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GEI announces full agenda for 2020

The twelfth edition of A Greener Festival’s (AGF) Green Events and Innovations Conference (GEI) will look at topics including the sustainability of festivals, eco-friendly touring and social inequalities within the industry.

Representatives from Live Nation, AEG Europe, Extinction Rebellion, Glastonbury Festival and the O2 Arena are speaking at the one-day event, which is taking place alongside the ILMC Production Meeting (IPM) on Tuesday 3 March, the opening day of the International Live Music Conference (ILMC).

Punk legend John Robb of the Membranes is giving the keynote interview with Sebastian Sandys of Extinction Rebellion, before hosting the It’s a Human Story panel to discuss the live industry’s potential for social impact.

The Focus on Festivals panel, presented in collaboration with the International Green Deal, will look at the next steps that festivals need to take to achieve full circularity, with speakers from Lowlands, Cambridge Folk Festival, the Association of Independent Festivals (AIF) and Big Green Coach.

A year on from the launch of the Green Artist Rider, IQ Magazine’s Gordon Masson will host A Greener Tour – Round 2, supported by Forum Karlin and Metronome, to explore what is being done to improve the sustainability of touring, with panellists including CAA’s Emma Banks, Live Nation Europe’s head of sustainability Patricia Yagüe and Tanner Watt from Reverb.

“Next [we need] to exchange knowledge and collaborate to allow fundamental changes so the live industry can be a strong positive force”

GEI will share breakout sessions with IPM, looking at the latest development in electricity usage at events, and updates in sustainable trucking in a panel presented by Rick Smith of Rule Out Loud Management and Maarten Arkenbout from the Pieter Smit Group.

The second International AGF Awards will round off the event, celebrating the achievements of the greenest festivals from around the world in a ceremony hosted by AGF co-founders Claire O’Neill and Ben Challis.

“We’re excited for GEI12, because we go way beyond raising awareness to having the full attention of top decision makers, artists, and experts to strategically and systematically reduce the industry’s negative impacts upon the environment,” comments O’Neill.

“Admitting to having a problem is the first step. Next is to exchange knowledge and collaborate to allow fundamental changes so the live industry can be a strong positive force. Due to the steep curve in action this year there has never been so much experience to share and to learn from in the greener event space – so this is going to be a busy and fast-paced agenda, but of course with a lot of fun and inspiration!”

GEI12 is taking place at the Royal Garden Hotel in Kensington, London, supported by Stack-Cup.

 


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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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New industry sustainability resources launched

Five years on from its inaugural edition, the second Show Must Go On report has been published, offering a comprehensive insight into outdoor event sustainability.

The report, which is available to download here, is the result of years of planning, research, data gathering and crowdfunding from within the industry. The Show Must Go On launches alongside a free-to-access online resource, the Vision2025 website, that features case studies, briefings and a supplier directory.

Both resources reflect the progress made in terms of the technologies, materials and operational practices used to reduce the environmental impacts of live events. The report is divided into chapters on governance, resources and waste, water, food, energy, travel and transports.

So far, more than 100 festivals and events have made the Vision:2025 pledge, committing to cutting the environmental impact of the events sector in half within five years.

“After a decade of the Powerful Thinking industry steering group, this is a significant step in the journey. The industry has now come together around a vision and has crowdfunded world-leading resources to inspire meaningful action,” comments Chris Johnson, chair of Powerful Thinking and Vision2025.

“The report is a call to action. Whatever people and organisations have done to date, the time to act and to tackle the climate crisis is now”

“This has been a huge collaborative effort and our thanks go out to all contributors, including our three gamechangers: Festival Republic, Continest and Nordic Wristbands, whose financial support underpinned the process.

“The report is a call to action. Whatever people and organisations have done to date, the time to act and to tackle the climate crisis is now.”

Alison Tickell, CEO and founder of Julie’s Bicycle, the charity behind Powerful Thinking and Vision 2025, adds: “Living within the generous boundaries of our planet’s ecosystems is now the only job in hand. As a creative and events collective, we can bring inspiration and community to this task.”

Live industry professional will discuss ways to reduce the environmental impact of events at music business sustainability gathering the Green Events and Innovations Conference (GEI) on 3 March, presented by A Greener Festival in partnership with the International Live Music Conference.

