskilde Festival is a volunteer-run, non-profit organisation whose aim is to make a difference and have a positive effect on its surroundings; to support initiatives benefitting children and young people; and to support humanitarian and cultural work.

Festival volunteers participate year round in the decision-making, planning and troubleshooting processes, and in the recruitment and management of other volunteers.

The volunteer community is motivated by teamwork and a sense of all being in it together, and due to actively participating in the development of the festival. This has an impact on volunteers signing up and participating for the first time.

Roskilde’s core management team supports the organisation by providing leadership training (also developed and run by volunteers) and by providing tools for supporting feedback processes, allowing volunteers’ voices to be heard regarding the many ideas they have on how to improve processes and co-operation.

Roskilde Festival is a volunteer-run, non-profit organisation whose aim is to make a difference and have a positive effect on its surroundings

Greenpeace
Greenpeace was actually founded with a concert in Canada, in 1970, when James Taylor, Joni Mitchell and the late Phil Ochs performed a benefit gig to pay for the fuel that allowed a Greenpeace ship to sail into a nuclear testing zone.

Glastonbury was the first major festival that Greenpeace attended, in 1992. Many concerts and festivals have followed and continue to play a major part in helping the organisation to raise awareness of its international work.

The majority of its event volunteers come from the network of local Greenpeace groups, but it also advertises on its social media platforms where potential volunteers complete a questionnaire and Greenpeace asks for another person to vouch for them.

In terms of sustainability, Greenpeace endeavours to lead by example, calling out areas where improvements can be made. Festivals give Greenpeace access to an audience that it can inform and entertain, allowing it to communicate vital messages such as: “Don’t count the cost; DO IT! As otherwise it’s costing the Earth.”

 


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

Green Guardians: Artists and activists

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 the event infrastructure pioneers featured earlier this week, this edition of Green Guardians looks at the artists and acvtivists doing their bit to make the world a cleaner and better place.

 


Artists and activists

Marte Wulff
Norwegian artist Marte Wulff was originally driven by a simple desire to make sustainability and environmental issues more mainstream from an artistic perspective.

“My ethos is that we need to speak up about what we can do as individuals and as an industry, even though it’s hard and uncomfortable,” she tells IQ. “We have the possibility right now to go ahead and define our own industry before nature or someone else does it for us.”

Wulff tours mainly by train or boat, and focuses on quality and sustainability before quantity. She asks all venues for low-carbon solutions in every part of the production, from food and drinks to transport, accommodation, promotion, etc. She makes and releases carbon neutral music videos, and when making physical albums, she puts pressure on suppliers to offer the most ethical products with the lowest carbon footprint, all the way from the paper used on the vinyl, to cutting out plastic and avoiding unnecessary or unethically produced merchandise.

“My ethos is that we need to speak up about what we can do as individuals and as an industry, even though it’s hard and uncomfortable”

Greenbelt Festival
Greenbelt believes passionately in the ability of individuals to come together and make a change – hence winning the 2020 International A Greener Festival Community Action Award.

Committed to halving its carbon footprint by 2025, Greenbelt continually examines all aspects of sustainability within the festival, while also sharing lessons with the wider industry to inspire others to also make changes. Greenbelt’s activities range from halving fuel usage, to introducing bamboo wristbands, and even discovering the success that Bin Fairies can have on recycling rates.

Greenbelt 2020 was planned single-use plastic free (apart from cable ties, which it is still working on) and this is ambition will be retained for 2021 when fully electric crew and artist buggies will be onsite.

“If you’re looking to improve your green credentials, focus on just a couple of things at a time – you can’t fix everything in one go,” says Greenbelt’s Mary Corfield. “Transport is a great place to start – how festivalgoers, artists and kit get to site, is a huge part of the emissions from every event.”

“If you’re looking to improve your green credentials, focus on just a couple of things at a time”

MaiNoi
MaiNoi is a Romanian NGO that specialises in sustainability, environmental communications and education campaigns for youth, at national and international level.

