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GEI announces special summer 2021 conference

The Green Events and Innovations Conference (GEI) has announced the launch of a special GEI Summer Edition taking place on 16 September 2021.

The launch, which coincides with Earth Day today (22 April), follows this year’s 13th edition of the Green Events & Innovations Conference (GEI), the leading conference for sustainability in the international events sector, in March. The decision to host a second edition in 2021 reflects the doubling of efforts to create a greener events industry post-Covid-19, according to organisers.

“We intend to set an example that we, the creative and can-do organisations and individuals are leading the way, and the future that we want to co-create is fully in our grasp,” says Claire O’Neill, co-founder of conference organiser A Greener Festival (AGF).

“There’s no time to waste, and so we’re keeping our foot firmly on the (zero-emissions) pedal to make sure our industry steps up to be a positive force to create a future we can all be proud of.”

“The future that we want to co-create is fully in our grasp”

Previous editions of GEI have welcomed speakers including Nuno Bettencourt (Extreme), Dale Vince (Ecotricity/Forest Green Rovers), Emma Banks (CAA), Tom Schroeder (Paradigm), Fay Milton (Music Declares Emergency), Alex Hardee (Paradigm), Patricia Yague (Live Nation), Adam Pearson (O2 Arena/AEG), Mark Stevenson (ClientEarth/MoD), Bob Wilson (Greenpeace), Niclas Svenningson (UNFCCC) and Virginijus Sinkevicius (European commissioner for environment, oceans and fisheries).

GEI Summer Edition takes place just two months prior to COP26 (the 2021 UN Climate Change Conference). Conference topics are expected to include social justice, biodiversity, clean air, clean water and healthy soils, wellbeing and mental health, as well as exploring how events and tours can make positive impacts through their design, energy, purchases, water, sanitation, materials, food and drinks.

Organisers expect 200+ delegates to attend the first GEI Summer Edition, limited launch price tickets for which are on sale now.

GEI is AGF’s annual flagship event, delivered in partnership with the International Live Music Conference in London. It has been running for over 13 years and welcomes delegates and speakers who are leaders in the event sector, sustainability and regenerative economies.

 


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Green Events and Innovations 2021: Highlights

The 13th edition of the conference for sustainability in the live events took place online today, welcoming industry leaders, professionals, visionaries, governments and all individuals and organisations who are working to bring environmental and social sustainability to the live events, sports and creative sectors.

The Green Events & Innovations Conference (GEI) was presented by A Greener Festival (AGF) in partnership with ILMC. Passes for ILMC, which begins tomorrow, are still available here.


17:00
A Greener Tour Round III 
brought together key stakeholders from inside and outside of the live music industry to discuss what we can do collectively to create the regenerative tour of the future, post-pandemic.

Tom Schroeder, Paradigm Talent Agency (UK), suggested that the live entertainment business could use its unique power to reach and inspire the masses to further the cause.

“We also have this extra string to our bow. We can do huge events to highlight the message of what’s going to happen to the planet and what we need to do and that’s also going to change and reach areas that aren’t just about the show itself.

“Nothing to do with Live Aid was directly producing food in Africa but what it did is it made the Western world understand third world poverty – for 20,30,40 years it had a huge impact. And we know that musicians are incredibly good at communicating causes to massively engaged audiences.”

Nuno Bettencourt, guitarist for Extreme (US), agreed, saying that the industry should be empowering its artists to speak about sustainability, as they have the power to influence others.

“You’ve got to make sustainability as aspirational as we’ve made a rock and roll lifestyle”

“We need the agents and managers and experts to give artists a utility belt and superhero cape by showing them how to do it and make them excited about the cause. Fans want to be inspired, they don’t want to hear you blame the politicians.”

Mark Stevenson, Reluctant Futurist, MOD & ClientEarth, added: “Artists are very good at taking ideas and concepts and philosophies and ways of looking at the world and making them hugely, hugely popular. So why not apply that to sustainability as well? You’ve got to make sustainability and regenerative ways of thinking as aspirational as we’ve made a rock and roll lifestyle. I want to second what Nuno said about showing that the solutions are out there and I think you need to give people agency.”

Anna Golden, AEG Presents (UK), says that for live music fans to get behind sustainability, systems need to be in place at venues so “it can become second nature and when people go to a gig they feel like they are doing good”.