 


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Lowlands festival to build 35-hectare solar park

Mojo Concerts has teamed up with renewable energy producer Solarfields to develop a 35-hectare solar farm on the Lowlands festival car park.

A Campingflight to Lowlands Paradise – or Lowlands – sold out in the fastest time for years last year, with performances from Tame Impala, Twenty One Pilots, ASAP Rocky, the National and New Order.

In a bid to make the event more sustainable, festival organiser Mojo is working with Solarfields to implement 90,000 solar panels in its car park, generating 35 million kilowatt hours (kwh) of electricity annually – enough to power 100 festival weekends per year.

The project will result in the largest solar carport in the world and is due to be finished in May 2021.

“Without swift and concrete measures, our young visitors will experience the effects of climate change and environmental pollution in their daily lives,” comments festival director Eric van Eerdenburg.

“We hope to be a source of inspiration for our visitors to play their part in making the world more sustainable”

“As a festival organisation, we want to be part of the solution and contribute to an optimistic view of the future. We hope to be a source of inspiration for our visitors to play their part – no matter how small – in making the world more sustainable.”

Van Eerdenburg states that the festival team began to look at how to improve sustainability around 12 years ago, adding that, “actualising this together with Solarfields on a large scale is a long-held dream come true.”

”Over the past two-and-a-half years, we have worked hard with Mojo to address all challenges involved in a project of this magnitude,” says Solarfields director Jalmer Pijlman.

“We were fortunate to get a great deal of support along the way and think it is fantastic that we can announce this now. The location is perfect for making the Netherlands more sustainable and this project is a wonderful example of multiple land use: parking and sustainable energy production in the same space.”

The Green Events and Innovations Conference (GEI), a leading gathering for sustainability at live events, is taking place on Tuesday 3 March in London. Tickets for GEI 2020 are available here.

 


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AGF crowns top green events of 2019

International not-for-profit organisation A Greener Festival (AGF) has announced the 37 recipients of the A Greener Festival Award in 2019.

Festivals and events from 15 countries received the award for their commitment to sustainability at an awards ceremony at Eurosonic Noorderslag (ESNS), the Netherlands, earlier this evening (17 January).

AGF director Claire O’Neill, ILMC MD Greg Parmley and GO Groups Holger Jan Schmidt presented the awards – made entirely of reused materials, including salvaged festival tents – to recipients including Øya Festival, Norway; Sziget Festival, Hungary; Glastonbury Festival, UK; and Slovenia’s Metal Days.

Winners, who underwent assessment, site visit and post-event analysis, were deemed to have demonstrated beneficial sustainability practices across areas including transport, waste, power, water, ecosystems and local area impacts.

“The need for us all to take significant positive action for the good of the environment requires no introduction”

“The need for us all to take significant positive action for the good of the environment requires no introduction,” comments AGF co-founder O’Neill. “Congratulations to our winners who are doing their part, and power to all events and individuals who want to do more. Together we can make things better.”

All winners will be entered as nominees for the International Greener Festival Awards, which will be announced at the annual Green Events & Innovations Conference (GEI), on 3 March in London, alongside the International Live Music Conference (ILMC).

Applications are now open for the Greener Festival Awards 2020. Events should contact hello@agreenerfestival.com to apply.

A full list of winners can be found below:

Oustanding
Cambridge Folk Festival (UK)
DGTL Festival (NL)
Green Gathering (UK)
Øya Festival (NO)
Paradise City (BE)
We Love Green (FR)

Highly commended
Dockyard Festival (NL)
Dubcamp Festival (FR)
Glastonbury Festival (UK)
Greenbelt Festival (UK)
Hadra Trance Festival (FR)
Pete the Monkey (FR)
Primavera Sound (ES)
Rainbow Serpent (AU)
Roskilde Festival (DK)

Commended
Boomtown Fair (UK)
BST Hyde Park (UK)
Das Fest (DE)
Envision Festival (CR)
Hout Festival (NL)
Les 3 Elephants (FR)
Metal Days (SI)
Mystic Garden (NL)
Own Spirit Festival (ES)
Sonidos Liquidos (ES)
SWR3 New Pop Festival (DE)
Sziget Festival (HU)
Walthamstow Garden Party (UK)

Improvers
Buenas Noches Producciones (AR)
Elrow Town Amsterdam (NL)
Lambeth Country Show (UK)
Lost Village Festival (UK)
Manchester Pride Live (UK)
Straf_Werk (NL)
Terraforma Festival (IT)
Utrechtse Introductie Tijd (UIT) (NL)
Wonderfruit Festival (TH)

 


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Norwegian DJ embarks on carbon neutral tour

Norwegian DJ and producer Matoma, real name Tom Stræte Lagergren, is preparing for a climate-neutral concert tour.