It has successfully pioneered sustainable events management at music festivals in Romania, through a five-year environmental programme developed at Electric Castle festival, which reduced the carbon footprint of the event and created thousands of agents of change from the audience, artists, and the festival’s ecosystem.

Other notable projects initiated by MaiNoi are the Music Drives Change campaign, which encouraged musicians to act as sustainability champions; as well as the “eco-ambassadors” behavioural and policy-change campaign to promote cycling as an alternative means of transportation and to push for the adoption of a cycling law in Romania.

The advice MaiNoi gives to those who want to improve their green credentials is to believe in their power, to make an impact at their scale, and to drive all their energy towards this objective: walking the sustainability path pays off sooner rather than later, and opens up wonderful opportunities for personal and collective evolution along the way.

Walking the sustainability path opens up wonderful opportunities for personal and collective evolution

RAW Ltd
RAW Ltd exists to do one simple thing: help create a world free of pointless plastic, one stainless steel bottle at a time. The organisation intends to help make this happen while having a lot of fun along the way. Every bottle sold not only tackles single-use plastics, but also makes partner brands look amazing. Whilst also helping to fund RAW Foundation’s campaign work globally on this critical issue, and supports its aim of eliminating single-use plastic by 2030.

RAW was co-founded by campaigner Melinda Watson, the founder of sister organisation RAW Foundation; the folks behind Shambala Festival; and Ed Gillespie, founder of global sustainability consultancy and creative change agency, Futerra.

RAW bottles are made of stainless steel, which will not leach, stain or react with the bottles’ contents. The vessels are durable, reusable, light, easy to carry and virtually indestructible.

The company has already eliminated the use of countless plastic bottles and is busy persuading others, to help it toward its 2030 goals.

RAW Ltd exists to do one simple thing: help create a world free of pointless plastic, one stainless steel bottle at a time

Shambala Festival
In the late ’90s, a group of like-minded people met and bonded over a shared love of music, good times, and a thirst for questioning the world. They threw a lot of parties, including Afrika Jam – a regular live African night, which they took on national tour in support of charity People & Planet.

Shambala quickly followed with 100 folk, a couple of toilets, and a farmer’s trailer for a stage. There was no real plan for the future, but people had a good time, so it was repeated again and again. Twenty years later Shambala is still going strong.

Shambala is committed to being as environmentally sustainable as possible. The carbon footprint of the festival has been reduced by over 80%, achieved 100% renewable power, become meat- and fish-free and has eradicated disposable plastics. The organisation is more than five times carbon positive, and it works with a large network of charities to generate income.

Shambala is committed to being as environmentally sustainable as possible

Sebastian Fleiter
Sebastian Fleiter’s grandfather taught him to use things up to the very end, and then try to repurpose them, “Later on, while staying in the US as a teenager, I learned about a first nations ancient language. This language had no word for ‘trash’… Everything used was part of an everlasting circle. That blew my mind.”

One of Fleiter’s best-known projects is The Electric Hotel – a recycled, 1960s Airstream trailer capable of mass-charging over 1,000 mobile phones simultaneously, with energy generated on-site at music festivals and other events all over Europe. The installation can provide enough power for small bands to perform in the middle of nowhere.

“I ask myself two questions when using something – the clothes I wear, electricity I use, the melon in the supermarket, a smart phone, a hairbrush, a search engine, pens, my knowledge, fossil fuel, the keyboard I am writing this on, or the coins in my pocket. The questions are very simple: Where does it come from? Where does it go?”

 


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

Green Guardians: Event infrastructure pioneers

The Green Guardians Guide, spearheaded by the Green Events and Innovations Conference and IQ Magazine, will be compiled each year to highlight some of the work being done around the world to reduce the carbon footprint of the live entertainment business.

To identify the companies, organisations and individuals that are pioneering sustainability measures, a Green Guardians committee has been established, including representatives of some of the sector’s most respected bodies, including A Greener Festival, Go Group, Greener Events Foundation, Green Events Netherlands, Green Music Initiative, Julie’s Bicycle, Réseau des Femmes en Environnement (The women in environment network) and Vision:2025.

