How festival goers can be sustainable at events

As the summer festival season gets into full swing (the sun was recently spotted in the UK sky), A Greener Future (AGF), the not-for-profit company dedicated to making the live event sector sustainable, shares top tips on how we, as festival-goers, can positively impact the events we attend.

“Festivals are all about fun, community and connection, and they can be even greater when we use them as a catalyst for the green transition we need to see in the world,” says Claire O’Neill, festival sustainability expert and co-founder of AGF.

The best way to protect our future and that of our planet is by reducing, reusing, and sharing. So, let’s start the 2024 festival season off with an (eco-friendly, non-fossil) bang, by packing wisely, travelling conscientiously, eating plant-based, and buying pre-owned items – simple lifestyle choices we can make to significantly reduce our impact on the planet, the wildlife, and each other, whilst still enjoying fantastic events.

So, if you want to be a conscientious, planet-hugging, festivalgoer, follow these tips:

1. Choose the Greenest Way to Travel
One of the most significant negative environmental impacts of greenfield music festivals is audience transport. In the recent 2024 AGF Annual Festival Report, we reported that the average percentage of attendees travelling by car to rural festivals had dropped from 67% to 58%, whilst the average percentage of attendees utilising public transport to attend rural festivals had increased from 16% to 19%.

Instead of driving, can you travel by train or coach? Train travel around Europe is easy and fast and many festivals organise inter-country coaches to shuttle their audiences in. Of course, choosing festivals closer to home is also a way to reduce travel emissions.

Could you pack light and cycle? Check your festival’s website or social media accounts to find out if they run group bike rides – check out charities like Sustrans or organise a group yourself. Group bike rides are a great way to meet fellow festivalgoers and reduce your impact on the environment whilst getting yourself fit enough to throw some serious shapes when you get to the dancefloor.

If you have no alternative but to travel by car, make sure there’s a human bottom in every seat. Connect with fellow travellers through the festival’s own channels or check out platforms like Liftshare and GoCarShare.

2. Reduce Food Waste & Eat Plant-Based
After audience transport, food and drink are usually the second-largest source of a festival’s emissions. It’s tempting to take enough food with us to last a fortnight when we head to a festival, but studies have shown that much of the food that people take sadly ends up going to waste, along with all its packaging. Only take non-perishable food that you know you will eat, and if you have any left, take it home or donate it to a foodbank.

Crucially, festivals who moved to a fully meat-free event reduced their food-related emissions by over 60% on average according to the 2024 Festival Sustainability Report, with 55% having a formal sustainable food and drink policy that included plenty of delicious local plant-based options.

We can massively reduce our impact by eating a plant-based diet. Or at the very least cutting down on the amount of meat and dairy we consume. Reducing animal agriculture is “our best and most immediate chance to reverse the trajectory of climate change,” according to scientists. The planet, not to mention the animals, and our bodies, will thank us for it.

3. Take Your Camping Gear Home
Camping equipment is for life – not just for festival. Campaigns such as Love Your Tent and #takeyourtenthome have done a great job of highlighting the scale of the problem of abandoned camping equipment at the end of festivals. If you really can’t take it home, then don’t take it. Book pre-pitched camping and travel light.

And if the thought of sleeping in a small tent fills you with abject terror, check out boutique glamping options or buy a second-hand bell tent and share it with non-snoring friends with good personal hygiene.

4. Ditch Single-Use Plastics
Free drinking water is always available at festivals, so take a refillable bottle and save yourself some moolah whilst doing your bit to reduce plastic usage. Or be a real eco-warrior and take a reusable cup and cutlery for that early-morning cup of joe or for snaffling plant-based curry between performances.
And, if a concession stand doesn’t allow you to use your own cup, use their reusable cups if provided.
The 2024 Festival Sustainability Report showed significant areas of improvement in festivals reducing the use of single-use plastics, with 60% having a reusable cup system and bans on single-use plastic serve ware increasing from 54% in 2022 to 75% in 2023. Please help us get that figure higher in 2024.

You can also use reusable containers for toiletries and refill them with eco-friendly products rather than carrying large items or buying small plastic disposables. Look for soaps and toiletries free from chemicals such as triclosan, parabens, phthalates, fragrances and sodium laurel sulphate. Note that vegan soap doesn’t necessarily mean chemical-free. Never buy products with microbeads or cotton buds with plastic sticks.

Disposable vapes are bad for the environment and the majority end up in landfill sites or are incinerated, so please use refillable ones.

5. Just Vote! #CrashTheParty
We can do all of the work in the world on our personal footprints and impacts. If we don’t have a systems that works for a green transition and a Government that will make that happen we will remain stuck. In the UK #CrashTheParty is a non partisan campaign to get people registered to vote, applying for voter ID if they need it, and turning out to the ballot box on 4th July. In the EU the campaign #WeVoteEurope is in full force and for the US #RockTheVote. This could be the most important year of elections of a lifetime as the incoming governments worldwide could either step up and make change, or fail us.

6. And Finally…
Other easy changes we can implement as festival-lovers is using paper hand towels instead of wet wipes (which aren’t biodegradable) and swapping fast fashion for second-hand and vintage.

And for those of us who really want to stand out on the dance floor after one too many pints of organic and locally sourced cider – reach for the biodegradable body glitter.

So, there you have it, five relatively easy changes we can all implement to make the forthcoming festival season the least environmentally impactful fest season yet.

As the African proverb goes: If you think you are too small to make a difference, you haven't spent the night with a mosquito.

Have a fantastic summer!


A Greener Future’s industry leading sustainable events training

A Greener Future (AGF) is gearing up to deliver the next edition of its industry-leading Sustainable Events Training programme, which this time will be hosted by Oxford Brookes University in the UK.

As the global events industry seeks to become sustainable, and with government bodies such as the UK’s DCMS (Department for Culture, Media and Sport) calling for environmental standards for festivals, what better place to turn for training than the founders of the world's first green standards and certification for festivals and events?

Sustainable Events Training will take participants through the analysis of key environmental impacts, enhancing environmental awareness and developing sustainability practices within the events industry, equipping participants with the knowledge and skills to become certified assessors for global festivals and events.

The programme is also suitable for those who want to work in event sustainability in general, who wish to upskill or improve their understanding of sustainability, including event organisers, local authorities, suppliers, academics and researchers, as well as those who are simply passionate about developing their existing knowledge surrounding improved event sustainability. The programme is an invaluable opportunity to enhance skills and contribute to a greener future for the events industry.

Programme participants will gain invaluable insights from industry experts as they learn through a combination of theoretical knowledge and practical case studies.

Those who successfully complete the programme will become Stage 1 Certified A Greener Future Assessors and will receive a certificate of completion. Upon completion, participants are then eligible to move to Stage 2 of the training programme, which involves site visits to events and festivals and the completion of assessments under the supervision of one of our senior assessors, with the aim of becoming senior assessors themselves in the future.

ABOUT THE TRAINING:

The AGF Sustainable Events Training programme is designed to provide participants with a deep understanding of the key operational issues that impact the environment during events. Developed drawing upon over 18 years of experience in assessing festivals and events globally, our course covers a wide range of topics, including:
-Legal Framework & Policy
-Local Impacts & Risks
-Sustainable Procurements
-Travel & Transport
-Event Power
-Solid Waste & Recycling
-Water Usage, Wastewater & Sewerage
-The Circular Event
-Behaviour & Communication
-AGF Assessment Familiarisation & Post-event Reporting

TRAINING DATES:
-In-person Intensive: 9th – 10th May 2024 – held at Oxford Brookes University
-Online: Starting 3rd June 2024 – run in partnership with Falmouth University


Latest AGF festival sustainability report released

AGF (A Greener Future) has today released its latest ‘Festival Sustainability Report’ for European festivals, providing industry-wide benchmarks for the festival sector.
The 2024 report is a culmination of a year of information gathering, data analysis, and number crunching for the 40+ festivals from all over Europe assessed by AGF in 2023, with sections on mobility, food & drink, water & sanitation, power & fuel use, waste & recycling, and carbon emissions.

