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Let's re-think our sustainability policies for 2021

With the devastating effect of COVID-19 destroying the 2020 festival season it does give organisers an opportunity to reflect on how they will recover in 2021.  More on that in another place. However, it also gives us all the opportunity to re-think our sustainability policies.  ‘The world will never be the same again’ is a phrase often used, well it has been like that for some time.  Again, as has often been said, if we don’t do something about correcting the mistakes we have made with the treatment of our environment then the world will certainly ‘never be the same again’.

AFO is committed to encouraging its members to set themselves some targets for the future.  With this long run into the 2021 festival season we have plenty of opportunity to plan a great deal better how our festivals are organised, managed and cleared away.  We strongly recommend to our membership that reading of the 2nd edition of ‘Show Must Go On’ is a good starting point.  Look into the online tools available at Julies Bicycle and Powerful Thinking

Prior to the Coronavirus hit we had two workshops planned both focussed on sustainability issues.  These will now be rescheduled.  We are planning to run these workshops online via Zoom.  If you wish to join in, we need to know.  The date has yet to be set but mid-July is likely.  [email protected]

It is now up to you the organisers to start thinking about sustainable coffee cups, beer vessels, straws, water, caterers, and traders in general.  Talk to customers about how they travel to the festival, using public transport or their own cars.  Encourage cycling, observe the ‘leave no tent’ rules and work closer with contractors on their own transport plans (no half empty loads please).

There may well be COVID rules that are still in place in summer 2021, that gives us no excuse whatsoever for ignoring our opportunity to encourage sustainability.  Be aware of doing things to address green issues can go hand in hand with the new systems for handling the pandemic.
2021 could be the start of the new normal in the festival world.

Association of Festival Organisers (AFO): 18th Jun 2020 09:19:00

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