However, Golden emphasised that any progress is still a step in the right direction: “It’s not that we have to get this perfect the first time around and yeah we do need to get some sort of charter and some sort of objectives and achievable roles in place, but actually if we’re having a slow start because resourcing and finances are tight, all we have to do is be better than yesterday.”

“All we have to do is be better than yesterday”

15:50
GEI and IPM join forces to discuss the viability of sustainable production during It’s Not Easy Being Green.

Carlot Scott, Tait/Sipa (UK), kicked off the panel on an optimistic note, saying she could see the industry returning to touring with ‘a greener way of thinking’ after the pandemic.

“During the hiatus, many of us, and individual organisations and groups have started to pull together and started to become a cohesive force started to really analyse where we were going wrong as an industry and how we can be better.”

“One of the things that we really discovered was that people were already on board already with the idea of sustainability, they just didn’t know what to do and they wanted some guidelines and a way to start their journey,” she said.

Ric Lipson, Stufish (UK), says that, as set designers, they’re often ‘berated’ for designing something that’s too big and that uses too many trucks but that’s not the biggest issue in their pursuit to be more sustainable.

“I don’t think necessarily the scale of the production is the problem, but it’s the speed at which the scale of the production has developed and the choices that have to be made to enable that to happen whether that’s going down the road of using something that’s been used for 20 years because we know it works but it might be too heavy, versus we talked about that material because it’s coming from some part of the world that you know we’d have to fly it here or whatever else.”

“We need to go to the promoters and say: look, if you want us to come in with a set design that fits a good budget and doesn’t end up [being used for other artists too], we need to understand the routing schedule of the tour. And maybe the conversation with the artist has to happen much earlier, not necessarily when they’ve got an idea of what the design is but what they want the concept of the show to be.”

“People were already on board already with the idea of sustainability, they just didn’t know what to do”

15:00
Panellists on the We Are Not Socially Distanced session had one resounding message for viewers: privilege comes with responsibility.

Michael Fritz, Viva Con Agua (SA), said: “I think it’s all about how much access you have, either to education, human rights, money, technologies or resources. Those are privileges and if you have a privilege you have big responsibility.”

Ash Perrin, The Flying Seagull Project (UK), added: “I’m never gonna use the word ‘underprivileged’ again because it suggests that privilege is the normal state and underprivileged is a rare state of people who have failed but actually privileged is the rare and abnormal.”

Yaw Owusu, BrukOut Entertainment/PRS Foundation (UK), agreed: “If you’re in a place where putting food on the table or surviving day to day is not your concern then you’ve got more space to wonder about the causes.”

“I’m never gonna use the word ‘underprivileged’ again because it suggests that privilege is the normal state”

12.30
Post-Pollution Politics, Industry & Culture
featured dialogue between the live events sector, green activists and Niclas Svenningsen of the United Nations’ global climate action team as to how events can contribute to ensuring targets for emissions reductions and sustainability are met.

Svenningsen spoke of the importance of getting back to business “in a smarter and better way”, while Green Music Initiative’s Jacob Bilabel said change is inevitable – it’s how that change happens that we have a choice in. “We are locked in structures that are not good and not right, and they’re not even making us happy any more,” he said. “Do we want to have that transformation happen by disaster or by design?”

Dismissing the concept of a pollution tax as “absurd”, Dave Ojay of Kenya’s Naam Festival said: “How can I give you a licence to destroy nature simply because you can pay? Rather than a pollution tax, let’s force the polluter to set up a recycling or regeneration plan to keep [their business] green.”

Green energy entrepreneur Dale Vince, who stayed on after his keynote, said the events sector has “so much more power in this than you think. The choices you make can help steer the world in a different direction.”

“Do we want the transformation to happen by disaster or by design?”

12.00
Dale Vince’s keynote with AGF’s Claire O’Neill (as well as Vince himself) is a hit with Alison Hussey of concierge company Rockstar Services:

https://twitter.com/servicerockstar/status/1366726400150032386

10:30
The Elephant in the Road
session posed the question: What with audience, artist/athlete and crew transport, and tech, behaviour and lifestyle, can we really keep the show on the road within ecosystem boundaries?

