|The Greenpeace International Airport at Glastonbury Festival 2009
Photo credit: Bobaliciouslondon/Creative Commons
This year’s Gateshead International Jazz Fetival will be placing environmental awareness centre-stage at a seminar entitled Take the Green Train. Jon Carvell writes:
With Gwilym Simcock, Joshua Redman, John Scofield and Loose Tubes already confirmed for the 2015 Gateshead International Jazz Festival, alongside many other great and/or emerging acts, the festival organisers might be tempted to close the planning diary and to congratulate each other on a job well done. These days, however, festival promotion is about more than just getting the big names signed up. Increasingly the case is being made for a more environmentally aware arts sector, which is why this year’s festival kicks off with Take the Green Train, a free full day seminar on April 10th on sustainability in music.
The Sage already has a good reputation for being eco-friendly – with a dedicated Green Team, its very own environmental policy, and public commitments to exceeding industry benchmarks. In collaboration with Julie’s Bicycle, a charity focusing on green issues in the creative industries, and Europe Jazz Network, an association of producers, presenters and supporting from some 30 countries across Europe, Take the Green Train looks at how the jazz industry can do its bit for the environment.
The day includes presentations from Founder and CEO of Julie’s Bicycle, Alison Tickell, as well as former BPI Chairman and EMI Chief Executive Tony Wadsworth. There will be a Green Touring Masterclass, as well as perspectives from Laura Pando of Festival Republic – an industry leader in ecologically conscious festival promotion, most notably at Glastonbury, Latitude and the Leeds and Reading Festivals.
The 2015 Gateshead International Jazz Festival has a strong and exciting artistic vision, but it’s also refreshing and impressive to see a festival which doesn’t ignore the broader contextual issues within which it operates. Yes, touring will always have an environmental impact, especially when musicians from all over the world gather in one place, but how do we capitalise on that vital cultural exchange without neglecting our ecological responsibilities?
Take the Green Train on 10th April to find out.