Monthly Archives: February 2017

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Earth Day – Save the Date: Saturday, April 22, 2017 6tgh Annual Rock The Green from 12:00PM-2:00PM

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Festival and Event Industry Tackle Sustainability, Social Division & Censorship

gei_transparent_logo2017-copyWith just 2 weeks to go until A Greener Festival and the ILMC’s eagerly awaited Green Events & Innovations Conference (GEI9), London’s Royal Garden Hotel, 7th March, the full line up of top speakers and sessions has been released.

The live event and festival industry are coming together to tackle issues of sustainability and the role that the global live events industry must take in the face of perceived political and social divisions, and artistic censorship.

GEI9 will debate issues from site design and infrastructure, sustainable set and stage design, the impact of fireworks and special effects on the environment, what Brexit and the current political environment means for events, and how censorship and oppression of musicians is reported to have doubled between 2015 and 2016.

This is set to be a pivotal event of lively, challenging and meaningful exchanges.

The UK’s Sustainability Conference for Festivals and Events is back on Tuesday 7th March 2017

GEI9 is A Greener Festival’s annual flagship event delivered in partnership with the International Live Music Conference (ILMC). Each year welcoming diverse and inspiring speakers and projects from around the world to gather and challenge the way we deliver events towards a better impact for our environment and society.
The theme for GEI9 is “Sustainable Design”. The art of creating every aspect of great events involves both creativity and impeccable production techniques. By instilling ecological, economic and social principles in to all aspects of event design in conception, communication, implementation and review, necessary changes can be achieved.

GEI 9 will explore how sustainable design is being applied to operations, artwork, infrastructure and management, to align events with our natural and technological environment in the 21st century.

This is in addition to the usual program of the most current innovations and developments at festivals and events from around the world, including those assessed by A Greener Festival.

Keynote: Designing Sustainability into the DNA of Events
Lucy Legan, Co-founder, Ecocentro IPEC (BR)

Ecocentro IPEC in Brazil is the largest reference centre of sustainability in Latin America, and demonstrates scalable models of social technologies. Keynote speaker, Lucy Legan MSc, has played an integral role in environmental education in Brazil and is a best-selling author of educational books on sustainability literacy.

Since 2006, Lucy has collaborated with Boom Festival, Portugal, as it transitions to a model of sustainability by implementing permaculture edible gardens for festival-goers, natural construction, composting during the festival on a large-scale (with 90 tons composted on-site during the last edition), and by co-ordinating a highly efficient waste-management team.
Many festivals and events are taking on the challenge of innovation in sustainability. A new paradigm of sustainable and responsible events takes into account the dynamic elements potentially acting as a laboratory for change. The future of green events is in the hands of event producers and event attendees.

Permaculture design offers a framework for thinking and designing sustainable festivals and events, where new economies, ecological landscapes, scaled technological solutions, transition strategies and social redesign can be tried out in a temporary autonomous zone.

Panel: Get Lithe Leccy! Smart Design of Event Energy

Paul Schurink (ZAP Concepts, NL) | Steve Muggeridge (Green Gathering, UK) | Tim Benson (Hybrid Energy Consultant, UK)

Which festival stakeholders need to be involved in changing an event’s energy sources and how should we go about persuading traditional energy suppliers used to providing diesel generators, to completely rethink their business model?

Paul Schurink is an expert in the field of temporary energy supply, sustainability and innovations and has been involved with a variety of large-scale events including the Olympic Games and UEFA EURO 2012. He will present a case study of Zap’s work with DGTL BCN festival in Spain.

Joining Paul will be environmentally conscious event organiser and sustainable event veteran, Steve Muggeridge, of iconic Green Gathering fame, who will reveal how the event’s team go about designing the site layout, their use of power hubs, and even the programming of the entertainment, in order that the entire festival is run on renewable energy.


Launch: The Smart Energy for Outdoor Festivals Guide
Chris Johnson, Powerful Thinking, Shambala Festival (UK)

Five years on from the launch of The Power Behind Festivals Guide, Powerful Thinking has released a comprehensive update to their indispensable industry energy guide – Smart Energy for Outdoor Festivals. And what’s more, this eagerly awaited guide will be exclusively launched by Chris Johnson, during GEI9.

Presentation: Latest Actions & Challenges for Greener Festivals
Claire O’Neill, Co-Founder, A Greener Festival (UK)

Following the assessment of 25 festivals across 11 countries in 2016, A Greener Festival will provide insight into the latest developments and key challenges that events are experiencing in the pursuit of sustainability, and will also be launching the Greener Festival Assessment Report.

Presentation: What Next? Environmental Policy Post-Brexit
Amy Mount, Head of Greener UK Unit & Senior Energy Policy Advisor, Green Alliance (UK)

Greener UK is a group of 13 major environmental organisations with a combined public membership of 7.9 million, united in the belief that the UK leaving the EU will provide us with a pivotal moment to restore and enhance the UK’s environment.

Amy Mount will offer insights into the risks and opportunities that Brexit poses to UK environmental policy, and the work of Greener UK, which includes NGOs such as WWF, Greenpeace, National Trust and the Woodland Trust.