There have been some significant areas of improvement, such as bans on single-use plastic serveware increasing from 54% in 2022 to 75% in 2023, a reduction in average waste per person per day from 0.75 kg to 0.5 kg, and more festivals going fully vegan or vegetarian.

AGF was also able to expand on its carbon footprint breakdowns for festivals and compare emissions by type of festival. The results further highlighted the significant impact of travel and transport, and that food and drink are often the second largest source of emissions after audience transport. Crucially, festivals that moved to a fully meat-free event reduced their food-related emissions by over 60% on average.
Water use increased at both urban and rural camping festivals, significantly at the latter, with an average of 26 ltrs pppd, up from 19 ltrs pppd in 2022. The increase could be due to various factors, however, it does align with the hottest summer on record recorded in summer 2023. Changes to the environment in which outdoor events are operating point to the broader need for the sector to prepare for climate adaptation in addition to climate change and pollution prevention.

The collection of accurate data on build, decor, staging, and merchandise materials purchased remains a challenge, as well as engaging with Sponsors and Hospitality areas to provide the necessary information and to assess their impact. AGF is working closely with clients and the sector to bridge these gaps.

In addition, while an increasing number of festivals are switching to renewable fuels such as HVO, it is important to highlight that, although considered renewable, these fuels still generate emissions and air pollution. Reducing overall fuel use and improving the availability and affordability of hybrid, battery, and grid systems remains a key opportunity to decarbonise the sector.

This year's findings highlight the evolving trends and the significant steps forward demonstrated by festivals and their suppliers across Europe and beyond.

Key Findings from the 2024 Report:
-Travel & Transport
-68% of domestic artists on lineups on average (from 61% in 2022).
-Reduction in the average share of attendees reporting travelling by car to rural festivals from 67% to 58%, with an increase in reported plane travel.
-The average share of attendees using public transport to attend rural festivals increased from 16% to 19%.

Food & Beverage
-75% banned single-use plastic serve ware (increasing from 54% in 2022).
-60% had a reusable cup system.
-55% had a formal sustainable food and drink policy.
-Red meat dishes accounted on average for more than half of a festival’s food emissions.

Water & Sanitation
-12% used compost toilets for over 3/4 of their sanitation demand.
-75% of festivals still use some portable chemical toilets onsite.

Power & Fuel Use
-38% used HVO Fuel for 100% of generators.
-15% of festivals used grid electricity for over 90% of their power needs.
-Encouragingly, events are increasingly introducing hybrid, renewables, and battery storage systems to reduce fuel use.

Waste & Recycling
-0.5 kg average waste per person per day (reduced from 0.75kg).
-Onsite recycling separation rates increased from 38% (2022) to 46% (2023).

Carbon Emissions
-Audience travel and food & beverage are frequently the largest emissions sources, closely followed by production transport and artist transport.
-Removing meat resulted in an average reduction in food-related emissions of over 60%.

Claire O’Neill, AGF CEO Says:
“2024 is the 18th year that AGF is assessing festival impacts worldwide. It’s good to see improved understanding, data, and performance from events. We are seeing progress, but more still needs to be done to now additionally adapt to changing and more extreme weather. There is a huge opportunity for collaboration with other sectors such as transport, energy, water, and food who all have targets for net zero and protecting ecosystems. New ways of doing things need dynamic and attractive platforms to reach people, which is what festivals are. While progress is good, the background is changing, adversely - We’re on a path to net zero but the path just got steeper, so we need to keep upping our game”


Green Events & Innovations Conference 16 - A sell out success

The Green Events & Innovations Conference (GEI), the foremost conference for sustainable events, welcomed 400 delegates to the Royal Lancaster London for the event’s 16th edition on 27th February.

AGF CEO Claire O'Neill and director Teresa Moore started the day's proceedings by highlighting that we’re reaching critical mass structurally and culturally in which we must change the way our sector operates and that using our platform for communication has never been more important in a year of pivotal elections worldwide. This was followed by a packed agenda of inspirational innovators from the global live music, sports, and event sector, tackling critical sustainability topics with speakers who brought their knowledge, insight, and passion to the panels and conversations.

The first session of the day covered extreme weather events, exploring the current situation with a presentation from climate scientist, Richard Betts from the Met Office and University of Exeter, who said, “We are seeing spring coming earlier and summers are hotter and winter is later and wetter, so thinking about the timing of events in the future should be taken into consideration,” with Safety & Security Consultant Alexandra von Samson adding, “We have to adapt to the situation as it's not going to go away.”

The sponsored by oil and gas session tackled sponsorship and greenwashing with Luke Howell (Hope Solutions) sustainability advisor to Coldplay and Glastonbury Festival stating that “Oil and gas companies are aware that the music industry has been struggling and are seeking to take advantage.”

​​The world’s first carbon-removed gig - The 1975 @ at The O2 Arena with AEG’s John Langford and Sam Booth examined the pilot event (a partnership between AGF and carbon-removal experts CUR8) – a game-changing step on the path to helping the global live events industry reach genuine net-zero. And saw Booth stating that “there is a need to convince artists and bands to come on this journey with us and get on board with it and to open up conversations that wouldn’t normally be had.”

Popstars, sports personalities, and music industry moguls were in the spotlight in Bridging The Gap, Proud To Pay More with Julia Davies (Patriotic Millionaires UK) explaining how the event and entertainment industry is in a prime position to make a difference and stand up for a better future for us all.

The quick-fire innovation Round saw unique and innovative sustainability ideas presented, including ChefChain blockchain for food traceability, ReClaim Audio recycled speakers, FibreStrap biodegradable cable ties, Take The Jump innovative communication strategy to cut through behaviour change messages, and Fluctuations the transnational boat festival wandering European rivers, to mobilise on social, environmental, and citizenship topics.

Continuing the global affairs impacting the live sector focus, Ellie Kinney (The Conflict and Environment Observatory) discussed the environment as a silent victim of armed conflict in The Military Emissions Gap, stating that “If the world’s militaries were a country, it would have the fourth highest carbon footprint,” whilst in Influencing Audiences Beyond the Festival, Dr Teresa Moore and Green Gathering’s Em Weirdigan explored the influence of green festivals towards audiences beyond the event, discussing research undertaken by The Green Gathering in association with A Greener Future with Weirdigan highlighting “40% of people are there because they believe in our ethos and feel they’ve found something meaningful with us.”

The agenda also tackled the structures on which the live sector depends, including artist contract clauses with a session hosted by Head of Sustainability for EMEA at Live Nation Patricia Yagüe with LIVE Green Chair Carol Scott (TAIT), Tom Schroeder (Wasserman Music), and Ross Patel (Whole Entertainment /Music Managers Forum) in Contracts for Climate. In this essential discussion, Patel said “Artists with significant leverage are starting to use their power to drive their own sustainable goals,” with Schroeder adding, “What we need is not just Billie Eilish doing her thing, we need it to be accepted as part of the ecosystem and not to be the exception but the rule” and that “more efficient touring and scaled-down production lead to less [of a] carbon footprint and more income, so everyone wins.”

This year’s research sessions included the launch of a new toolkit: No Climate Action Without Us. How to include disabled people in live event sustainability – a joint project with Attitude is Everything, A Greener Future, and Julie’s Bicycle with Farah Ahmed (Julie’s Bicycle) and Dr Teresa Moore (A Greener Future) presenting, followed by a panel with Blaine Harrison (Mystery Jets), Tori Tsui (Climate Activist), and Harry Jones (Forwards Festival), and hosted by Feimatta Conteh (Arts Council England). Three case studies from Forwards Festival, Green Man, and Shambala were also examined. This thought-provoking session saw Harrison state, “Feeling connected to nature makes us feel more incentivised to fight to protect it.”