Prior to the upcoming US leg of Matoma’s One in a Million tour, the DJ has partnered with climate advocates Chooose to measure the carbon footprint expected from the tour and plan to neutralise emissions.

According to the DJ, the tour will be the first to actively remove unavoidable emissions, using carbon capture and storage (CCS) projects in Finland. The aim is to reduce tour emissions by twice the initial footprint, removing 20 tonnes of CO2 from the air.

“We’re thrilled to be actually removing the remaining carbon with our partners in Finland, and continuing to find new ways and technologies to solve this global problem,” says Lagergren.

“We’re thrilled to be actually removing the remaining carbon and continuing to find new ways and technologies to solve this global problem”

The DJ and his team will also reduce emissions on a local scale, using public transport, eating vegetarian meals, staying in sustainable hotels and making an effort to limit electricity consumption.

The tour kicks off on 16 January in Austin and wraps up on 18 April at Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in California.

The approach is the latest attempt to tackle touring’s carbon footprint, adding to Massive Attack’s academic study into the industry’s carbon emissions and plans to tour by train, Coldplay’s touring hiatus and A Greener Festival’s Green Artist Rider initiative.

Experts will gather to discuss the environmental impact of touring and how to mitigate it at the next Green Events and Innovation (GEI) conference in March.

Photo: Tore Sætre/Wikimedia (CC BY-SA 4.0)

 


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Massive Attack announce latest eco initiative

Bristol band Massive Attack have announced they will travel by train when touring Europe in future, in the group’s latest attempt to tackle the live industry’s carbon footprint.

The announcement follows the band’s commissioning of the University of Manchester’s Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research to look into ways in which the live music industry can reduce its carbon footprint. Band travel is one of the three key areas the research will focus on, along with audience transport and venues.

Massive Attack were also among acts to perform at the Extinction Rebellion climate protests in London in October 2019.

Currently on tour in North America, Massive Attack will return to Europe in summer 2020, making appearances at the Netherlands’ Best Kept Secret Festival and Les Eurockéennes in France, among others.

“The challenge now is to not only make personal sacrifices, but to insist on the systemic change that’s needed”

Lead singer Robert Del Naja, also known as 3D, told the BBC: “[As musicians] we have enjoyed a high-carbon lifestyle. But as a society we’ve all existed in a fossil-fuel economy for a long time and had very little choice in that.

“The challenge now is to not only make personal sacrifices, but to insist on the systemic change that’s needed. Business as usual is over.”

Coda Agency and A Greener Festival (AGF) launched the Green Artist Rider at the Green Events and Innovations Conference (GEI) in March last year, in a bid to reduce the environmental impact of touring. Tickets for GEI 2020 are available here.

 


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Last chance for GEI 2020 early-bird tickets

Early bird tickets for the Green Events and Innovations Conference (GEI) 2020 will no longer be available after today, Monday 30 September.

The twelfth edition of GEI will return to the International Live Music Conference on Tuesday 3 March 2020, presented by A Greener Festival.

The final few early bird tickets are still available for GEI 2020 at a rate of £96, with standard prices coming into effect from tomorrow.

Each year, the event welcomes over 200 live music professionals to discuss sustainability at live events.

Topics discussed at last year’s GEI included ethical merchandise options, environmentally friendly food at festivals, the effect of Brexit on sustainability efforts and the environmental impact of touring.

GEI 2019 also saw the inaugural international edition of the AGF Awards and the launch of Coda (now Paradigm) Agency’s Green Artist Rider initiative.

Buy tickets here for GEI 2020 before 1 October to profit from early bird rates.

The 32nd edition of the International Live Music Conference (ILMC) will take place in London from 3 to 6 March.

 


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