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.
Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.
OVO Hydro achieves A Greener Arena certification
Glasgow’s OVO Hydro has been announced as the first arena in the world to achieve A Greener Arena (AGA) certification for its commitment to sustainability.
Awarded by A Greener Festival (AGF), AGA takes a holistic approach to sustainability, not only looking at emissions and environmental impacts but also people, inclusion and wellbeing.
The award was officially presented to the Scottish Event Campus (SEC) venue at today’s Green Events and Innovations Conference (GEI), presented by AGF in partnership with the International Live Music Conference (ILMC)
Assessors highlighted the Hydro’s commitment to reducing emissions, enhancing local biodiversity, and being an instrument of positive change on the arena tour circuit. They also praised the venue’s use of 100% renewable electricity, elimination of single use plastic cups at live events saving two million cups per year, campus wide sustainable food strategy and expansion plans for electric vehicle charging points, in addition to its “outstanding” programme for inclusion, health and wellbeing for staff through the dedicated people department.
“Being the first arena in the world to accomplish this is a huge achievement”
“More than ever we are focused on the impact our business has on the planet and are proud to be awarded A Greener Arena certification,” says Debbie McWilliams, the SEC’s director of live entertainment. “Receiving such an accolade is further proof of our commitment to delivering a greener future for our events.
“Being the first arena in the world to accomplish this is a huge achievement and we hope this paves the way for others to follow. It is a significant milestone on our journey towards net zero by 2030, and a real credit to the team who work so passionately on implementing our sustainability strategy.”
Title partner OVO Energy supported the venue’s goal to achieve ‘Greener Arena Certification’ through funding of specific carbon-reduction and environmental initiatives. As part of the assessment, AGF will also share actionable recommendations with the Hydro team that are designed to further evolve the venue’s ongoing certification assessments in years to come.
“We’re delighted for the team at the OVO Hydro, and we hope that this leads the way for more arenas to get involved in the process”
“We’re proud to work with partners who support our commitment to drive progress to zero carbon living,” says James Watts, OVO Energy’s head of PR & sponsorships. “By becoming the world’s first arena to achieve the ‘A Greener Arena’ certification the OVO Hydro is sending a clear signal to the industry that lower-impact live events are possible.
“We will continue to support the OVO Hydro to further reduce its carbon footprint, so fans and artists alike can perform in a venue that’s supporting our collective goal; saving the planet.”
The milestone supports the SEC’s overall sustainability ambitions and adds to the moves it has already made towards reducing its carbon footprint and achieving net zero by 2030.
AGF co-founder Claire O’Neill adds: “A Greener Festival was launched in 2007 and since then we’ve assessed over 1,000 events, tours and venues across five continents, providing the first and only sustainable event certification including on site assessment of practical implementation and independent verification across 11 categories of event analysis, and the first dedicated arena certification. We’re delighted for the team at the OVO Hydro, and we hope that this leads the way for more arenas to get involved in the process.”
Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.
Nile Rodgers, Brian Eno and more back climate charities
A number of world-renowned artists have lent their support to the industry’s leading climate change charities.
To mark last week’s Earth Day (22 April), more than 100 artists including Nile Rodgers, Coldplay and Metronomy released exclusive tracks on Bandcamp, with proceeds going to Brian Eno’s climate change charity, EarthPercent.
Both Eno and Rodgers are due to appear at this week’s International Live Music Conference (ILMC), with the former participating in a keynote conversation at the Green Events & Innovations Conference (GEI) and the latter to be interviewed by former Dire Straits manager Ed Bicknell.
Eno says EarthPercent’s Earth Day campaign on Bandcamp “brings artists together to offer exclusive tracks to their fans, to be sold on behalf of climate justice and environmental protection organisations. This is what unleashing the power of music in service of the planet looks like”.
The proceeds from each track will go towards EarthPercent’s five core areas of work: greening music, energy transition, climate justice, legal and policy change, and protecting nature.
“This is what unleashing the power of music in service of the planet looks like”
Alongside EarthPercent, Eno has also supported the launch of Music Declares Emergency‘s new US chapter, along with Billie Eilish, Bon Iver and Arcade Fire.
Music Declares Emergency (MDE), a group dedicated to guiding the music industry’s response to the global climate and ecological emergency, is also backed by The 1975, Major Lazer, The Pretenders, Annie Lennox, Tom Morello and Tom Odell.