It’s not possible to consider green events without considering the stage. ‘Greening The Stage’, hosted by John Robb (Louder Than War), with Carol Scott (TAIT), Pauline Bourdon (Team Love/Soliphilia), and Zarya Vrabcheva (STUFISH Entertainment Architects) discussed what we have in our toolbox today to design stages that mitigate the use of virgin materials, reduce emissions, and start working towards the circular economy. Scott stated “Solving the key fundamental problems is having more lead time. The biggest problem is the lack of decision-making at the front end.”
After a delicious climate-loving plant-based lunch including sliders courtesy of Devil’s Kitchen, Dale Vince (Ecotricity / Forest Green Rovers FC) took center stage to host two sessions: Firstly, Low Emission Festivals & Events highlighted that more than 85% of festival energy in the UK is still coming from generators and this needs to move to grid, battery, hybrid, and other fuel mixes in the near future, whilst Andy Hibberd (Ecotricity / Grid Faeries) stated that “without data, you can’t make informed choices.” Secondly, Avengers Assemble: Using Profile for Change with Sam Lee, Music Declares Emergency’s Fay Milton, and Louis VI, in which Vince stated that “this is the most important year of our lifetimes” in terms of elections and then called for the industry to get behind the #JustVote24 campaign.

AEME (Association of Event Management Educators) returned to GEI bringing together a panel of academics to discuss the demand for sustainability skills across the industry in Supporting sustainable employability skills for current and future generations of festival and events managers with rapper, multi-instrumentalist, and activist Louis VI joining GEI for the first time to give an inspiring keynote speech Nature Ain’t A Luxury, where he asked the question: “Why aren't we defending the music of nature like we are defending our creative expression and songwriter splits?”

A series of thought-provoking presentations also took place, including Sisyphean Or Herculean? The task ahead for decarbonising transport with Glenn Lyons (Mott McDonald/University of West England), chasing waste management gremlins with Clive Philips (Greenbox Events Ltd), and carbon impact of festivals: AGF annual report with Alex Fintoni (A Greener Future).
The highly anticipated EarthPercent Hour completed the programme and featured a keynote conversation with Brian Eno hosted by EarthPercent’s executive director, Cathy Runciman, with Jarvis Cocker taking to the stage during the grand finale to present his book – Biophobia – which was both thought-provoking, entertaining, and a treat for GEI delegates.

The day rounded up with the International AGF Awards 2024 sponsored by the incredible Skydiamond, with 27 events, venues, and innovators from 12 countries as finalists, with the the top accolade – the International Greener Festival Award 2024 – going to Belgium’s Paradise City, who also scooped the Greener Catering Award. Louis VI also gave an impromptu interactive performance engaging the crowd.

Skydiamond founder Dale Vince said: “Sky diamonds are made from the sky. It’s 21st-century alchemy. We don’t have to give up the things we enjoy, we just need to do them differently, and that’s what GEI and AGF is all about, so this was a natural alignment and well-deserved by the winners.”
Full list of 2024 International AGF Award winners:
International Greener Festival Award - Paradise City, BE
Greener Transport Award - Rosendal Garden Party, SE
Circular Event Award - I Land Sound, EE
Community Action Award - Sonidos Líquidos, ES
Greener Catering Award - Paradise City, BE
Pied Piper Award - ØyaFestivalen, NO
Greener Power Award - Green Gathering, UK
Water & Sanitation Award - Boom, PT
Greener Innovations Award - 6 Degrees by Team Love & re: right design, UK

GEI was kindly supported by Ecotricity, TAIT, Instagrid, KB Event, and The O2.
More information at agreenerfuture.com / @agreenerfuture


AGF

AGF reveals winners of International AGF Awards 2024

A Greener Future (AGF) has revealed the 2024 International AGF Award Winners at the Green Events and Innovations Conference, with an extra special reward for a green champion. Taking place on February 27 at the Royal Lancaster London, the 17th edition of the International AGF Awards celebrated the most innovative and worthy festivals, events, venues, organisations, and individuals from worldwide events over the last 12 months.

Finalists of the 2024 International AGF Awards, supported by Skydiamond, included 27 events, venues, and innovators from 12 countries with awards being presented across nine important sustainability categories, including power, water, food, and travel.

The top accolade – the International Greener Festival Award 2024 – went to Belgium’s Paradise City, which also scooped the Greener Catering Award. Not only a shining example of festival sustainability, Paradise City has made it hip to be green. The festival prides itself on caring for the future in every communication, encouraging guests to travel mindfully with initiatives such as specially arranged night trains, campsites with equipment lending and repurposing, and waste policies and deposits.

Upon receiving the award, the event’s sustainability manager, Esther Koshari, said: “I am a bit overwhelmed and I’m super happy we got this award. We have worked really hard to achieve this award and not it’s only me as the sustainability manager but the whole team. Sustainability is in the DNA of everything we do at the festival.”

Estonia won an award for the first time, with I Land Sound receiving the Circular Event Award. Not only has the event implemented amazing initiatives surrounding materials reuse, waste management, and sustainable procurement, it has also embraced collaborations to use art and decor to educate and change behaviours.

The night was also a win for the Nordics, with Norway's ØyaFestivalen and Rosendal Garden Party from Sweden both taking home awards. Rosendal tackled travel to and from their festival in 2023, reducing artist travel by increasing local talent and having just one stage featuring headliners travelling from other countries, as well as reducing the air miles from all artists travelling to the event. ØyaFestivalen say that taking measures to raise awareness of sustainability and EDI measures beyond the festival is in its DNA.

For the second year running, Boom in Portugal won the award for Water and Sanitation. The event has further improved on the great measures already in place and deserves recognition for their impassioned efforts to manage water responsibly in an area of water scarcity. Across the border, Spain’s Sonidos Líquidos continued its steadfast commitment to sustainability, building upon the successful practices developed in previous years. The festival reinforced the connection with the local territory, fostered social impacts within the community, and aimed to generate a broader impact on society.

The UK’s Green Gathering continues to be a pioneer of the 100 per cent renewable-energy-powered festival, proving that even during a rather damp year, you can still be solar-powered. Power is a key focus for the festival and is at the core of what sets it apart from other events. The impact this has on the public enjoying a festival powered by renewable energy, has the potential to impact attendees after they leave.

The Greener Innovations Award went to 6 Degrees by Team Love & re:right design, who have harnessed the interconnected power of mushroom roots and demonstrated how we can move away from environment-impacting materials to a more sustainable fungi future!

Claire O’Neill, CEO of A Greener Future, said: “Massive congrats to all of the winners and to the nominees of the International AGF Awards 2024. The work of using culture for a positive transition to a greener way of living has never been more important. We’re also quite beside ourselves with gratitude to our sponsor Skydiamond for the incredible work they do and the generosity in the gift provided to each of our winners this year.”

Full list of 2024 International AGF Award winners:

International Greener Festival Award - Paradise City, BE
Greener Transport Award - Rosendal Garden Party, SE
Circular Event Award - I Land Sound, EE
Community Action Award - Sonidos Líquidos, ES
Greener Catering Award - Paradise City, BE
Pied Piper Award - ØyaFestivalen, NO
Greener Power Award - Green Gathering, UK
Water and Sanitation Award - Boom, PT
Greener Innovations Award - 6 Degrees by Team Love and re:right design, UK

 


Suzanne Bull access and sustainability toolkit

Attitude is Everything, Julie's Bicycle and AGF publish access and environmental sustainability toolkit

In the summer of 2023, Julie’s Bicycle surveyed disabled people about access and environmental sustainability at live events and festivals.

The key findings were:

  • Sustainability is a consideration for more than two-thirds of disabled respondents.
  • One-third of respondents feel that environmental solutions are not easy to navigate and do not meet their access requirements.
  • Only 22 per cent of respondents feel included and able to participate in events and festivals that align with their climate values.

A Greener Future took an in-depth look at three festivals and their experience of providing accessibility for disabled people compatible with the festival’s environmental sustainability goals. These case studies highlight where the issues have been and the solutions that each festival has developed along with areas where further work is needed.

As a result, Attitude is Everything, Julie’s Bicycle and A Greener Future have now published an innovative toolkit that supports the UK’s events industry to implement practical solutions that tackle both climate change and accessibility.

The toolkit was launched at (GEI16) Green Events and Innovation Conference with a presentation by Julie’s Bicycle and A Greener Future.

