The Green Events Conference in Bonn has been hailed as a big success with 80 delegates on hand to discuss sustainability and environmental protection at live events. The promoters of the 180,000 capacity RhEINKULTUR festival in Bonn set up the first GreenEvents conference. As one of the leaders of the green movement in the European festival scene, and the organising team of Sabine Funk and Holger Jan Schmidt were able to welcome guests, experts and speakers with international reputations on the 3rd and 4th of November at the Wissenschaftszentrum, Bonn – and the two day symposium allowed a really deep exploration of the subjects on the agenda which included ” Mobility management”, “Green Marketing”, “Carbon Reduction” and “Sustainability Management for beginners” among others. Apart from RhEINKULTUR, other major events which sent representatives included Wacken Open Air (80.000 visitors, Ger), Pinkpop (60.000 visitors, Ned), Skanderborg Festival (60.000 visitors, Den) and Open Air St.Gallen (30.000 visitors, Switzerland). Other huge admission free events such as U&D Würzburg and the Karneval der Kulturen in Berlin registered for GreenEvents and delegates were able to take home a wealth of information and important new contacts. There delegates included visitors from Denmark, Finland, Netherlands, Switzerland, UK, Austria and even Australia at GreenEvents.
GreenEvents Germany was supported and financed by the European Regional Development Font, by the city of Bonn, and the council government of Nordrhein-Westfalen. The conference wouldn’t have been possible without the essencial financial support of the Foundation for iInternational Dialogue of the Savings Bank in Bonn. Additional and important partners were the German Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN) and the European festival association Yourope (www.yourope.org).
“We are happy to have made a first step towards greener events. I think we have moved conciousness and ethusiasm alike. I think this is a wonderful basis and I am sure we can build up on this at a second and third conference.” said Holger Jan Schmidt, Co-MD and owner of the promoting agency BN*PD – Bonn Promotion Department (Germany) together with associate Sabine Funk. Professor Ben Challis, co-founder of the highly acclaimed agreenerfestival.com said “Green Events Germany has established itself as a true pan-European movement, bringing together event organisers from accross the music industry who wish to implement and improve green policies and environmentally friendly practices. With representatives from festivals, event organisers and suppliers from Austria, Denmark, Germany, Finland, Netherlands, Switzerland and the United Kingdom, Green Events Germany provided a timely reminder of the need to move to a low carbon future as soon as possible, and the key position of the music industry has in promoting change” Teresa Moore Head of Music and Events Management at Buckinghamshire New University (UK) which co-hosted the event and a conference contributor said, “We were delighted to be asked to partner in this first Green Events conference here in Bonn, particularly as it builds on the environmental conferences we run at the University. The two days has been hugely successful bringing together audience and speakers not only from festivals but also from the wider corporate and sports sectors of the events industry”. Catherine Langabeer, Julie’s Bicycle (UK) said “It was a good sign that on arriving at Bonn train station for Green Events Germany, the taxi driver who took me to my hotel pointed out the IPCC offices, and turned out to be a contributor to the local Bonn Environment Paper! From this promising start, the conference itself was an exciting opportunity not just to share experience but explore how we can challenge each other to exceed today’s expectations of what being ‘green’ means. Julie’s Bicycle was very pleased to be involved at this critical juncture in Green Events’ history, and looks forward to working closely with Green Events and its partners to further its ambitions in coming years” and Guido Axmann from the Green Music Initiative in Germany added “Sharing local experiences globally is absolutely crucial to win the fight against climate chance. Greener festivals will become a key driver in accelerating the transformation to a low carbon society. This first international conference was an essential milestone and the Green Music Initiative will fully support practical next steps for a better and greener festival culture.”