Initially started in the UK in 2019, MDE is now also operational in France, Germany, Switzerland, Chile and Canada. It’s gathered over 6,000 signatures from across the music industry on a declaration that calls for an immediate governmental response to do more to combat climate change.
A statement said: “Now, more than ever is the time for the United States to loudly and proactively join the rally to curb and reverse greenhouse gas emissions.
“The climate crisis is the greatest challenge of our time, and the power of music should take its place at the forefront of this important movement to create a safer, fairer, more sustainable world. The climate crisis is about science, not politics. There is #NOMUSICONADEADPLANET.”
Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.
Full agenda confirmed for GEI 14
The Green Events & Innovations Conference (GEI) has unveiled the complete agenda for its upcoming 14th edition.
Taking place at the Royal Garden Hotel, London, on Friday 29 April, the leading gathering for sustainability at live events will include an exclusive keynote from Brian Eno in conversation with Aurora and Love Ssega.
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 are also confirmed to appear at the first green events industry get-together in over two years.
The full schedule can be viewed here. For the first time, an ILMC delegate pass includes full access to this year’s GEI, which takes place during the main conference programme. The event has historically taken place the day before ILMC, but this one-off move will allow all ILMC delegates full access to the whole of GEI.
Key topics of the conference include:
- Keynote with Brian Eno and Aurora hosted by Love Ssega to discuss ‘Directing the energy of music for the benefit of the planet’
- European co-operation in the live music sector
- Transport and energy in the tumultuous energy landscape
- The Greener Arena landscape on the road to greener touring
- Sustainable food & beverage for events
- Circularity of materials and tackling plastic pollution with a focus on cups
- European Greener Festival Roadmap
- Incredible individuals and organisations agency – using skills, networks, creativity and resources of events for purposeful action in solidarity with displaced and oppressed people
- Quick Fire Innovation from NFT’s to battery power technology to equal rights for peeing.
- The connection between wellbeing, inclusivity, diversity, equity and environmental sustainability will be a recurring theme throughout the programme.
Confirmed speakers include (in alphabetical order); Andy Lenthall (Festival Insights), Aurora, Brian Eno, Chiara Badiali (Julie’s Bicycle), Claire O’Neill (AGF), Dale Vince OBE (Ecotricity/Forest Green Rovers), Danny Newby (Big Green Coach), Dave Ojay (Naam Festival) Dr Vincent Walsh (Herblabism/Future of Food), Dieter Castelein (Greener Power Solutions), Erik Distler (AEG), Fay Milton (Music Declares Emergency), Gina Périer (Lapee), Glenn Lyons (UWE), Gordon Masson (IQ Magazine), Hannah Jukes (Bodyheat Club Ltd.), Helen Taylor (Ecotricity/Forest Green Rovers), Holger Jan Schmidt (YOUROPE, General Secretary), Jane Healy (J Healy Productions), Jennifer Ennis (Scottish Event Campus (SEC)), John Drury (OVO Arena Wembley), John Robb (Louder Than War / Membranes), Kara Djurhuus (Roskilde Festival), Laura van de Voort (Green Events Netherlands), Linnéa Svensson (Green Operations Europe), Love Ssega, Lucy Noble (NAA/Royal Albert Hall), Lyke Poortvliet (Green Events Netherlands), Marcel Arsand (Ball), Marie Sabot (We Love Green), Martin Thim (DTD Group), Mike Walsh (Serenade), Nora Wigand (Ball), Paul McCrudden (OnePlan Events), Sangeeta Pillai (Soul Sutras), Sangeeta Waldron (Serendipity PR & Media), Steve Sayer (The O2 (AEG Europe), Thomas Grunberg (Gaudina).
The 14th edition of GEI is presented by A Greener Festival and ILMC, with the support of Ecotricity, De La Maison and Ball Corporation.
Agenda revealed for ILMC’s in-person return
The agenda has been announced for the in-person return of ILMC, the international live music industry’s principal annual gathering, which is set for London’s Royal Garden Hotel from 26-29 April.
ILMC 34 highlights include an exploration of the post-pandemic business with Phil Bowdery (Live Nation) and Maria May (CAA); a conversation with Marie Lindqvist (ASM Global) and Olivier Toth (Rockhal/EAA) on the challenges of reopening venues and encouraging fans back; and an examination of cross-European borders one year on from Brexit, chaired by James Wright (UTA).