This new resource came from Attitude is Everything’s founder Suzanne Bull MBE during the pandemic. She had a rising concern that disabled people were being left behind in efforts to drive forward sustainable practices. The disabled community wasn’t included in the climate change conversations, and their access requirements weren’t being considered. Therefore, practical solutions to tackle the climate crisis often conflict with solutions that improve access. Bull felt that there was only one course of action to take – to bring together the leaders in accessibility in live events, Attitude is Everything, and the leaders in climate change solutions for culture, Julie’s Bicycle and A Greener Future.

As well as revealing the key barriers that disabled people experience within initiatives that tackle sustainability, the toolkit outlines practical ways in which venues, events, and festivals can implement accessible solutions to climate change There are also three case studies from Green Man, Forwards Festival, and Shambala from assessments carried out by A Greener Future. These festivals volunteered to be transparent about their own difficulties and commitments to find solutions that are inclusive to all.

However, this is only the start of the conversation. The toolkit does not have all the answers or the solutions but instead comes with a "call to action" to the live events industry to make access and environmental solutions equal partners. The toolkit gives the foundations for the sector to build upon. Throughout 2024, the events industry is being urged to test out the toolkit and give feedback.

Together, Attitude is Everything, Julie’s Bicycle and A Greener Future is asking the sector to:

  • Test the suggestions throughout this toolkit
  • Connect your sustainability team with your access team and work through solutions together.
  • Engage with disabled people throughout every step of your planning process. Listen to disabled people and work with them to find solutions.
  • Connect with other local events, venues, and festivals to share ideas and resources.
  • Connect with membership organisations, and as a collective, find ways to increase the supply of sustainable, accessible equipment and facilities.

This toolkit is part of a pilot programme. Attitude is Everything, Julie’s Bicycle and A Greener Future want to hear from events professionals about how events and festivals are using these suggestions to strengthen your commitments to sustainability and accessibility.

Bull, founder of Attitude is Everything, said: “Just like there’s no music on a dead planet, there’s no access either. Public demand is growing for businesses to take their environmental and access responsibilities seriously, and that public includes disabled people. More than 1 billion disabled people worldwide are more impacted by climate change than non-disabled people due to the additional access requirements and health concerns many of them have when disasters strike countries and our cities become clogged with polluted air. My hope is that this collaboration and the toolkit will be the catalyst for change.”


AGF GEI conference

AGF announce full agenda for Green Events and Innovations Conference

A Greener Future (AGF), organiser of the Green Events and Innovations (GEI) conference, has revealed the full schedule for its 16th edition. Taking place on February 27, at the Royal Lancaster Hotel, London, GEI will feature a packed programme of inspirational leaders and innovators in the global live music and events sector, including the highly anticipated EarthPercent Hour, which will include a keynote conversation with Brian Eno. Jarvis Cocker will take to the stage during this grand finale to present his "Biophobia".

The agenda tackles the structures on which the live sector depends including artist contract clauses hosted by head of sustainability for EMEA at Live Nation Patricia Yagüe (Live Nation) welcoming LIVE Green chair Carol Scott (TAIT), Tom Schroeder (Wasserman Music) and Ross Patel (Whole Entertainment /Music Managers Forum) in "Contracts for Climate".

Sponsorship and Greenwashing are tackled by Luke Howell (Hope Solutions) sustainability advisor to Coldplay and Glastonbury Festival.

The event also explores the current situation and adaptation in "Extreme Weather Events: Adapting to the New Climate" highlighting the ever-increasing issue of extreme weather events brought about by climate change. Professor Richard Betts from the Met Office and University of Exeter will be joined by representatives of some of the events that were hit by extreme weather during the festival season of 2023 – Yungblud and Massive Attack Tour Manager Jamal Chalabi (AGF/Backlash Productions), Alexandra von Samson (safety and security consultant) and Cara Webster-Whiteside (Previse Events) – to discuss the latest data on climate change, implications for insurance, and the future outlook for both our industry and the planet.

It’s not possible to consider green events without considering the stage. "Greening The Stage" will be hosted by John Robb (Louder Than War) and joined by Carol Scott (TAIT), Pauline Bourdon (Team Love/Soliphilia), Zarya Vrabcheva (STUFISH Entertainment Architects).

This year’s research sessions include the launch of new toolkit No Climate Action Without Us. How to include disabled people in live event sustainability. A joint project with Attitude is Everything, A Greener Future and Julie’s Bicycle with Farah Ahmed (Julie’s Bicycle) and Dr Teresa Moore (A Greener Future) presenting, followed by a panel with Blaine Harrison (Mystery Jets), Tori Tsui (Climate Activist) and Harry Jones (Forwards Festival) hosted by Feimatta Conteh (Arts Council England).

AEME (Association of Event Management Educators) will return to GEI bringing together a panel of academics including Adrian Bossey (Falmouth University), Jane Lovell (Canterbury Christ Church University), Andrew Lansley (University of Gloucestershire), Dimitri Lera (Edge Hotel School - University of Essex) to discuss the demand for sustainability skills across the industry in "Supporting sustainable employability skills for current and future generations of festival and events managers".

GEI – organised by AGF – is kindly supported by Ecotricity, TAIT, Instagrid, KB Event, and The O2.

Image: Lou Cacciatore


GEI

Brian Eno and Jarvis Cocker revealed as GEI keynote speakers

The artist and musician Brian Eno will return to GEI for the third time. Having previously headlined the event, he will this year share the stage with Pulp frontman Jarvis Cocker.

GEI16 will feature EarthPercent Hour, which will include a keynote conversation with Eno, hosted by EarthPercent’s executive director, Cathy Runciman. Cocker will later take to the stage during this grand finale, to present his "Biophobia".

Claire O’Neill, CEO of A Greener Future, said: “We are over the moon that Brian Eno and Jarvis Cocker will bring such a special experience to the GEI delegates this year. GEI, since its inception, has been about uniting the live community and beyond to make a better world for all of us. This is why we love the work of our charity partner EarthPercent and can’t wait to experience and share what we have in store next month.”

Eno, a musician, producer, visual artist and activist, first came to international prominence in the early seventies as a founding member of British band, Roxy Music, followed by a series of solo albums and collaborations.

Eno is a founding member of the Long Now Foundation, a trustee of Client Earth and a patron of Videre est Credere. In April 2021, he launched EarthPercent, which raises money from the music industry for environmental charities working on the climate emergency.

Cocker is a world-renowned musician and broadcaster from the north of England who formed the band Pulp while at school in 1978, going on to become one of the most successful British groups of the 1990s.

GEI16 takes place on February 27, 2024 at the Royal Lancaster Hotel London. A jam-packed programme will delve into the challenges of delivering green global events, from music to sports, with discussion topics such as transport, energy, food, equality, inclusivity & climate justice, contracts and sponsorship, set design & materials usage for circularity, and much more.

 


GEI

AGF announce speakers and panels for GEI Conference

The 16th Green Events and Innovations Conference (GEI16), the conference for sustainability in the events sector, has announced the latest speakers and panels for its forthcoming edition on February 27, 2024 at the Royal Lancaster Hotel in London.

Speakers confirmed include; Blaine Harrison (Mystery Jets), Dale Vince (Ecotricity/Forest Green Rovers), Louis VI (artist/ filmmaker), Tori Tsui (climate activist/co-founder Bad Activist Collective), Sam Lee (Mercury Music Prize nominee), Farah Ahmed (Julie’s Bicycle), John Robb (Louder than War/The Membranes), Luke Howell (Hope Solutions), Sam Booth (AEG Europe), and Sangeeta Waldron (Author / Serendipity PR).

GEI is a partnership between not-for-profit sustainability specialists A Greener Future (AGF) and the International Live Music Conference (ILMC). GEI brings together speakers from the live sector from all across the globe, with compelling discussions and cutting-edge solutions for a greener live sector. A jam-packed programme will delve into the challenges of delivering green global events with discussion topics featuring transport, energy, food, equality, inclusivity and climate justice, and set design and materials usage for circularity, and more.