Panel: Wider Environment – Nationalism & Climate Change Denial 
Fruzsina Szép, Yourope (DE) | Holger Jan Schmidt, Co-founder, GO Group (DE) | Stephen Budd, Stephen Budd Music (UK) | Ivan Milivojev, Exit Festival (RS) | Amy Mount, Green Alliance (UK) 

Green events are about more than just lowering our environmental impact. In this session, we will look at the social and cultural effects of recent global political developments, and what role events might play.

Fruzsina Szép will share the actions of European festival association, Yourope, and their recent Take a Stand initiative, aimed at encouraging festival promoters to foster values of “social togetherness, understanding and tolerance for all cultures, genders, races, religions, sexual orientations, colours and origins.”

Fruzsina will be joined by renowned artist manager, Stephen Budd, who will be sharing his recent experiences of artist censorship and oppression with us; along with Exit Festival’s Ivan Milivoje, GO Group’s Holger Jan Schmidt and Amy Mount from Green Alliance.

According to research from the FreeMuse annual report Art Under Threat, such cases have more than doubled since 2015. What action must we take, therefore, to protect our freedom to present an alternative, inclusive vision for society?

Panel: Sustainable Set & Stage Design
Chris Tofu, Continental Drifts (UK) | Bertie Cole, Arcadia Spectacular (UK) | Tim Leigh, Stage One (UK)

With the competition to create sets and stages that are more impressive, more elaborate, and more expensive to build, maintain and shift, this session will ask how innovative approaches to extravagant stage and set design can be delivered without a jarring waste of the world’s resources. Hear from the leading set and stage designers and builders about what techniques are being adopted to reduce the waste without loosing the artistic impact.

Panel: The Environmental Impact of Fireworks
Aymeric Lecomte, A Greener Festival/Bournemouth University (UK)

They might be visually impressive but what is the environmental impact of firework displays at events? Is there a legitimate cause for concern or does the bang really outweigh the bother?

Aymeric Lecomte presents the latest research on this controversial subject, and opens the debate for the future of special effects in the live entertainment industry.

Tom will present an industry and consultant’s view on the environmental issues surrounding the use of fireworks and pyrotechnics – and to try and dispel some of the myths that surround their use at events big or small.

Drawing on his experience as a chemist and having worked in the industry since his teenage years and latterly as a consultant to major events such as London NYE and the Olympics, Tom has a unique perspective on what the issues really are.

Panel: The Future World of Special Effects 
Patrick O’Mahoney, Newsubstance (UK) | Aymeric Lecomte, AGF (UK) | Dr Thomas Smith, Pyrotechnics Association (UK) | Dr Thomas Smith, British Pyrotechnics Association (UK) | Stuart Warren-Hill, HoloGauze (UK)

Having turned the spotlight on the environmental impact of fireworks and special FX, Dr Thomas Smith, Patrick and Aymeric will take a subsequent look at alternative methods of providing the wow factor at events without literally costing the earth.

From drones, lasers and holograms to mind boggling chemical compounds – what are the safe alternatives in the explosive world of special effects?

Panel: Designing Inputs for Greener Outputs 
Chris Cooke, CMU (UK) | Sid Sharma, Shambala Festival (UK) | Lucy Legan, Boom Festival (PT) | Mikkel Sander, Roskilde Festival (DK)

Smart events choose smart design. In this panel we will look at how infrastructure can be planned and delivered in a way that it will help events significantly lower their wastage of fuel, water, food, materials and resources.

Where | When

GEI9 will take place at the Royal Garden Hotel in London from 10:00 until 18:00 on Tuesday 7 March 2017. Immediately after the event, all GEI delegates are invited to attend a closing drinks event that will take place in the York Suite of the hotel for a chance to network, discuss the day’s events and enjoy a tipple or six.

Rooms 3 & 4, Lower Ground Floor, Royal Garden Hotel
2-24 Kensington High St, Kensington, London W8 4PT, UK
10:00 – 18:00, Tuesday 7 March 2017
Hosts: A Greener Festival | ILMC
Registration | Rates

A delegate pass for GEI costs £99 plus booking fee, with a discounted rate of £65 available to ILMC delegates, students, and members of AGF, AIF and Yourope. The ticket price includes a five-star lunch, refreshments, and a closing drinks party.

Please note that all our early-bird tickets are now sold-out.

ILMC delegates should tick the relevant box when registering for ILMC.

Members of AGF, AIF and Yourope are limited to two representatives per festival, and should contact hello@agreenerfestival.com.

Non-ILMC delegates should click here to register for GEI9.
To see footage and presentations from previous editions of GEI, click here.
For more information and tickets, click here.

ANOTHER PLANET?

droughteastafrica2016 was the hottest year on record, setting a new high for the third year in a row, with scientists firmly putting the blame on human activities that drive climate change. The final data for 2016 was released on Wednesday by the three key agencies – the UK Met Office and Nasa and Noaa in the US – and showed 16 of the 17 hottest years on record have been this century. Direct temperature measurements stretch back to 1880, but scientific research indicates the world was last this warm about 115,000 years ago and that the planet has not experienced such high levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere for 4m years. More on the Guardian here.