This inaugural list features 60 entries across ten categories, and we would like to congratulate all those featured for making this year’s guide. As well as thanking everyone involved for the hard work they are putting in to making the world a cleaner and better place. The goal next year is to feature 100 Green Guardians and establish this as an annual guide for anyone that is looking for partners to address sustainability matters and, ideally, help to make the live events industry carbon neutral.

IQ will publish entries across all categories over the coming weeks. Up first, are sustainailbity pioneers from the event infrastructure sector.

 


Event Infrastructure

TOHU
Located at the centre of Montreal’s Cité des arts du cirque, the 1,200-capacity TOHU is a place where dissemination, creation, and experimentation converge with culture, environment and community involvement. Since its 2004 inception, it has become an example of sustainable development through culture.

TOHU’s 360-degree circular hall is in the purest circus tradition and plays a major role in the incredible growth of Quebec circus, which it places at the top of the bill, thanks to its dedicated venue and festival.

TOHU’s Pavilion is green not only in spirit, but in body, too. It was been awarded LEED GOLD (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) – a programme that imposes the strictest environmental standards, not only during construction but also in the management of the completed building.

Among the many measures TOHU can boast are passive geothermal power, an ice bunker, biogas heating, natural/hybrid ventilation, recycled architecture, green roofs, a naturalised basin, and even a vegetable garden and beehives.

Since its 2004 inception, TOHU has become an example of sustainable development through culture

Passareco
Passareco offers soil protection solutions that make it possible to use nature while also protecting it: whether parking lot infrastructure, hiking or bike trails – Passareco helps customers reconcile the different usage requirements.

Climate protection is central to Passareco and as a result it sources wood from regional sawmills and uses 100% green electricity. The company’s all-encompassing approach to sustainability means it is incredibly careful in choosing its partners, and it promotes like-minded organisations such as tent rental company Tent in Time, social company Syphon AG (which produces floor-protection panels), landscapers Biel-Seeland, and a variety of social enterprise operations that variously provide skills training to unemployed and disabled adults.

Passareco also champions ESB’s Biel/Bienne green electricity product, which is Naturemade Star-certified – produced in the Biel city area through a combination of electricity from the Taubenloch Gorge and power from solar roofs.

Passareco offers soil protection solutions that make it possible to use nature while also protecting it

NNNN
NNNN was created to target the audio market with a disruptive solution and mindset, combining acoustic quality with sustainability. The company’s patents enable it to do with sound what LED did with light, and it has succeeded in designing speaker solutions that reduce energy consumption by up to 90%, compared to leading premium brands.

Transportation is one of the largest contributors of CO2 emissions, so NNNN is setting up a local manufacturer in the US to cover the North American market, while manufacturing in Norway will cover the European market.

NNNN’s speakers are made of sustainable Nordic spruce and are manufactured without toxic substances such as beryllium. Manufacturing in Norway is done with 100% hydroelectric power, which has no CO2 footprint. The company says its search for better solutions for the environment has only just begun.

NNNN was created to combine acoustic quality with sustainability

FGH Security
Although its mission statement is “Keeping People Safe,” environmental issues have always been on the agenda for FGH Security. The company was an early adopter of the #DrasticOnPlastic campaign and saves 100,000 cups and bottles from going to landfill every year, simply by issuing 500 mugs and 500 sports bottles to its team.

FGH has been carbon-neutral for a number of years and as part of its ISO 14001 certification, it calculates all the carbon it has produced (travel Co2, paper, electric, etc.) and plants four trees for every ton. The FGH team is also working on a plan to build an office from sustainable materials, complete with solar panels, vegetable gardens and a gym that produces electricity.

Boss Peter Harrison tells IQ, “Most of the things we have done – electric cars, a paperless office, #DrasticOnPlastic – are actually cost-neutral, so doing good does not need to cost a lot. It just needs the will, tenacity and some thinking outside the box.”