This year’s event will also see the return of ILMC’s popular Dragons’ Den sessions, featuring Alex Hardee (Paradigm), John Giddings (Solo), Barry Dickins (ITB) and Leon Ramakers (Mojo). Other topics to be discussed include festivals, ticketing, new venue builds, supply chain and recruitment, the metaverse & NFTs, diversity, external investment in the business, booking agencies, government relations, new technology and live events insurance.
“This year’s ILMC programme is probably the most packed and varied we’ve ever put together”
“No matter where you are in the world, the live music industry is contending with more than ever,” says ILMC head Greg Parmley. “That’s why this year’s ILMC programme is probably the most packed and varied we’ve ever put together – and why this year’s conference is a must attend event for all those working in our sector. It’ll be great to see everyone in person for the first time in a long time. There’s going to be plenty to talk about.”
Several unique ILMC 34 keynotes are also set to be announced shortly, while there will also be a whole day of panels, workshops and presentations on the environment during the Green Events & Innovations conference (GEI) – the leading platform for sustainability at live events. This year, GEI takes place within ILMC itself, making it free to all delegates. The full programme for GEI will be announced in the coming days.
The ILMC Production Meeting (IPM) will be held on Tuesday 26 April. IPM is expanding its programming in 2022 to include a day-long tranche of sessions by the Event Safety & Security Summit (E3S).
Full information about the conference including schedule, events and partners is at 34.ilmc.com
BMTH reduce emissions by 38% on arena tour
Bring Me The Horizon (BMTH) reduced their tour emissions by 38% during their six-date arena run in the UK, according to sustainability experts A Greener Festival (AGF).
The ‘Post Human Tour’ reportedly achieved the reduction through using renewable fuel for trucks, plant-based meals, food waste reduction and energy-efficient equipment among other initiatives.
More than 27 tonnes of CO2e were avoided, 22 tonnes avoided by switching trucking fuel to HVO Renewable Diesel and 3,322 plastic bottles were prevented, according to a new report from AGF.
The September 2021 tour, promoted by Kilimanjaro Live’s rock arm Action! Presents, is said to be the first arena run in the UK since the pandemic.
The six-date run comprised shows at The Bonus Arena in Hull, The SSE Hydro in Glasgow, Motorpoint Arena in Cardiff, FlyDSA Arena in Sheffield, Utilita Arena in Birmingham and the O2 in London.
“These results are undeniable evidence that we can take huge strides to reduce emissions and protect ecosystems immediately”
AGF says that the tour was the first to achieve the aspirational reductions of touring thanks to “unprecedented collaboration between stakeholders”.
Raw Power Management, United Talent Agency (UTA), Kilimanjaro, and the O2 Arena shared the cost of sustainability implementation advice and tour impact audit.
AGF joined the tour to provide advice and consultancy, to implement and report upon proposed mitigation actions producing the Greener Tour Report and CO2 Analysis.
The resulting report is intended to not only provide insight for the internal BMTH touring team to monitor achievements, areas for improvement, and required emissions removals, but also as a resource for other touring productions to use as another step on the road towards A Greener Tour.
Matt Ash, Raw Power Management, says: “Working with an artist in BMTH and a tour production team that was fully behind the approach to sustainable touring was something that we absolutely endorsed and are keen to implement on all future touring whenever possible.”
“Their vision from the start was to produce the tour as environmentally friendly as possible”
Claire O’Neill, CEO at AGF, adds: “During the pandemic, the touring music industry came together on the important topic of sustainability. We’re so happy with the results from walking the talk with the first UK arena tour off the mark. The report shows a direct link between well-being, stress, and environmental sustainability. Culture change and industry restructuring are essential to achieve a green future for artist touring. There is much still to be done, but these results are undeniable evidence that we can take huge strides to reduce emissions and protect ecosystems immediately. There’s no excuse to delay.”
Alan Day, promoter at Kilimanjaro/Action!, comments: “Bring Me The Horizon were the first band in the UK, possibly the world, to complete a full non-rescheduled arena tour after the height of the pandemic. Their vision from the start was to produce the tour as environmentally friendly as possible, whilst still giving the audience the best spectacle achievable. From savings in plastic waste, to transport, to accommodation, to stage production and more, I am proud to have produced such a landmark tour and hopefully an example for the future”.