The forthcoming edition of GEI will present the results of two exclusive research projects. The first, Accessibility and Sustainability at Festivals, will feature a unique partnership between AGF, Attitude is Everything, and Julie’s Bicycle. Farah Ahmed (Julie’s Bicycle) and Dr Teresa Moore (AGF) will introduce a toolkit that explores how disabled people’s access to music and live events can be environmentally sustainable. This will be followed by a discussion featuring Mystery Jets singer and Attitude is Everything patron Blaine Harrison, Feimatta Conteh (Arts Council England), Harry Jones (Accessible Events).

The second session, Influencing Audiences Beyond the Festival, focuses on the influence of green festivals and is based on AGF research undertaken with award-winning UK festival Green Gathering. AGF’s Dr Teresa Moore and Green Gathering’s Em Weirdigan will discuss the findings of the research and how green festivals can positively influence audience attitudes and behaviours beyond the event itself.

Following on from the success of the AEME (Association of Event Management Educators) panel at last year’s GEI, we have once again invited the association to bring together a panel of academics to discuss the demand for sustainability skills across the industry in Supporting sustainable employability skills for current and future generations of festival and events managers, as research has identified a big skills gap with a shortage of trained sustainability practitioners and leaders across industries.

In the week before GEI, The O2 will host the world's first carbon-removed gig, featuring The 1975 in partnership with AGF and carbon-removal experts CUR8. The results of this event will be discussed in “The World's First Carbon-Removed Gig”, which features Sam Booth (AEG Europe), Mark Stevenson (CUR8), and AGF’s Claire O'Neill.

Returning for 2024 is the ever-popular Quick-Fire Innovation Round, hosted by Abena Fairweather (Legacy Marketplace), which brings the latest ideas and technologies driving sustainability in unique ways. Innovations include everything from blockchain for food traceability, recycled speakers, to biodegradable cable ties and much more.

And then, after a full day of entertaining, informative, and inspiring conversations, the International AGF Awards 2024 will conclude proceedings.

Image: Lou Cacciatore

 


AGF

Finalists revealed for the 2024 International AGF Awards

AGF (A Greener Future) has revealed the finalists of the International AGF Awards 2024 and they include 27 events, venues and innovators from 12 countries. Awards are given across nine important sustainability categories, including power, water, food and travel, and the top accolade of the International Greener Festival Award 2024. The ceremony will be held on February 27 during the Green Events & Innovations Conference at the Royal Lancaster Hotel, London.

Finalists are selected from all AGF-certified Greener Events, Greener Festivals and Greener Arenas over the last year, with top scores across key sustainability criteria. Applicants undergo a detailed assessment, site visits, and analysis by AGF auditors. To be eligible to enter the awards it is necessary to apply for certification and provide evidence such as fuel or electricity and water usage, waste transfer notes, transport measurements, material traceability, and survey data and undergo a site visit from AGF assessors. Additionally, green innovations from festivals and events have been selected and are judged by an independent jury.

Claire O'Neill, CEO of AGF, said: “We’re very excited to be bringing the International AGF Awards back to GEI in February. It’s always great fun, and an honour to be able to highlight and celebrate organisations and individuals who are doing everything they can to make positive changes in the world. Huge congrats to all of the nominees!”

The finalists are:

INTERNATIONAL GREENER FESTIVAL AWARD
Boom Festival (PT)
Cambridge Folk Festival (UK)
Green Gathering (UK)
Øyafestivalen (NO)
Paradise City Festival (BE)
We Love Green (FR)

GREENER TRANSPORT AWARD
Das Fest (DE)
Godiva Festival (UK)
Jardín de las Delicias (ES)
NorthSide (DK)
Øyafestivalen (NO)
Paradise City Festival (BE)
Rosendal Garden Party (SE)
We Love Green (FR)

CIRCULAR EVENT AWARD
(for reduced waste & resourcefulness)
Boom Festival (PT)
Cambridge Folk Festival (UK)
Green Gathering (UK)
I Land Sound (EE)
Love Saves the Day (UK)
Øyafestivalen (NO)
Northside (DK)
Paradise City Festival (BE)

COMMUNITY ACTION AWARD
American Express presents BST Hyde Park (UK)
Cambridge Folk Festival (UK)
Forwards (UK)
Green Gathering (UK)
I Land Sound (EE)
Robin Hood Annual Benefit (US)
Øyafestivalen (NO)
Sonidos Líquidos: Malvasía Weekend Festival (ES)

GREENER CATERING AWARD
Boom Festival (PT)
Green Gathering (UK)
I Land Sound (EE)
NorthSide (DK)
Øyafestivalen (NO)
Paradise City Festival (BE)
Valley Fest (UK)
We Love Green (FR)

PIED PIPER AWARD
(for Greener Communication)
Boom Festival (PT)
Forwards (UK)
Green Gathering (UK)
Green Man (UK)
Greenbelt Festival (UK)
I Land Sound (EE)
Øyafestivalen (NO)
Sonidos Líquidos: Malvasía Weekend Festival (ES)

GREENER POWER AWARD
Cambridge Folk Festival (UK)
Camp Quirky (UK)
Das Fest (DE)
Green Gathering (UK)
NorthSide (DK)
Øyafestivalen (NO)
Paradise City Festival (BE)
We Love Green (FR)

WATER AND SANITATION AWARD
American Express presents BST Hyde Park (UK)
Boom Festival (PT)
Cabaret Vert (FR)
Cambridge Folk Festival (UK)
Green Gathering (UK)
Green Man (UK)
Paradise City Festival (BE)
We Love Green (FR)

GREENER INNOVATIONS AWARD
First Biofuel powered event in Argentina@ BNP (AR)
Restoration and Regeneration @ Cabaret Vert (FR)
6 Degrees by Team Love & re:right design (UK)
Bespoke baler and compactor@ Green Man, in collaboration with Waste Baling Machines (UK)
ChefChain @ Into The Great Wide Open (NL)
The 1975 Carbon Removed Gigs - The O2 (UK)
AONB and Dark skies project@ We Out Here (UK)

The International AGF Award ceremony is accessible and takes place during GEI.

 


A Greener Future BST Hyde Park

A Greener Future (AGF) reveal the world's greenest festivals

Thirty-six festivals and events from 14 countries have achieved the AGF Certification for sustainability in 2023. AGF Certification – awarded by A Greener Future (AGF) – is a comprehensive standard for sustainability in the live events sector, for festivals and events reducing waste, emissions and enhancing equality and biodiversity.

The festivals and events which have demonstrated their commitment to sustainability and have been awarded certification include We Love Green (FR), American Express Presents BST Hyde Park (UK), Barcelona Film Festival (ES), Boom (PT), Boomtown Fair (UK), Dockyard (NL), Northside (DK), OyaFestivalen (NO), Sziget Festival (HU), Tremor Festival (PT), Primavera Sound (ES).

To be certified events complete a detailed assessment based upon the AGF Framework, including self-assessment, site visits and post-event evidence and data to the AGF assessors for an independent auditors report. The AGF Framework includes 11 key themes including local ecosystems and community, travel, food and drinks, energy, waste, EDI and governance.

Jim King, CEO of European Festivals at AEG Presents said: “We’re committed to our green targets at all AEG Presents European Festivals. The best events in the world can also be the most sustainable. To again achieve the Greener Festival Certification at both BST Hyde Park and All Points East is a testament to the hard work of the festival teams to realising this ambition.”

Ceremonies will take place at the Green Events and Innovations (GEI16) conference on February 27 in London. GEI will host the International AGF Awards where the best certified events across a range of green categories will be crowned.

Claire O'Neill, CEO of AGF, said: “The AGF Framework for sustainable events has become extremely comprehensive over the last 15 years. Hats off to all festivals and events that are achieving this certification, which is no small feat. We not only need to prevent further pollution, waste, emissions and biodiversity loss, but we now also need to adapt to the changes already happening around us, as a result of climate change. These festivals and events are ahead of the curve and give many people hope, showing how we can all do things differently whilst having a tonne of fun at the same time.”

Ákos Dominus, sustainability manager at Sziget Festival, said: “The AGF certification is always highly valuable for us, as it allows us to review and validate our efforts. The detailed input sheet itself is also a great asset to let us understand better our strengths and weaknesses; and to identify action areas. By participating in the Award, we not only gain further knowledge of the subject, but also build strong connections with like-minded people from our industry. This will not only make us more sustainable but also enhance partnerships and competitiveness in the future.”

