Speakers from three outstanding events have been confirmed for Green Events & Innovations communications panel – Spreading the Message – Communication and Controversy. We know how important it is to communicate with audiences so why when it comes to “green” are so few festivals doing it? How important is the communication of your successes and failures to a festival’s green agenda? Can use of “green” language discourage engagement in the entertainment industry for fear of “hypocrisy” backlash. It’s time to change the conversation and push things forward. Pip Rush and Bertie Cole from Arcadia Spectacular, the giant flame throwing spider built out of recycled jet engines, cranes and ex military machinary that entertains crowds of up to 45,000, will be on hand to explain how their show is ‘greening up’ and meeting new challenges to promote sustainable shows, and they are joined by Yomi Ayeni from The Burning Man Festival in Nevada whose desert city community seeks to create social environments that are unmediated by commercial sponsorships, transactions, or advertising and Burning Man encourages the individual to discover, exercise and rely on his or her inner resources and is committed to the ‘leave no trace’ philosophy – committed to leaving no physical trace of the festival’s activities. Particpants clean up after ourselves and endeavour, whenever possible, to leave such places in a better state than when they found them. The final speaker is Artur Mendes from Portugal’s inspirational Boom Festival whose key goal is to provide a transformational festival for people of different ethnic backgrounds, nationality and ages. In its own words, “Boom is not only a festival, it is a state of mind. Inspired by the principles of Oneness, Peace, Creativity, Sustainability, Transcendence, Alternative Culture, Active Participation, Evolution and Love, it is a space where people from all over the world can converge to experience an alternative reality.”
In the Afternoon, a second panel will look at the social impact of events. Ruth Daniels (In Place of War) will lead a discussion with artistes Rodney P (the ‘godfather’ of British hip hop) and Martyn Ware (Heaven 17) who are joined by the Shambala Festival’s Sidharth Sharma to discuss making A difference – the Social Impact of Events and the wider reach of Sustainability. Without an ecosystem to support life there are no social issues to consider, but the reality is the impacts of environmental changes are felt hardest by the poorest, and the gap between rich and poor continues to grow. Without care for our social structures, our relationships and our communication, the environment will continue to degrade. Events are pivotal for our social needs, and often social changes, both now and throughout history. How can we, and how are we using this tool to it’s greatest effect?
And in a third panel, the final session of the day asks “how do you influence audiences to more sustainable behaviours?” There is a growing view that audiences will change behaviours where they see a “value” either to themselves and or to others. This doesn’t just apply to environmental issues but also to engagement with social impact schemes. What do we mean by value. What examples can we point to where “value” has been added and behaviours have changed. This session will look at both the theory behind these questions and some examples where this approach has proved successful. Dr Stephen Henderson (Leeds Beckett University) will be joined by Rob Scully from the Glastonbury Festival, Drummond Gilbert (GoCarShare) and Teresa Moore from Bucks New University to look at this issue in detail.
SUPPORTED BY FIREFLY SOLAR, Institute of Environmental Management & Assessment & INTELLIGENT ENERGY