Steve Sayer, VP & GM of The O2, says: “The O2 were delighted to collaborate with all the other partners on this important project to build back a more sustainable touring and live music industry. Venues are a big part of the live ecosystem and we are keen to learn how we can further reduce our footprint as we develop our plans to get to net zero; and support the tours do the same. Credit to BMTH for taking the lead on this and showing us the way.”
AGF recently announced the first speakers for its 2022 Green Events & Innovations Conference (GEI), the leading gathering for sustainability at live events.
The 14th edition of GEI, in partnership with the International Live Music Conference (ILMC), will take place at the Royal Garden Hotel in Kensington, London on Friday 29 April. Click here for tickets and more information.
GEI unveils first speakers for 2022 edition
The first speakers have been announced for 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.
For the first time, an ILMC delegate pass includes full access to this year’s GEI, which takes place during the main conference programme. The event has historically taken place the day before ILMC, but this one-off move will allow all ILMC delegates full access to the whole of GEI.
Speakers will include Chiara Badiali (Julie’s Bicycle), Dale Vince OBE (Ecotricity/Forest Green Rovers) Dr Vincent Walsh (Herblabism/Future of Food), Glenn Lyons (UWE), Holger Jan Schmidt (Yourope), John Drury (OVO Arena Wembley), Kara Djurhuus (Roskilde Festival), Lucy Noble (NAA/Royal Albert Hall), Marie Sabot (We Love Green) and Sangeeta Waldron (Serendipity PR & Media).
“The industry at large has woken up and we’re rapidly getting our house in order”
Key topics will include European co-operation in the live music sector, arenas coming back greener with the AGF Greener Arena certification, travel & transport, sustainable food & beverage (and what they are served in), green energy, plus a direct challenge to fundamental industry frameworks and cultures.
“The industry at large has woken up and we’re rapidly getting our house in order,” says AGF CEO Claire O’Neill. “There’s significant work still to go and GEI 14 will be a place to learn from peers and to share the load. We can now confidently step up to our responsibility to use this powerful global voice to millions of people as a positive tool for societal transformation. Never mind rebuilding the self destructive, exclusive and oppressive old ways. Let’s create something that supports and enhances flourishing life for everyone – or else what’s the point?”
The connection between wellbeing, inclusivity, diversity, equity and environmental sustainability will be a recurring theme throughout the conference, which mixes practical case studies, discussion panels and presentations, and facilitates networking to accelerate change. Each year GEI demonstrates the latest solutions and technologies, as well as challenges to be addressed.
GEI 14 is supported by Ecotricity and Ball Corporation. Click here for tickets and more information.
AGF reveals top green festivals and events of 2021
Environmental nonprofit A Greener Festival (AGF) has announced the recipients of the A Greener Festival Award in 2021.
Launched in 2007, the AGF Awards is the gold standard for festivals and events to reduce their environmental impact.
In the latest round of awards, eight events across five countries have been recognised including Paradise City (Belgium), Elrow Town (Netherlands) and Deep Tropics (US).
Recipients received awards across four categories: outstanding, highly commended, commended and improvers.
The festivals and events were awarded based on a rigorous assessment, site visit and post-event analysis of their sustainability actions, with assessors looking at 11 areas, including transport, waste, power, water and local area impacts.
According to AGF, the standards have been developed over 15 years in consultation with 1000s of events, event services, suppliers and sustainability experts across key areas assessed.
“We’re impressed by these events that not only took place but also reduced negative environmental impacts”
AGF CEO Claire O’Neill says: “We’re impressed by these events that not only took place in 2021, which was a feat in itself, but also maintained and developed their actions to reduce negative environmental impacts and enhance positive community impacts.
“We’re happy to be able to award this certification. Record numbers of events worldwide have applied for AGF certification in 2022. This shows the appetite and need for genuine action for sustainability, and the expectation from audiences and local authorities alike for events to prove their minimum environmental standards.”
Gilles De Decker, co-founder of Paradise City Festival, adds: “Claiming you are sustainable means taking responsibility. AGF has been auditing Paradise City Festival for several editions now and it is thanks to their valuable feedback and detailed analysis of the ecological footprint of our festival that we can improve year by year. So this recognition as one of the most sustainable festivals worldwide means a lot to our team.”
