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Music Festival Sustainability Credentials and Coronavirus.

Andy Robertson

Almost all music festivals were postponed to 2021 and whilst the pandemic continues to cause disruption there is still hope that festivals can return in the second half of the year. There has been much progress made in recent years to make festivals more sustainable but can they maintain this progress and improve further once festivals return later this year.  

Festival organisers are keen to promote their environmental and social credentials partly driven by their audience attitudes to these important topics. There has been substantial progress amongst the music festival industry over the last decade as they aim to be at the forefront of tackling these issues to minimise the environmental impact of holding a multi-day festival with thousands of visitors. This is still a hot topic for organisers even during the pandemic period of no events as potential visitors still place these as a key deciding factor in attending a specific event or not. Organisers are determined to return with even better environmental and social credentials than before the pandemic and to keep up the momentum for sustainability created over recent years. 

Time has always been a factor in implementing change for music festivals and with such a long period of downtime festival organisers have had time on their hands to make improvements in some of these key areas: 

  • Local eco systems
  • Local areas impact
  • Travel and transport
  • Power
  • Solid waste recycling
  • Water usage
  • Waste water and sewage
  • External reach and behaviour change
  • Carbon analysis 

These have been identified by various bodies as the key areas that concern festival goers irrespective of the coronavirus pandemic, they are still key influences in whether someone will attend a festival. One worrying fact that emerges is that many festival organisers are still unaware of their impact in some or all of these areas of concern so now is a good time to gain a greater understanding and plan for improved measurement at future events. 

Research into all these issues can be found at 'A Greener Festival', a not-for-profit company that is committed to helping events, festivals and venues around the world to become more sustainable and to reduce environmental impacts. They regularly conduct research with festival organisers and event goers and publish the results on their website. For music festival organisers this is an excellent resource to better understand how the industry is performing and what improvements can be made. 

Maintaining the momentum of improvement in these key areas is important for music festival organisers and the additional time organisers have had in the last year should mean that this momentum is continued once festivals return in the second half of 2021. 

For any event organisers planning their 2021 events using a software management platform like
Festival Pro gives them all the functionality they need to plan every aspect of their event. The guys who are responsible for this software have been in the front line of event management for many years and the features are built from that experience and are performance artists themselves. The Festival Pro platform is easy to use and has comprehensive features with specific modules for managing artists, contractors, vendors, volunteers, sponsors guestlists and ticketing. Each module allows for recording comprehensive documentation regarding an events sustainability requirements for contractors, vendors and event goers. 

Image by Mabel Amber via Pixabay

Andy Robertson
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