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Sustainability Circular Culture Toolkit for Festival Organisers.

Andy Robertson

The ‘sustainability’ topic for music festivals is trending and organisers are increasingly having to manage a multitude of facets related to operating their events. A new sustainability ‘circular toolkit’ has been made available online which may help those seeking clarification and help in setting tasks and priorities to achieve their sustainability objectives.

This toolkit was developed after an initiative between ‘A Greener Festival’ and the ‘British Council’ and emerged as part of the Cultura Circular (Circular Culture) programme, a British Council initiative in Mexico focused on promoting a culture of sustainability in the festival sector. The online toolkit is available in English and Spanish and despite its original intentions does provide an excellent resource for music festival teams operating anywhere in the world. The toolkit is targeted at festival directors, producers, promoters, operational teams, people in charge of communication and logistics, volunteers, as well as technicians.

Aside from the obligatory generic preface and overview which relates to the UN’s annual Conference of the Parties (COP) and a summary of the Paris Agreement the toolkit does dive into specific areas of interest relevant to the festival sector. 

  • Catering - the provision and supply of sustainable food and packaging.
  • Power - clean power generation options.
  • Transportation - promoting and providing greener transportation for festival-goers.
  • Artist Engagement - commitment form artists towards sustainable live events.
  • Hybrid & online Events - the impact on sustainability from increased online participation.
  • Waste and Recycling - promoting and making provisions for better waste management and increased recycling.
  • Communications - having a communication programme to inform all interested parties about sustainability initiatives and encourage participation. 

This online toolkit can provide the basis for training programmes aimed at all festival operational staff. It breaks down specific topics that can be developed further into modules aimed at one aspect of the festival's operations. Any training programme can be further rolled out to teams of volunteers and other contractors employed by the festival organisation.

Further Action.
The toolkit does provide a useful summary of sustainability checklists that can be used as part of any training to test understanding. They can also be used as part of any post event analysis to check what has and has not been achieved. These useful checklists cover the following key areas: 

  • Waste Management.
  • Catering.
  • Staffing and Festival Sustainable Management.
  • Transportation.
  • Participant Information, Sustainable Communication and Suppliers Information.  

This toolkit is very comprehensive and detailed and it may be prudent to extract the key issues that are relevant to a specific event. Appointing a responsible person can assist in ensuring that key elements of sustainability and promoting a circular culture for their music festival are successfully applied as appropriate. The toolkit is available in a PDF format and can be accessed form the British Council’s Mexican website.

For festival organisers planning their events using a software management platform like Festival Pro gives them all the functionality they need manage every aspect of their event logistics. 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, venues/stages, vendors, volunteers, sponsors, guestlists, ticketing, cashless payments and contactless ordering.

Photo by
Alena Darmel via Pexels

Andy Robertson
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