Festivals and Events making the grade in 2023 are:

Greener Festival and Event certifications - Outstanding
Boom (PT)
Cambridge Folk Festival (UK)
Green Gathering (UK)
OyaFestivalen (NO)
Paradise City (BE)
We Love Green (FR)

Greener Festival and Event certifications - Highly Commended
American Express presents BST Hyde Park (UK)
Cabaret Vert (FR)
Dockyard (NL)
Greenbelt (UK)
I Land Sound (EE)
Northside (DK)
Robin Hood Annual Benefit (USA)
Sonidos Liquidos (ES)

Greener Festival and Event certifications - Commended
Barcelona Film Festival (ES)
Buenas Noches Producciones Argentina (AR)
Festival de la Luz (ES)
Forwards Festival (UK)
Green Man (UK)
Love Saves the Day (UK)
Luno presents All Points East (UK)
Mystic Garden Festival (NL)
Primavera Sound Barcelona (ES)
Rosendal Garden Party (SE)
Tremor Festival (PT)

Greener Festival and Event certifications - Improvers
Boomtown Fair (UK)
Brockwell Live (UK)
Camp Quirky (UK)
Das Fest (DE)
Godiva Festival (UK)
Jardin de las Delicias (ES)
Lambeth Country Show (UK)
MadBlue (ES)
Sziget Festival (HU)
Valley Fest (UK)
We Out Here (UK)

 

 


AGF logo

AGF Festival Carbon Footprint report challenges festival carbon impact assumptions

A Greener Future (formerly A Greener Festival) has released new insight into festival carbon footprints.

Key findings revealed audience travel contributed on average to 41 per cent of the carbon footprint when a more complete account of Scope 3 emissions is included. When including wider travel such as production, traders, and artists, travel and transport represents closer to 58 per cent, with food and drink responsible for an average 34 per cent of a festival's carbon footprint.

Audience travel is commonly stated as 80 per cent or more of a festival's carbon footprint. However, most studies omit impacts of food and drink, materials purchased, or trader travel. In some cases, production and artist travel are also missing from the picture.

The AGF Festival Carbon Footprint report reveals that when accounting for more complete emissions sources the breakdown is more nuanced, with many emissions generated as a result of production and planning decisions, rather than through audience travel choices alone.

Claire O'Neill, CEO of AGF, commented: “We love festivals, their contribution to culture, and their potential to show alternative ways of living. It’s important to have a fuller picture to understand their carbon footprints. Focus for event sustainability is often on waste, cups, and audience travel. Whilst clearly important, this is a narrow view missing broader impacts. This can delay important decisions at the planning and design stage, such as moving away from animal and other high impact food and drinks.”

The report's authors note that broad carbon footprint averages, whilst popular, should be treated with caution as disparity between the variety of festivals is significant. For instance, audience travel emissions ranged from around 20 per cent to 75 per cent of a festival’s footprint, depending on scale, location, and nature of the event. As more events collect this type of information, it will become more accurate and will help identify further improvements.

The report highlights that carbon footprints do not provide insight into other impacts such as light or noise pollution, direct habitat disturbance, or pollution on site, which require biodiversity and environmental impact assessments. It also shows potential for time spent at a festival to create fewer emissions than time spent at home, with a comparison of emissions per person at festivals against average national emissions per resident, which is an area for further research.

For the next phase of this study AGF invites interested industry groups, festivals and sustainability organisations to collaborate with shared information, for a clearer picture for the festival and events sector as a whole.

Summary of key findings:

  • Audience travel represents the largest source of emissions, contributing to 41 per cent of the average festival footprint.
  • Wider travel including artists, production, and traders represents on average 58 per cent of emissions.
  • Average emissions per person per day at a festival were found to be 11 kg CO2e.
  • Food and drink represent more than one third (34 per cent) of average festival emissions. This is significantly reduced at events who have adopted plant-based policies.
  • Waste disposal, water use, and sewage treatment account for only four per cent of average footprint. However, these create other impacts on biodiversity, local ecosystems, and resource consumption which carbon analysis alone can overlook.
  • Energy use represented nearly 1.5 per cent of average footprint, due to high adoption of biodiesel HVO and electrification by events analysed. Average energy emissions more than triple when conventional diesel is used.
  • The analysis is based on festivals and events already taking significant sustainable actions, and therefore may be representative of best practice events.

AGF GEI

A Greener Future announce 16th annual Green Events and Innovations Conference

The 16th edition of the Green Events and Innovations Conference (GEI 16) is returning to the Royal Lancaster London in 2024. Organised by A Greener Future (AGF), the conference for sustainability in events will take place on February 27, bringing together global innovators and sector leaders to share, network and accelerate environmental and social actions to make impactful change in events, music and sport.

The 15th edition of GEI welcomed artists and experts such as Brian Eno, Jacob Collier, Andy Cato (Groove Armada/Wildfarmed), Dale Vince (Ecotricity), Rosanna Machado (HM The Queens Platinum Jubilee Pageant) and environmental journalist Lucy Siegle. The programme ranges from strategic senior level commitments, to “how to” case studies and workshops for operational implementation, and all important networking.

The agenda includes topics such as transport, energy, food, biodiversity, communication, equality & inclusivity, climate justice, net zero, circularity, and the interface between the sector and politics.

Claire O'Neill, CEO of AGF, said: “At GEI16 we’re giving additional focus to both biodiversity and communication. Whilst we’re importantly focused on carbon reductions and net zero targets, the protection and enhancement of ecosystems and resources has many additional routes. The need to communicate so that people feel, understand and support the green transition is essential especially as climate falls into partisan politics, and the associated media seek to muddy waters, making an already monumental task harder. It’s time for all platforms and voices to be used to their fullest as a force for change and for good.”

The International AGF Awards also return to GEI 16, celebrating the most innovative and green aspiring events, venues, organisations and individuals from events worldwide in the last 12 months.

 


New A Greener Future website unveiled on UN World Environment Day

A Greener Future (formerly A Greener Festival) has unveiled a new website on the UN World Environment Day, highlighting its new direction and services.

First revealed at AGF's flagship event, the Green Events and Innovations Conference (GEI) in February, the rebrand from A Greener Festival to A Greener Future reflects the organisation's evolution beyond the music industry and festivals to support the broader events, sports and entertainment sector including suppliers and stakeholders. It highlights the evolution of sustainability not only in events and entertainment, but in society at large. No longer a niche or just a nice thing to do, but the only viable direction of travel.

The new website details new services now available to support the sector, including a "Sustainability Diagnosis" providing organisations with a measure of their current sustainability performance, and recommendations for improvements. The Sustainability Diagnosis provides a basis for strategic planning, carbon footprint and a foundation to acquire AGF certification.

An entirely new membership service and platform are now available giving organisations access to greater sustainability support, guidance, tools, community and networking facilitated through A Greener Future. Thanks to support from music climate action funders EarthPercent, this includes a free entry level membership for individuals and small organisations seeking to access AGF resources and tools.

Claire O'Neill, CEO of AGF, said: “It’s so refreshing after nearly two decades for A Greener Festival to start a new life as A Greener Future. We’re happy to share work from behind the scenes on UN’s World Environment Day. We’ve broadened horizons bringing events, music, entertainment, and sports together to green up our sector in what remains of this vital decade. Our new services revealed today and those in the pipeline are designed to help. With huge emissions reductions to be made, requiring drastic changes to business-as-usual, there is no more time to waste. Those who don’t act and adapt will at very best cease to be viable businesses”

Teresa Moore, director of AGF, said: “During the years since AGF was founded, the industry has become acutely aware of its impact on the environment and its responsibility to take action and lead the way through innovation and changes to practise. Throughout, AGF has been at the forefront not only with helping individual events to make those changes but in driving a more holistic view of the industry as an interconnected system where every aspect of the events business, from artist, performer or athlete to the venue to the supply chain needs to contribute to the same sustainability goals.”

