Not long to GEI and as we whizz into hyperdrive to get the final preparations underway, we take a moment to share details of yet more lovely and engaging speakers who have agreed to join us in March.

Xander Kotvis – DGTL Festival (NL)

Xander of DGTL Festival joins an outstanding line up of speakers tackling The Essentials: Food…& Merch!?, chaired by Chris Cooke (Unlimited Media).

Xander is Revolution Manager at the Revolution Foundation, which makes him responsible for sustainability strategies of festivals such DGTL. The Revolution Foundation provides sustainable and circular systems for festivals and events.

In 2019, the Revolution Foundation takes the next step at DGTL, by flipping its food system. Instead of using food waste for compost, the festival will use imperfect and surplus produces to cook their (100% meat-free) meals with. DGTL will kick off the festival season with a brand new and holistic blueprint for a circular foodcourt. By doing so, the Revolution Foundation flips the system. The menu is no longer based on what visitors might want to eat, but on a format that allows festivals to close food loops of local food systems eliminating waste. Find out how at GEI!

Karin Koopmans – Sam Feldt Foundation  (NL)

Joining session “A Greener Tour – Is Green the New Rock n Roll?, chaired by Gordon Masson (IQ / ILMC), we are very happy to welcome Karin Koopmans!

Karin is an artist manager for clients like; Sam Feldt, Dante Klein, Cat Carpenters and Bender. In October 2018 together with her client Sam Feldt they launched a foundation which aims to be a platform for influencers adapting a sustainable lifestyle. The foundation is structured around 4 pilars, DO – GIVE – EMPOWER – INSPIRE. “After working in music for over 14 years its very fulfilling to give back and make a contribution to the wellbeing of this planet and the people living on it.”

Karin will share with us the work of the Sam Feldt Foundation and the successes and trials experienced in moving the EDM scene towards a greener way of life. How have the organisation worked with Artists, touring, venues to realise their ambitions, and has it been well received and easy?! During this session Alex Hardee speaks about the launch of Coda Agency’s Green Artist Rider developed with A Greener Festival, and Maarten Arkenbout of Pieter Smit shares insight to the trucking world of touring.

Holger Jan Schmidt – Go Group / Das Fest (DE)

This event just wouldn’t be the same without our dear GEI veteran Holger Jan Schmidt, who will take the stage to bring the latest inspirational actions in “International collaborations for unity in the face of divisive politics!” chaired by Friend of the Earth’s Kierra Box.

Not only this, but Holger will present Green Music Initiative’s EU funded EverywhereHydrogen project, which will develop and produce four 25kw and four 100kw fuel cell generator sets to be demonstrated and tested from 2020 on at European festivals and urban event sites (and later refugee camps). Interested stakeholders can apply to become subsidised demo-site partners via the website.

One of Europe’s main networkers on festivals and sustainability, Holger is co-initiator and steering committee member of the pan-european think-tank GO Group (Green Operations Europe) and the anchorman for green issues of Yourope – The European Festival Association. Holger is one of the initiators of the international Take A Stand initiative and campaign for the (live) music sector, which was launched in 2017 to create a movement encouraging social cohesion in our society as well as promoting awareness and tolerance. He looks back at more than twenty-five years with two of Germany’s biggest festivals, RhEINKULTUR and DAS FEST GmbH. Holger wrote the “Sounds For Nature guidelines for environmentally friendly events”, is a lecturer for Sustainable Festival & Event management, and a performing and recording musician as well.

Faas Moonen – PowerVIBES (NL)

Another piece of the future is landing at GEI11 courtesy of Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) Associate Professor, Faas Moonen.

Faas is the initiator of the PowerVIBES project (subsidized by Interreg NWE) in which a ‘Hybrid Unit’ will be built that combines a wind turbine, several types of more efficient solar panels and an improved battery. In PowerVIBES, 10 international partners from renowned festivals and all required disciplines combine forces to develop a unique unit, named GEM-tower (Green Energy Mill).

“These most competent partners bring in the latest developments in renewable energy production, storage and distribution. The result will be an efficient and economically attractive tower to produce large amounts of power from sustainable resources only.”

What’s more, this is a tall and very colourful tower that clearly stands out from a festival; like a glowing beacon of the festivals creative and futuristic approach to sustainability. This year GEM will be built and tested on several festivals. Get a nose in on the action and find out more at GEI11.

 Gareth Williams – Fairport’s Cropredy Convention (UK)

Gareth and the Cropredy team took huge strides to reduce plastics at their event in 2018, and will be joining our last session of the day Campsites, Cups and Creativity” with some valuable insights to how they achieved what they have and their ambition for zero single use plastic by 2020.

“The bar at Cropredy is run by Wadworth and is a real ale drinker’s delight. Depending on the weather and capacity, they expect to sell in excess of 25k pints of real ale annually. This year, all pint, half pint, spirit and wine glasses were non-plastic. In keeping with the AIF’s “Drastic On Plastic” campaign, there were no plastic straws available from the bar.”

Hear about how the event saw impressive success with the implementation and sale of reusable RAW stainless steel bottles before, during and after the show, via the website, merch, and as gifts to crew and artists.

Artists were advised that there would be no plastic on stage but on either side of the stage (and in each of the dressing rooms) there were Spring Water dispensers, chilled and room temperature, at their disposal. How do you think this was received by the Artists? We will find out at GEI!

Cropredy also found a solution to be able to add a value and charge for water that is not single use plastic bottles – something that will be very much worth sharing as a hit on income from bottled water sales is often an obstacle to change.

Finally hear how the festival reduced back stage single use plastic bottles from 4500 in 2017 to just 100 in 2018!

Click here for the full agenda and to find out more.

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