Blog » AGF Blog » GEI Presents: Making Sustainability No. 1 in the U.S. Live Music Industry

GEI Presents: Making Sustainability No. 1 in the U.S. Live Music Industry

Making Sustainability No. 1 in the U.S. Live Music Industry

Join us on Friday, February 12 at 14:30 EST / 20:30 CET for a conversation on creating demand for sustainability in the U.S. live music industry! As we prepare to restart events, how can we better integrate sustainability into our operations and make it a priority? Our panelists will share their experience in developing a green culture and initiating equity and climate action through engagement, and their insight on the future of this culture in the U.S.


Vivian Belzaguy Ascendance Sustainable Events

Vivian Belzaguy has a passion for utilizing events as a platform for inspiring much-needed change in the way we treat our planet. After 13 years in the events industry, she grew tired of seeing events create more environmental impact in one day than she felt she could in her lifetime.

She has since created sustainability programs for events like Ultra Music Festival and founded Ascendance Sustainable Events, engaging up to 50,000 event attendees and millions of social media followers in environmental initiatives. Recently, Vivian joined the team at TEDxMiami as their Sustainability Director, and gave a TEDxTalk that has reached thousands online. Vivian also plans to launch Ascendance Sustainability Group in 2021 to expand on her mission, engaging corporations and municipalities in protecting our planet.

Kyle Casey Gravity Productions

Kyle has been immersed in the events industry since 2004, working in every role from touring stagehand to Festival Director of Panorama NYC, Porter Robinson’s Second Sky and Day N Vegas. In addition to Festival Director roles, career highlights include Production Managing stages at Coachella, Touring Production Manager for The Who, General Manager of Williamsburg Waterfront and producing countless festivals, events and tours for some of the industries biggest promoters.

Eli Goldstein Soul Clap

Eli’s career spans 20+ years on the decks and beyond. Best known as half of EFUNK purveyors SOUL CLAP, Eli wears many hats in the music universe.  He runs SOUL CLAP RECORDS, one of Mixmag’s 10 most influential disco labels of the last decade.  He hosts a monthly radio show on New York City’s THE LOT RADIO.  He’s one of the founders of BLACK FLAMINGO, a plant based taqueria and discotheque in Brooklyn.  And as his alter-ego BAMBOOZLE he spins eclectic, vinyl oriented sets and curates a 7” record series called HOUSE ON 45.

Through it all, Eli’s mission has been to share music that feels like the past, but sounds like the future.  Music that makes you move your body and feel something in your soul.  But music is not always enough, and Eli strives to make a positive impact on the world around him by working with DJS 4 CLIMATE ACTION to support the earth and GIVE A BEAT to promote social justice.

Michael Strauhal Department of Consciousness D.O.C.

Michael first started out with environmental work studying Geography and Environmental Studies at the University of Oregon and working with Recycle Crew at the Oregon Country Fair.  He learned there was a major need for passionate and educated personnel to work in the event industry upgrading material management (MM) systems and raising the standard of the bare minimum.  He has worked in this industry for 9 years, designing and revising Solid Waste & Recycling (SWR) systems, documenting work, educating the public, and writing standard operating procedures, audits, and reports. Michael helped these companies become more sustainable and better understand their event’s impacts on the environment while impacting their attendees in a positive, life changing manner.

He now focuses on policy, pollution prevention (P2), regulations, and educational outreach so our communities better understand their local and global impacts. He wants to help revise current policies for higher standards of our MM & SWR operations to run more efficiently while producing less waste overall. In turn, he believes this will help the public understand how to properly handle and sort their waste and recycling by being an active participant in an ever growing and changing industry with many issues that need immediate attention.

Jesse “Papercut”

Jesse (better known by his ‘playa name’ Papercut) is an event professional deeply involved in Burning Man’s transition to carbon neutrality via their 2030 Sustainability Roadmap. His work in 2019 as the Admin for Burning Man’s fuel program lead to him serving as the ‘Data Wizard’ tasked with developing the model by which Burning Man will measure their greenhouse gas emissions year over year as they strive to become a carbon negative event. Also contributing to that effort is his work as the team lead for the Transportation & Emissions subcommittee for BLAST, a volunteer-driven certification program for green theme camps at Burning Man. Outside of his work with Burning Man, Jesse has coordinated volunteer programs for several festivals spanning multiple countries, handled logistics for a nation-wide series of tech conferences and currently is the Ops Leads for Confetti, an online platform that helps companies plan amazing virtual and in-person gatherings.