 


Green Events and Innovations

Green Events and Innovations conference round up

The 15th edition of the Green Events and Innovations Conference (GEI), the conference for sustainable events, was a sold out success with more than 350 delegates and an agenda with heavyweight speakers, innovators and industry leaders in the global live music, sports and event sector.

Taking place at the Royal Lancaster London and supported by Ecotricity, this year’s edition tackled the critical sustainability issues with a gender-balanced lineup of speakers who brought their knowledge, insight, and formidable passion to the panels and conversations.

Proceedings started with AGF CEO Claire O'Neill and director Teresa Moore revealing that, after 17 years, the company was rebranded as A Greener Future in order to reflect the organisation's evolution beyond festivals to support the broader live events sector.

With that announcement out of the way, the conference kicked off with Adapting to a New Climate Panel and Boom Festival’s Artur Mendes boldly stating that “we won’t work with brands or policy makers who aren’t aligned with our values". While The Platinum Jubilee Pageant case study took a look at the sustainability actions and takeaways from organising this huge and iconic event; and Mark Stevenson (CUR8) highlighted some key facts in Carbon Offsets: The Good, The Bad and the Ugly, saying that “Any new fossil fuel exploration is a gun held to humanity’s head".

AGF and YOUROPE launched their European Green Festival Roadmap 2030 and Switching on Your Audience – Creative Climate Communication, which involved a lively discussion about how organisations are engaging their audiences and fans, with Hannah Cox, director betternotstop, saying “It’s taking responsibility as a human being for what you create in the world,” and “If you're running a festival, that is your values being shown to the world, and you have to stand up for what you believe in".

In the Moving on from Fossil Fuels panel the O2’s Richard Godsell highlighted the need for venues to act as one on significant changes through groups such as NAA, so that leading venues aren’t alienated and the whole touring circuit is improved.

Elsewhere, the ACT 1.5 Exclusive Research session, supported by the hugely successful trip-hop collective Massive Attack and the Arts Council England (ACE), saw ACT 1.5 (a research project exploring challenges set out in the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research’s Live Music Roadmap) under discussion. The session saw writer and producer Mark Donne comment, “I firmly believe in ‘piloting by behaviour.' Not just putting people on stage and giving them the t-shirt.”

The Quick-Fire Innovation Round presented unique and innovative sustainability ideas including: how the team at Carnicycle are making carnivals sustainable; The Green Room’s approach to sustainable tools for online music; FWRD’s innovative ways to improve bin use through gamification; GEIA’s ideas to support forest restoration; and how Again use technology to make reusable packaging more accessible than ever before.

Then five years on since the first Greener Tour panel, John Robb headed up a discussion on what has changed, what can be changed, and the practicalities of trying to change the touring model. The panel saw Jamal Chalabi (Backlash Productions / AGF) stating frankly, “Everyone thinks it’s about the artist leading it. The artist is really good at messaging, but it’s the industry that needs to get our shit together.”

The day closed with the 16th edition of the International AGF Awards ceremony in which the most innovative and worthy events, venues, organisations, and individuals from worldwide events over the last 12 months were celebrated.

Forest Green Rovers became the first football club to win, scooping both the Catering and Pied Piper Awards. Also winning dual awards were The Netherlands DGTL and the UK's Green Gathering, with other winners Boom Festival in Portugal, and Spain’s Sonidos Líquidos and WomanInFan at Sitges Film Festival. The coveted International Greener Festival Award went to Green Gathering.

Full list of International AGF Award winners:
Circular Event Award - DGTL
Greener Power Award - Green Gathering
Greener Catering Award (supported by Matthew Clark) - Forest Green Rovers
Community Action Award - Sonidos Liquidos
AGF Water & Sanitation Award (supported by Loowatt) - Boom
Greener Transport Award - DGTL
Pied Piper Award - Forest Green Rovers
Greener Innovations Award - WomanInFan@Sitges
International Greener Festival (supported by STACK-CUP) - Green Gathering

Image: Lou Cacciatore


Green Events and Innovations Conference

Full agenda revealed for Green Events and Innovations Conference

The Green Events and Innovations Conference (GEI), the conference for sustainable events, has revealed the full schedule for its 15th edition – an agenda packed with heavyweight speakers, innovators and industry leaders in the global live music, sports and event sector. GEI will take place on February 28 at the Royal Lancaster Hotel, London.

Sessions include the highly anticipated keynote conversation, with musician, visual artist and activist Brian Eno and Grammy-award-winning multi-instrumentalist Jacob Collier, exploring Music as a Social Synchronizer, which will be hosted by Emma-Louise Amanshia (presenter on BBC Radio 1 Relax). Andy Cato (Wildfarmed, Groove Armada) and Ecotricity founder Dale Vince OBE (who also owns all-vegan football club Forest Green Rovers) will discuss what makes what we eat sustainable in Food: Back to the Future; and research project ACT 1.5, which is supported by Massive Attack and the Arts Council England (ACE), will share its critical learnings exploring the practical challenges of addressing emissions in the live music sector in ACT 1.5: Exclusive Research.

Five years on since the first Greener Tour panel, John Robb heads up a discussion that will look at what has changed, what can be changed, and the practicalities of trying to change the touring model. In The European Green Festival Roadmap 2030 session, Holger Jan Schmidt and Nikita Coulter will present the prototype of the roadmap that was announced by YOUROPE at last year’s GEI.

The Platinum Jubilee Pageant Case Study, hosted by author Sangeeta Waldron and Rosanna Machado, will review the sustainability actions and takeaways from this huge and iconic event, whilst in Carbon Offsets: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly, the remarkable Mark Stevenson highlights the minefield of the current carbon "offset" market with so many ambiguous impact claims. Adapting to a New Climate Panel, hosted by presenter Jonathan Overend (BBC/NinetyFour19), explores the impact of climate change on creating and delivering events with major festivals and The Met Office; and with rising temperatures and rising energy bills, the issue of fossil fuels couldn’t be more important, a topic the conference will be diving into in Moving on from Fossil Fuels.

The Switching on Your Audience - Creative Climate Communication panel, hosted by presenter and journalist Lucy Seigle, will discuss how organisations are engaging their audiences and fans and why brands should take responsibility for the planet, featuring examples of poster campaigns created for Greenpeace and WWF; while the Circularity: Turning Off the Tap on New session will see Jullia Davies of We Have the POWER share her "Less Rubbish" vision and how the companies she invests in are making circular work.

The Association of Event Management Educators (AEME) will bring together a panel of leading event and sustainability researchers from across the UK to discuss the current and future direction of event and sustainability research in Moving forward sustainability theory, research and practice; and the Quick-Fire Innovation Round will see delegates present their unique and innovative sustainability ideas: how the team at Carnicycle are making carnival sustainable; The Green Room’s approach to sustainable tools for online music; FWRD’s innovative ways to improve bin use through gamification; GEIA’s ideas to support forest restoration; and how Again use technology to make reusable packaging more accessible than ever before.

To round off a packed day of inspiring insight and conversation, the event closes with the International AGF Awards and a Champagne toast to celebrate the most innovative and worthy events, venues, organisations and individuals from worldwide events over the last 12 months. It will be the 16th edition of the AGF Awards and all of those certified in 2022 will be celebrated, as the winners of the International AGF Awards 2023 are revealed.

 

 


International AGF Awards

Finalists revealed for the International AGF Awards 2023

A Greener Festival (AGF) has revealed 29 events and arenas from 11 countries as finalists in the International AGF Awards 2023. Awards are given across nine important sustainability categories, including power, water, food and travel, and the top accolade of the International Greener Festival Award 2023. The ceremony will be held on February 28 during the Green Events and Innovations Conference at the Royal Lancaster Hotel, London.

Finalists are selected from all AGF certified Greener Events, Greener Festivals and Greener Arenas over the last year, with top scores across key sustainability criteria. Applicants undergo a detailed assessment, site visits, and analysis by AGF auditors. To be eligible to enter the  International AGF Awards, it is necessary to apply for certification and provide evidence such as fuel or electricity and water usage, waste transfer notes, transport measurements, material traceability, and survey data.