Joel Atchinson, regenerative design and co-founder, Deep Tropics, comments: “Working in collaboration with the AGF team was incredibly rewarding and expansive! Even with the great success of producing a climate positive event, the depth of their survey and data collection revealed several blindspots of which we are very grateful to have identified. We feel like our team has a clearer roadmap, and a more refined approach to build on into 2022 and beyond!”
A full list of AGF Award winners for 2021 is below:
Paradise City (Belgium)
“Outstanding” A Greener Festival Award 2021
elrow Town (Netherlands)
“Highly Commended” A Greener Festival Award 2021
Cridem pel Clima (Spain)
“Commended” A Greener Festival Award 2021
Deep Tropics (USA)
“Commended” A Greener Festival Awards 2021
Festival de la Luz (Spain)
“Commended” A Greener Festival Award 2021
Lost Village (UK)
“Improvers” A Greener Festival Award 2021
“Improvers” A Greener Festival Award 2021
South Summit (Spain)
“Improvers” A Greener Event Award 2021
Sustainability heads say pandemic prompted “sea change”
Sustainability heads say the pandemic has prompted a “real sea change” in the industry’s attitude towards green issues.
“The pause allowed for time to think and reflect about their own businesses but, more than this, different sectors of the industry have recognised that they are part of the bigger live ecosystem and need to work together in a much more joined-up way to tackle climate change and the industry’s environmental impact,” explains Teresa Moore, director at A Greener Festival (AGF).
“In my mind, it has undoubtedly speeded up progress, and the launch of Live Green and the Beyond Zero declaration felt like a genuine collaboration across the industry,” says Moore.
The declaration, led by the sustainability arm of live music umbrella trade body LIVE, was revealed last September at the Green Events and Innovations Conference (GEI).
The initiative sets out a roadmap for how the UK’s live music businesses can reach net-zero emissions by the year 2030, in line with the Paris Agreement.
The launch of the declaration came a month before the United Nations Climate Change Conference (aka COP26) – which Moore says acted as a focal point for change.
The seminal year led to “huge demand” from the industry for AGF’s A Greener Arena and Greener Touring certification and set the bar for 2022.
“There is a tsunami of inspired, positive, and powerful actors in the industry pushing sustainability to the front of our rebuild”
“I do think we will see a greener live experience in 2022 as festivals put the commitments they have made into practice,” says Moore.
Claire O’Neill, founder of GEI, is also optimistic that the live industry will build on the momentum of last year.
“The good news is there is a tsunami of inspired, positive, and powerful actors in the industry pushing sustainability to the front and centre of our rebuild,” says O’Neill. “I am extremely confident that we will build a better future.”
However, O’Neill warns that in order to tackle best environmental practices on top of everything else, the industry needs to be proactive in protecting the wellbeing of ourselves and each other.
“The workload is immense and we’re all a little bit rusty around the edges. When we are no longer stressed out, environmental best practice will be easier to achieve. So long as we’re permitted, there will be a great upturn in attendance to gigs, festivals, and events of all kinds.
“This will help us to recover financially, but also gives us back the incredibly important platform that we can use to influence important and urgent societal changes for deeper connection, acceptance and care – for ourselves, each other, and the environment we are a part of. Let’s make 2022 the year that we step up to our responsibility and power as agents of change.”
The GEI conference will return this year, this time taking place within the main conference programme of ILMC on Friday 29 April. For more information visit 34.ilmc.com.
Green Guardians: Power
The Green Guardians Guide, spearheaded by the Green Events and Innovations Conference (GEI) and IQ Magazine, is a new yearly initiative boosting the profiles of those working at the forefront of sustainability, in the hope that it might also inspire others.
The 2021 list, which originally ran in IQ 103, includes 40 entries across eight categories, highlighting some of the organisations and individuals who are working so tirelessly to reduce the carbon footprint of the live entertainment business.
This year’s winners have been chosen by a judging panel that includes experts from A Greener Festival, Greener Events, Julie’s Bicycle, the Sustainability in Production Alliance, the Sustainable Event Council and the Tour Production Group.
IQ will publish entries across all categories over the coming weeks. Catch up on the previous instalment of the Green Guardians Guide which looks at travel & transport.
