Leadership / 08.30.23
Managing the Environmental Impact of Festivals
Irish Examiner (08/27/23) Gerace, Sofia
Europe's concert industry is reevaluating its environmental impact amid record heat levels, with event organizers more focused than ever on sustainability. Festivals are like “living laboratories because you can try something one year, then you can evaluate, and the following year you can try something new,” said Holger Jan Schmidt with Yourope — The European Festival Association. “Festivals can also act as a motivator given that they appeal to a large group of young people.” Belgium-based consultancy Tapio estimates that the Tomorrowland festival in the Belgian town of Boom generates nearly 150,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent from the cumulative air travel, merchandise and food involved. This year's Tomorrowland expanded its electrical grid to reduce the use of diesel generators 50%, and affiliated nonprofit Love Tomorrow held a parallel conference with workshops focused on sustainability. The event also set up recycling bins so attendees could sort food, plastics and general waste, while some food stalls tried out edible straws and cups. Other festivals aiming to reduce emissions include Glastonbury in the U.K., which this year was fully powered by renewable energy, and which also monitors the quality of water in local rivers and has planted over 10,000 native trees and hedges directly. “Music festivals are like a mini town, in some cases even a mini city because of their scale,” said Teresa Moore with the environmental nonprofit A Greener Future. “Those events who are already making these changes are ahead of the game.”
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Tags: Sustainability , Festivals