Claire O’Neill, CEO of AGF, said: “Congratulations to all of the finalists and nominees and huge thanks to all of the individuals who put in the work to make events, arenas and festivals greener. Since the beginning of the AGF Awards in 2007, this is the first year that we have arenas and even football and a royal pageant in the awards. Going greener is well and truly transcending barriers.”

The awards shortlist includes:

International Greener Festival Award
(supported by STACK-CUP)

Cambridge Folk Festival (UK)
DGTL Festival Amsterdam (NL)
Green Gathering (UK)
Øya Festival (NO)
Paradise City (BE)
Pete The Monkey (FR)
Platinum Jubilee Pageant (UK)
Shambala Festival (UK)
We Love Green (FR)

Greener Transport Award
DGTL Festival Amsterdam (NL)
Luno presents All Points East (UK)
Øya Festival (NO)
Paradise City (BE)
Rosendal Garden Party (SE)
Walden Festival (BE)
WECANDANCE (BE)
We Love Green (FR)

Community Action Award
Green Gathering (UK)
Luno presents All Points East (UK)
Forest Green Rovers FC (UK)
Øya Festival (NO)
Platinum Jubilee Pageant (UK)
Robin Hood Annual Benefit (US)
Shambala Festival (UK)
Sonidos Liquidos (ES)

Circular Event Award
(for reduced waste and resourcefulness)
Boom Festival (PT)

Cambridge Folk Festival (UK)
DGTL Festival Amsterdam (NL)
Green Gathering (UK)
Øya Festival (NO)
Shambala Festival (UK)
Strawberry Fields (AU)
We Love Green (FR)

Greener Catering Award
DGTL Festival Amsterdam (NL)

elrow Town (NL)
Forest Green Rovers FC (UK)
Green Gathering (UK)
Platinum Jubilee Pageant (UK)
Shambala Festival (UK)
Strafwerk Festival (NL)
WoNDeRFeeL (BE)

Greener Power Award
Cambridge Folk Festival (UK)
DGTL Festival Amsterdam (NL)

Elrow Town (NL)
Green Gathering (UK)
Leopallooza (UK)
Øya Festival (NO)
Shambala Festival (UK)
SWR3 New Pop Festival (DE)

Pied Piper Award
(for Greener Communication)
Boom Festival (PT)

DGTL Festival Amsterdam (NL)
Forest Green Rovers FC (UK)
Greenbelt Festival (UK)
Øya Festival (NO)
Platinum Jubilee Pageant (UK)
Shambala Festival (UK)
Sonidos Liquidos (ES)

AGF Water and Sanitation Award
(supported by Loowatt)

American Express presents BST Hyde Park (UK)
Boom Festival (PT)
DGTL Festival Amsterdam (NL)
Paradise City (BE)
Pete the Monkey (FR)
Primavera Sound (ES)
Strawberry Fields (AU)
We Love Green (FR)

Greener Innovations Award
Global Broadcast @ Atlantis Concert for Earth (PT)
Biological Water Treatment @ Boom Festival (PT)

Inflatable Recycling @ elrowTown (NL)
Moon Loos @ Green Gathering (UK)
Green Mobility Plan @ Paradise City (BE)
Bike Rally @ Pete The Monkey (FR)
Summer Daze @ The O2 (UK)
WomenInFan Initiative @ Sitges Film Festival (ES)
Farmers Brunch @ WECANDANCE (BE)

The International AGF Award ceremony is accessible and takes place during GEI. Tickets are still available.


GEI15

Brian Eno and Jacob Collier keynote at GEI15

The Green Events and Innovations Conference (GEI15), the foremost conference for sustainable events, is delighted to announce the renowned musician, producer and visual artist Brian Eno will be joining the event for a special keynote conversation with Grammy award-winning artist Jacob Collier.

Brian Eno returns to GEI after taking part in an inspiring talk with Norwegian pop artist Aurora last year on "Directing the energy of music for the benefit of the planet". This year, he and Collier will be exploring the concept of "Music as a social synchroniser" for the event, which will take place on February 28, 2023 at the Royal Lancaster Hotel, London.

The keynote will see the artists explore the social function of music and how it changes us, how it offers us a local counterpoint to the big things happening in the world, and why it is so important in a community. The whole question of where music comes from, and how it arises not just from the minds of individuals, but from whole societies, traditions and living ecosystems, is a way to also connect it to the big question of the climate crisis and music's response to it.

Eno and Collier join a stellar line-up of speakers bringing passion, expertise, and insights to GEI15. Andy Cato, regenerative farmer, cofounder of Wildfarmed and one half of Groove Armada joins Dale Vince, founder of the world's first green energy company Ecotricity, and chairman of Forest Green Rovers FC, the world's greenest and only vegan football club according to UN and FIFA. Writer and producer Mark Donne and Carly McLachlan, deputy director of Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, reveal new data from their current Massive Attack and ACE funded research. Hannah Cox, director of betternotstop, talks getting audiences to take their tents home with Kendal Calling. Organiser Rosanna Machado shares the social and environmental actions of HM the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Pageant and Mark Stevenson author, prog rocker and founder of CUR8 deep dives about carbon removals. Award-winning creative Zed Anwar shares creative communication of climate issues including his WWF campaign concept about brands becoming extinct. Adrian Bossey, chair of the Association of Event Management Educators (AEME) leads a panel of experts to unite sustainability theory, research and practice. And more speakers will be revealed soon.

Eno is a renowned musician, producer, visual artist and activist who first came to international prominence in the early seventies as a founding member of British band, Roxy Music, followed by a series of solo albums and collaborations. In April 2021, he launched EarthPercent, which raises money from the music industry for some of the most impactful environmental charities working on the climate emergency.

Collier has already received a seemingly endless list of accolades including five Grammy wins – which saw him become the first British act in history to win four Grammys for each of his first four albums – along with 11 Grammy nominations including Album of the Year in 2021.

GEI15 brings together leaders and innovators in the global live and events sector to network and accelerate environmental and social best practices, and to inspire collective action in the fight against climate catastrophe. Sessions will cover events adapting to climate change impacts and risks, transport, energy, food and beverage, academia working with industry, calculating, reducing and removing CO2 emissions, climate justice, design and materials usage for circularity, green innovation technology, and more. The event closes with the International AGF Awards celebrating achievements of the greenest festivals, venues and events in 2022.

 


GEI 15

AGF announce first speakers for GEI 15 Conference

The Green Events and Innovations Conference (GEI 15), the conference for sustainable events, has revealed the first tranche of speakers.

As the World Cup is underway and under fire for questionable carbon neutral claims, in addition to human rights abuses, GEI has assembled leading voices to delve into the challenges of delivering green global events, venue construction and operational impacts, genuine carbon removals vs misleading offsets, impactful truthful communications vs greenwashing, and the power and responsibility of using high profiles for positive change.

Taking part in the event are:

  • Dale Vince, founder of Ecotricity, and chairman of the world's greenest football club according to the UN and FIFA, Forest Green Rovers.
  • Major event organiser Rosanna Machado shares the social and environmental ambitions and achievements of HM the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Pageant.
  • Mark Stevenson of CUR8 deep dives into credible and durable carbon removals and the pitfalls of offset claims that lack credibility and efficacy.
  • Zed Anwar will speak about the importance of creative communication in communicating about climate issues and his campaign concept for WWF about brands becoming extinct.
  • Plus, Andy Cato, regenerative farmer, co-founder of Wildfarmed, and one half of the electronic music band Groove Armada, gives insight into transforming our agricultural practices to support biodiversity and store carbon.

This line-up of speakers will be bringing their passion, expertise, and insight to GEI 15 with more speakers to be announced soon.
GEI 15 brings together leaders and innovators in the global live and events sector to network and accelerate environmental and social best practices to make impactful change. The programme ranges from strategic senior level commitments, to “how to” case studies and workshops for operational implementation on the ground, and all important networking opportunities.

GEI is A Greener Festival‘s (AGF) flagship event. Join pioneers, activists and leading collectives in the space of greener events, festivals, tours, venues and entertainment, unite to discuss the key questions in an industry in the midst of transformation.

GEI 15 will take place on February 28, 2023 at the Royal Lancaster Hotel in London.