We are GEX – Green Europe Experience, a network of 4 festivals and 2 NGOs joining forces to co-create a desired future for music and arts festivals, events and the world in general. We are A Greener Festival (UK), Boom Festival (PT), Dour Festival (BE), GO Group (DE) Pohoda Festival (SVK), and We Love Green (FR)
In the middle of these demanding times, we feel an even stronger urge to use this special moment in history to take a deep breath and work towards healing our connection with this planet, making possible a better, bolder and more beautiful future for everyone. We understand that the big challenges ahead can only be addressed in a co-creation process.”
Starting now we are beginning to jointly rethink the way we produce our festivals and events, focusing on two major topics: scenography and food. Thanks to the circular economy, we will transform the creative development processes and foster innovation to minimise ecological impact whilst maximising positive social impact.
We will create innovations, put them in the real world during our events to be tested by our visitors, and review the impact these have on our systems. The challenges we will face will be transparently communicated, our successes and our failures, to pave the way for others to follow or even join us.
While maintaining artistic integrity and vision we will be incorporating life cycle thinking into our planning, production and operation systems, to arouse curiosity and raise awareness around developing fertile futures that support life and ecosystems.
This is our vision: Infinite creativity within finite materiality.
You can visit our website (built with a low-tech approach) here: http://greeneuropeexperience.eu
Marie Sabot, We Love Green (FR):
“We Love Green is proud to launch Green Europe Experience today. It’s an ambitious project initiated several years ago, born of the meeting of european actors with shared beliefs and a common desire to go further. Thanks to the support of the European Commission, this living lab to build future festivals can be launched today, and allows us to try at our level to heal climate change and face the greatest challenges of our planet. We are convinced that culture is a great vector of diversity, of solidarity, of learning and can be a way to rethink and redesign our model more sustainably with the circular economy as a basis for action.”
Michal Sládek, Pohoda Festival (SVK):
“When preparing Pohoda, we try to use the same approach as when you invite someone to your home for a visit. So it feels natural to care not only about our guests, but also about the festival environment. That is not just the festival site, but all the physical, social and ecological relations connected to our activities. To take part in a project like GEX will allow us to explore and understand the relations in new fields and learn from the best.”
Claire O’Neill, A Greener Festival (UK):
“The reason A Greener Festival has existed for the last 15 years is because of the power of festivals to reimagine the world that we live in, providing the space for expression of new ideas and alternative ways of being with each other and with our environment. The GEX project brings together some of the most visionary organisations in this space to act as a catalyst to collectively accelerate the positive changes we need to make. We look forward to exploring, learning and sharing ways for creative expression and precious social interaction that puts people and the planet at the forefront.”
Boom Festival Team (PT):
“Since 1997 as a multidisciplinary, independent and transformational festival, Boom has pioneered and developed a robust social, environmental and cultural pool of knowledge with tacit applications in our daily activities.
Participating in a project such as the Green European Experience comes as an opportunity to collaborate with other relevant members of the festival scene to further share the knowledge and skills needed for significant social change and a regenerative approach to festival culture.”
Bénédicte Billon-Tillie, Dour Festival (BE):
“This is the story of a festival which was born out of the initiative of a small group of young people from Dour, who mobilized in 1988 to save “The Terril de la Machine à Feu” and to preserve its natural environment. The following year, the Dour Festival was born at the foot of that same slag heap.
This ecological awareness is stimulated through local and European projects linked to sustainable development in the events sector.
From the very beginning, Dour Festival stands for values such as sharing, tolerance and respect for diversity, which are widely reflected through its musical programme.
In this way, 30 years later, and because we are convinced that it is important for everyone to do their part to minimize their ecological footprint, we join our forces and are counting on the GEX Project to help us in the efforts we have been making since 1989.”
Jacob Sylvester Bilabel & Holger Jan Schmidt, GO Group (DE):
“2020 is a special year, not only for the obvious reasons. Exactly 10 years ago in May 2010 we founded GO Group with our first international workshop in Amsterdam. Since then with the help of a network of good friends, dear festival colleagues and amazing experts we managed to raise green issues and sustainability up on the agenda in the live music industry and today you cannot run a festival without a sustainable approach.
Being a pan-European open think-tank it feels natural for us to take part in a project that brings together creatives to inspire themselves and the whole festival scene. Since day one our aim is to recognise best practise, share knowledge and stimulate international cooperation. We find all of this within GEX. For us this is the kick-off into another decade – the most important one if it comes to the climate challenge. Let’s all do our part together now and go full circle… harder, faster and greener, please!”