The world must not allow the Paris climate deal to be “derailed” or continue to inflict irreparable damage on the environment, Chinese president Xi Jinping has said, amid fears the rise of Donald Trump could strike a body blow to the fight against global warming. Trump, who will be sworn in as the 45th president of the United States, has threatened to pull out of the historic Paris agreement and dismissed climate change as a Chinese “hoax” and “expensive… bullshit”. But in an address to the United Nations in Geneva on Wednesday, which observers saw as a high-profile bid to bolster China’s image as a reliable and dedicated climate leader, Xi issued a direct challenge to those views, warning “there is only one Earth in the universe and we mankind have only one homeland”.

Radiation levels inside a damaged reactor at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station are at their highest since the plant suffered a triple meltdown almost six years ago. The facility’s operator, Tokyo Electric Power (Tepco), said atmospheric readings as high as 530 sieverts an hour had been recorded inside the containment vessel of reactor No 2, one of three reactors that experienced a meltdown when the plant was crippled by a huge tsunami that struck the north-east coast of Japan in March 2011.

Scotland is seeking to dramatically cut its reliance on fossil fuels for cars, energy and homes after setting a radical target to cut total climate emissions by 66% within 15 years. In one of the world’s most ambitious climate strategies, ministers in Edinburgh have unveiled far tougher targets to increase the use of ultra-low-carbon cars, green electricity and green home heating by 2032. The Scottish government has set the far higher target after its original goal of cutting Scotland’s emissions by 42% by 2020 was met six years early – partly because climate change has seen winters which are warmer than normal, cutting emissions for home heating.

babyorangMore than half of the world’s apes, monkeys, lemurs and lorises are now threatened with extinction as agriculture and industrial activities destroy forest habitats and the animals’ populations are hit by hunting and trade. In the most bleak assessment of primates to date, conservationists found that 60% of the wild species are on course to die out, with three quarters already in steady decline. The report casts doubt on the future of about 300 primate species, including gorillas, chimps, gibbons, marmosets, tarsiers, lemurs and lorises.

Donald Trump by Gage Skidmore

Donald Trump by Gage Skidmore

The Trump administration is mandating that any studies or data from scientists at the Environmental Protection Agency undergo review by political appointees before they can be released to the public. The communications director for Donald Trump’s transition team at the EPA, Doug Ericksen, said the review also extends to content on the federal agency’s website, including details of scientific evidence showing that the Earth’s climate is warming and manmade carbon emissions are to blame. Former EPA staffers said on Wednesday the restrictions imposed under Trump far exceed the practices of past administrations.  And Donald Trump was sharply criticised by Native Americans and climate change activists  after he signed executive orders to allow construction of the Dakota Access and Keystone XL oil pipelines. Both pipe projects had been blocked by Barack Obama’s administration, partly because of environmental concerns. But Trump has questioned the science of climate change and campaigned on a promise to expand energy infrastructure and create jobs.  The environmental movement is “the greatest threat to freedom and prosperity in the modern world”, according to an adviser to the US president Donald Trump’s administration. Myron Ebell, who has denied the dangers of climate change for many years and led Trump’s transition team for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) until the president’s recent inauguration, also said he fully expected Trump to keep his promise to withdraw the US from the global agreement to fight global warming. The Republicans have backed off bill to sell 3.3m acres of public land after an outcry. Congressman Jason Chaffetz withdraws House bill 621 as conservationists and outdoorsmen vowed to continue fight over similar legislation. Chaffetz, a representative from Utah, wrote on Instagram that he had a change of heart in the face of strong opposition from “groups I support and care about” who, he said, “fear it sends the wrong message”.

Falling costs of electric vehicles and solar panels could halt worldwide growth in demand for oil and coal by 2020, a new report has suggested. A scenario that takes into account the latest cost reduction projections for the green technologies, and countries’ pledges to cut emissions, finds that solar power and electric vehicles are “gamechangers” that could leave fossil fuels stranded. Polluting fuels could lose 10% of market share to solar power and clean cars within a decade, the report by the Grantham Institute at Imperial College London and the Carbon Tracker Initiative found.

Shell_oil_croppedBut ……. global demand for oil will still be growing in 2035 even with an enormous growth in electric cars in the next two decades, with numbers on the road rising from 1m to 100m, BP has predicted. The oil and gas giant predicted that despite electric cars spreading rapidly and renewable energy recording exceptional growth, oil demand would still rise because of rising prosperity in the developing world. BP said electric cars would not be a “gamechanger” for the oil industry. “It’s not Teslas and the US. It’s the fact that 2 billion people, much of that in Asia, are moving to middle incomes, can buy their first motor car and that drives up oil demand. It’s that stuff that really matters,” said Spencer Dale, BP group’s chief economist.

In the final week of January London was put on “very high” alert as cold and still weather, traffic, and a peak in the use of wood-burning stoves combined to send air pollution soaring in the capital – and across swaths of the UK. According to data from King’s College London, areas of London including Camden, the City of London and Westminster all reached 10 out of 10 on the air pollution index, with many other areas rated seven or higher.