Club La Feria
In May 2019, La Feria club in Santiago, Chile, became the first nightclub in the world to sustainably cover 100% of the energy it uses.
In a collaboration with Budweiser, the project included carefully retrofitting the historical structure with 35 photovoltaic panels on the roof and in the main wall.
In total, the facility will produce 1,299 kWh of energy monthly – more than enough to power its strobe lighting, cool down overheated clubgoers, run the sound system, and provide all other electrical needs.
This translates to a saving of 6.51 tons of CO2 annually that would have been otherwise emitted into the atmosphere – more than what five houses would consume.
That “Chile is at the forefront of sustainability in the region and probably the world,” is La Feria and Budweiser’s vision.
“We hope this initiative can inspire and motivate other clubs in Chile, and that in a few years [those that] operate on renewable energy are the rule and not the exception.”
The undertaking is the fusion of both worlds from the club and the brand.
La Feria’s commitment to inspire green initiatives in the music industry and in its community unites with Budweiser’s goal to transform its global production by 2025 to 100% clean energy.
La Feria club in Santiago, Chile, became the first nightclub in the world to sustainably cover 100% of the energy it uses
Ecotricity’s mission is to fight climate change by scrapping the use of fossil fuels and giving people an alternative – green energy.
The company started with one windmill in Gloucestershire, UK, and has carried on building new wind and solar parks around the country.
Whenever a home or business switches to Ecotricity for their electricity, they stop using fossil fuel to power their home and start using green energy.
Other energy companies have followed Ecotricity’s lead, and today around 33% of the energy used in the UK comes from green sources.
Across the UK, homes and businesses are still predominantly heated using fossil fuels – mainly natural gas. Although Ecotricity’s gas is only about 1% from sustainable sources, the rest is carbon neutralised gas (the company invests in carbon reduction programmes to cancel out the carbon burned).
However, the company believes green gas is the way forward and it is constructing green gas mills – making biomethane from grass cuttings – to replace natural gas in the grid. When the grass grows back, it absorbs the carbon dioxide created by burning green gas. Then that grass is cut to make more green gas, and the sustainable cycle repeats itself.
Ecotricity’s mission is to fight climate change by scrapping the use of fossil fuels and giving an alternative – green energy
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 needlessly 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.
Greener was founded in order to make an impact on the carbon dioxide footprint of on and off-grid energy markets
Pohoda on the Ground, the miniature 2021 version of Pohoda Festival with capacity limited to 1,000, was able to operate using just electricity from the grid.
Pohoda takes place on a local airfield that is in regular use. In its partnership with local energy provider, ZSE, the event’s production crew researched the maximum capacity of the local network and set up four points on the airport, where they could temporarily place high voltage 630kVA transformers.
“For the full capacity festival with 12 stages and 30,000 visitors, it covered about 40% of the festival energy needs in 2019. For the limited-edition 2021 [event], just two transformers were enough to cover it completely,” reports the event’s sustainability chief, Michal Sládek.
“As we cannot expand the local network further, our next intention is to use the transformers more efficiently. Although they are ideal for stages to handle the energy peaks in the shows, it appears that more energy is consumed in the services that are running continuously for the whole festival, as well as the food concessions. So, for the next edition of Pohoda, we plan to analyse thoroughly the energy use to find any possible savings and the optimal setup to feed the festival, efficiently, with energy.”
Pohoda on the Ground, the miniature 2021 version of Pohoda Festival, was able to operate using just electricity from the grid
Offering consultancy in energy and sustainability, ZAP Concepts has created a unique, straightforward, online power supplies application that has been designed to calculate the amount of power that an event needs in advance.
The new web application makes the collection of power information from all event suppliers extremely easy, quick, and efficient. All suppliers receive a link where they can submit details of their power consuming gear directly into the application, and event producers can select their gear from the database, which contains all possible power consumers at events, including all required data to make accurate energy calculations.
Instead of a power supplier trying to estimate the energy consumption at an event, organisers can select their own equipment in the tool. Zap can then calculate energy consumption with the help of an extensive set of parameters, and the system will create a customised Smart Power Plan within 72 hours.
The Zap tool provides information and suggests the most sustainable and efficient power supply for an event, allowing organisers to cut up to 80% of emissions, use fewer generators, increase the use of green batteries and create the most reliable power network for their event.