Matt Cheshire, The Needs Group, UK said: “With regards to the ground elements, we need to look at setting up electric charging points at festivals or hotels, looking at ground logistics from airports from accommodation to festival sites, and looking at solar panels and things like that.”

However, in terms of reducing travel for touring artists going from festival to festival, Cheshire points out “radius clauses in some of the contracts are still quite substantial”.

Adam Hatton, Global Motion, UK, said: “I think the real key here is that if we look for technology to replace the technology we have now so we can carry on living the lifestyle, we live now I think we’re dreaming. What this really boils down to is lifestyle changes we need to work out what we want to spend our carbon on and focus on that and make changes in our lives in order to accommodate that.

“The only real way of making this sustainable, I think, is by reducing the amount of kit we take around the world. For example, why are we moving stages around the world? It should be already there already waiting for us.”

Claire Haigh, (Greener Transport Solutions, UK) and Aruna Sivakuma (Centre for Transport Studies, Imperial College London, UK) also appeared on the panel to discuss government commitments to reducing emissions.

 


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ILMC reveals provisional agenda for 2021 edition

The International Live Music Conference (ILMC) has unveiled the provisional agenda for the 33rd edition, which will go Virtually Live between 3–5 March.

This year’s agenda boasts three days’ worth of sessions with the industry’s top players, focusing on touring, agency, livestreaming, diversity, greener touring, mental health, ticketing, gender equality, Brexit, Covid and more.

ILMC’s Winter Rate ends before 6 pm GMT on 29 January, after which the price of registration increases. See the provisional agenda below.

Wednesday 3 March
Day one at ILMC 33 sees The Open Forum: The big build back and an all-star panel of guests answering the big questions, and Klaus-Peter Schulenberg: The five-year plan, in which the CTS Eventim founder and CEO lays out his five-year vision for live entertainment in Europe.

Insurance: The big update looks at what impact the last few years have had on insurance and changes in the market; guest speakers from across the industry take a look at the revolving world of A&R in The Talent Pipeline: bringing new artists online; and in Agency Business: Enter the new players a collection of new kids on the agency block present their different approaches to the business.

We assess the long-term effects of Covid-19 on the venue sector in The Venue’s Venue: Rooms to manoeuvre and grassroots music venue operators discuss the challenges facing their rooms in Grassroots Venues: Route to recovery; in Sustainability: The best of GEI, the team behind the Green Events & Innovations Conference presents the key takeaways from their event; and in Collaboration: The multiplayer experience, a panel considers whether the industry needs a representative body.

Wednesday also features the previously announced Pulse@ILMC, a new industry platform to sit at the intersection of technology and live events.

Wednesday also features Pulse@ILMC, a new industry platform to sit at the intersection of technology and live events

Thursday 4 March
Day two of ILMC starts with Brexit: The endgame, in which a panel of experts assesses the new normal in European touring; while Covid-19: The strategy game discusses the measures and strategies the industry can utilise to get back up and running. Ticketing: Moving beyond 2020 looks at how the relationship between ticketers, venues, promoters and fans has changed; whilst Artists: The view from the stage provides creators with an opportunity to discuss what’s new and what’s changed from their point of view.

The Engine Room: The IPM review will see a panel of production experts present the key takeaways from the ILMC Production Meeting, which took place the day ILMC kicked off; The Agency Business 2021 asks company heads and leading lights from the agency world to discuss the future of the agency; Race Matters in Live: Levelling up looks at strategies to repair the race deficit; whilst the challenges and opportunities of domestic touring are discussed in Touring in 2021 & Beyond: The long game.

Thursday’s line-up also includes Mobile Ticket and Covid Testing & Mitigation workshops, and an entire day dedicated to the exhibition and experience economy – TEEM.

Thursday winds up with The (late) Breakfast Meeting in which veteran artist manager and ILMC host-with-the-most Ed Bicknell chats with industry legend Irving Azoff.

Thursday winds up with The (late) Breakfast Meeting in which Ed Bicknell chats with industry legend Irving Azoff

Friday 5 March
The final day’s topics include Mental Health: Talking heads, which takes an annual look at the mental health of the live music industry; Sponsorship: Reinventing the deal contemplates what branding will look like in 2021; and Festival Forum: Reboot & reset looks at the lessons festivals have learned since the industry closed down in March 2020.

