YOUROPE – The European Festival Association has developed and released the “European Green Festival Roadmap 2030”. The Roadmap aims to give European festivals and events a reliable guide for sustainable actions, including measures they will need to accomplish the inevitable process of transformation until the end of the decade.

YOUROPE is proud to present the European Green Festival Roadmap 2030 as part of its three-year project “Future-Fit Festivals” (3F). These guidelines on sustainable events are based on the requirement of the EU Green Deal – cutting emissions by at least 55% by 2030. It also considers the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and industry requirements. The Roadmap is the result of a collaboration with experts from A Greener Future (AGF) and Greener Events Norway as well as YOUROPE’s GO Group (Green Operations Europe) think tank.

The European Green Festival Roadmap 2030 supports the festival sector in finding appropriate measures to fight emissions and other harmful environmental impacts. To bring about the necessary change towards more sustainable events, it is important to set clear goals, think large and long-term.

For this purpose, the Roadmap provides a comprehensive framework for the ambitious sustainable improvement of cultural events. In seven fields of action, the suggested actions range from management structures to specific practical measures in the creation and production process. The Roadmap is public and free to use for any (European) festival or cultural event.

This is the first pan-European publication of its kind to be jointly developed and published by and for the festival sector. It can serve as a relevant tool for organisers of festivals and other large (open-air) events, also far beyond the borders of the EU.

Drafts of the Roadmap were presented at this year’s Green Events & Innovation Conference (GEI) in London and at the 9th international GO Group workshop in Barcelona, receiving overwhelming interest and feedback. Originally, the development process had started in early 2022 with a kick-off workshop and public discussion panels with representatives of the European Commission and Parliament.

The roadmap can be found here:

 Holger Jan Schmidt (General Secretary of YOUROPE / GO Group co-founder):
“Improving our festivals and increasing sustainability throughout the industry is an ongoing topic for YOUROPE and also for me personally. That’s why it’s a particular pleasure to present the European Green Festival Roadmap as the icing on the cake of tools we recently published – all are open source, accessible to everyone and transferable to other cultural areas. We believe that the Roadmap is a big step in the only right direction. Also, it serves as an excellent basis for further exciting and helpful projects.”

Claire O’Neill (CEO A Greener Future):
“After nearly two decades working with festivals worldwide for sustainability, we’re really happy to harness and share learnings in this European Green Festival Roadmap with YOUROPE. The roadmap helps prioritize and simplify the actions individual festivals need to take, and shines a light on areas for collective effort by the industry and beyond.”

 Linnéa Svensson (Greener Events Norway / GO Group co-founder):
“Climate change is already upon us. Heavy rain and severe drought are becoming increasingly normal, which tells us there’s no time to lose. It is time to act now – and this roadmap will guide you to get started or even to get more advanced. If you haven’t already, just start by starting!”

Since 1998, YOUROPE – The European Festival Association has evolved into the most important association for popular music festivals in Europe. As of June 2023, YOUROPE counts around 120 festivals and associated organizations from 28 European countries among its members. The overall aim of the association is to strengthen and improve the European festival scene as a whole, and promoting arts and music while connecting different cultures.

In its working groups YOUROPE focuses on different topics at the heart of festivals: sustainability, climate action and environmental protection in the GO Group (Green Operations Europe), security and crowded spaces management in the YOUROPE Event Safety (YES) Group, communication in the European Marketing and Communication (EMAC) Group, and staffing issues and mental health in the Human Resources and Wellbeing (HR) Group.

Further, YOUROPE hosts the biannual European Festival Conference (EFC) and organizes the annual European Festival Awards (EFA).

Nikki McNeill | Global Publicity