Although its mission statement is “Keeping People Safe,” environmental issues have always been on the agenda for FGH Security

Continest
Continest is an innovative, foldable container solution especially developed for relatively short-period usage anywhere there is a need for temporary accommodation, office/meeting rooms, first aid, command posts, storage, service areas, and cooling and heating purposes. The containers are uniquely developed for easy and quick set up and transport, thus being environmentally friendly. The solution offers an 80% cost cut on logistic and storage costs, and a similar reduction of CO2 and GHG emissions.

In the next 12 months, three main innovations will be rolled out: the CN20 Solar 20-foot, foldable container; connectable Wet Cell units; and the bullet and blast proof foldable version.

Continest aims to succeed in the event market segment as well as providing innovative solutions to the defense industry.

The company claims to be the world’s first signage specialist that only deals with sustainable materials

The Sustainable Signage Co.
With its plastics-free signage solutions, The Sustainable Signage Co. is a forward-thinking, can-do operation, whose focus is to help companies and individuals reduce the amount of plastic-containing materials that are currently being used in the signage industry. It does this by offering sustainable alternatives that are as good, if not better, than current plastic signs used, while also helping to minimise the amount of plastic entering landfill every day.

The company claims to be the world’s first signage specialist that only deals with sustainable materials that can meet the demand of internal and external signage in small and large quantities. Its products have been scrutinised and accredited by A Plastic Planet and it says it is the only signage company to have been accredited with this certification mark.

Located in the West Midlands, UK, the company has both UK and international clients, and even before the Covid-19 pandemic, it was encouraging the use of Skype or Facetime to reduce carbon footprint whenever possible.

Water scarcity is a very real concern for organisers

SANI
Water scarcity is a very real concern for organisers because events cannot take place without a guaranteed supply of freshwater and wastewater supply for sewerage maintenance.

SANI solutions has developed water-saving sanitary vacuum products for the event sector, including vacuum toilets, showers and urinals.

SANI’s products require less water and less power, meaning that emissions from wastewater transport and power consumption are reduced in comparison to traditional festival toilets. There is a lower faecal load of wastewater compared to portable toilets and the wastewater left is more resource efficient to clarify in sewage treatment plants compared to portable toilet wastewater.

The company says that it can save: up to 80% in wastewater transport costs compared to conventional flush toilets; up to 30% in energy costs through more efficient units, distributors, etc; and up to 50% in storage costs for wastewater and freshwater. In 2019, SANI worked with Rock am Ring to install vacuum toilets, showers, washing units, urinals and toilets with wheelchair accessibility. The festival saved 25-30% water for the event, or about 1,500-1,800m³ .

 


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

Exit Festival lobbies Serbian gov to plant 1bn trees

The Serbian government has initiated countrywide reforestation plans in accordance with Green R:Evolution, a campaign led by Exit Festival and local environmental organisations.

The plans would see forest cover increase from 28% of Serbia’s total surface area to at least 40%, equating to almost one billion new trees across the country.

The reforestation is in keeping with Exit Festival’s Green R:Evolution initiative which is backed by local eco organisations and calls for an increase in forest cover by almost 50%.

Launched in November 2019, Green R:Evolution recently received the support of Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission, for the reforestation of the Fruška Gora mountain in Serbia.

The Serbian government has initiated countrywide reforestation plans following a campaign led by Exit Festival and local environmental organisations

Exit Festival is showcasing another eco initiative, Life Stream, at its 20th anniversary event from 9 to 12 July in Novi Sad, Serbia, which features performances from David Guetta, Tyga, Fatboy Slim, DJ Snake, James Arthur and Metronomy, among others.

The project will see imagery, text and data related to environmental issues injected into live broadcasts from the festival.

The sustainability efforts of festivals is one of the topics being discussed at the Green Events and Innovations Conference (GEI) today, taking place as part of the opening day of the International Live Music Conference (ILMC) in London.

 


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