We ask who is taking care of out-of-work professionals during the pandemic in The Workforce: Protecting our ecosystemFestival Futures: Core priorities sees festival operators consider what their events mean to them and their audiences; and Gender Equality: The next level takes a keen look at diversity in the workplace.

Working Culture: Getting a live examines home-working and the evolving concept of the office; and in Live-streaming Rights: Wrongs & rates we analyse the confusing topic of rights around live-streaming.

Rounding up ILMC 33, Futures Forum: Meet the new bosses sees a group of junior execs discuss how the pandemic has changed the business for them; Rock: The mother of invention examines this unique and dynamic genre; and finally, the ever-changing topic of health, safety and security are discussed in E3S: Safety & security 2.0.

Click here to see the full ILMC agenda.

 


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Last chance for GEI13 launch-price tickets

Launch-price tickets for the Green Events and Innovations Conference 2021 (GEI13) will be available until 23:50 GMT today, Friday 18 December, unless passes sell out beforehand.

GEI, the annual conference on sustainability in events, will take place in a virtual format on 2 March 2021 with newly announced guest speakers including Hadi Ahmadzedah (ECODISCO), Yaw Owusu (The Playmaker Group), Jenny Hamada (BST Hyde Park/AEG Presents) and Fay Milton (Savages/Music Declares Emergency).

The 13th edition is presented by A Greener Festival (AGF) in partnership with the International Live Music Conference (ILMC), which is also taking place virtually from 3 to 5 March.

Noting that the number 13 is associated with upheaval and destruction – and with a nod to the pandemic – organisers say GEI13 will honour the theme of transition and transformation.

The conference will reflect on how the industry can be ‘both receptive and active to co-create a better future’

The conference will reflect on how the industry can be ‘both receptive and active to co-create a better future,’ taking in topics including transport; food systems; equality and inclusivity; health and wellbeing; power systems; design; and materials usage for circularity and more.

Previously announced speakers include Dale Vince, (Ecotricity, UK); David Ojay (Naam Festival, KE); Tom Schroeder, Paradigm Agency (UK); Gina Perier, Lapee (DK); Gordon Masson, IQ Magazine/ILMC (UK) and Claire O’Neill, AGF (UK).

Launch-price GEI tickets are on sale via Ticketsellers now.

Rates are also changing for the 14th ILMC Production Meeting (IPM), which will also take place in a virtual format on 2 March 2021, returning to its traditional slot the day before ILMC.

Discounted autumn-rate tickets for IPM are only available until 18:00 GMT today, after which the winter rate kicks in at £50 (plus 3% service fee). Book your pass here.

 


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GEI13 will honour ‘transition and transformation’

Registration is now open for the 13th Green Events & Innovations (GEI) conference, which will take place in a virtual format on 2 March 2021.

The 13th edition of the conference on sustainability in events is presented by A Greener Festival (AGF) in partnership with the International Live Music Conference (ILMC), which is also taking place virtually from 3 to 5 March.

Noting that the number 13 is associated with upheaval and destruction – and with a nod to the pandemic – organisers say GEI13 will honour the theme of transition and transformation.

The conference will reflect on how the industry can be ‘both receptive and active to co-create a better future,’ taking in topics including transport; food systems; equality and inclusivity; health and wellbeing; power systems; design; and materials usage for circularity and more.

“We’ve seen the determination during this difficult year to keep the eye on the ball and come together for sustainability”

Some of the first confirmed speakers include Dale Vince, (Ecotricity, UK); David Ojay (Naam Festival, KE); Tom Schroeder, Paradigm Agency (UK); Gina Perier, Lapee (DK); Gordon Masson, IQ Magazine/ILMC (UK) and Claire O’Neill, AGF (UK).

“We’re really happy to be launching this edition of GEI, be it online,” says Claire O’Neill, AGF co-founder and GEI producer.

“We’ve seen the determination and commitment from all parts of the events industry during this difficult year, to keep the eye on the ball and come together for sustainability, despite the financial hardships we all face.”

GEI13 will welcome industry leaders, professionals, visionaries, governments and all individuals and organisations working to bring environmental and social sustainability to the live events, sports and creative sectors.

The event is now on sale via Ticketsellers, with £35 limited launch price tickets available while they last.


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