Leading the music industry towards a sustainable future

ESNS acknowledges the urgency of the climate crisis and aims to trailblaze the music industry towards a sustainable future. ESNS commits to its sustainability objectives by taking concrete steps to increasingly diminish our C02 emissions, working towards our objective of becoming a fully circular festival by 2025, and facilitating the exchange of knowledge to raise awareness and inspire innovative action. This is only the beginning of a long journey ahead, one which ESNS aspires to spearhead transparently — and to encourage other organisations to join us in our strides towards a greener industry and tomorrow.

Aspiring for circular festivals by 2025
Setting sustainable goals is fundamental in ensuring music festivals can continue to adapt and exist in our rapidly changing world. As part of the International Green Deal since 2019, ESNS and the participating organisations have agreed to reduce the environmental impact of European festivals as much as possible in the coming years – guided by the ambitious objective to make significant progress in becoming fully circular, energy-neutral, no waste festivals by 2025. These efforts span our annual festival and conference, and year-round activities as an organisation.

Under the title ‘Music forever’, the framework for ESNS’s sustainable goals and future is based on six themes:
Transportation; Materials; Food&Beverage; Energy; Water; Nature&Environment.

Sustainable action
ESNS has established numerous impact-driven initiatives to increase our sustainable solutions and decrease our C02 emissions. These efforts primarily target our use of energy and event materials, food production and waste, and transportation.

Solidarity Eco Tax
ESNS 2022 launched a new initiative that invites our community to support our sustainability efforts. The Solitary Eco Tax invites visitors to make a financial contribution on top of the ticket price (€15.00 per registration), which is directly invested in various initiatives to diminish our C02 emissions. Efforts include Green Touring Support and our partnership with SkyNRG, who use Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) to reduce the net emissions of air travel and financially supporting certified reforestation projects.

Green Touring Support
To catalyse the normalisation of more sustainable travel options, ESNS launched Green Touring Support in 2022. Artists can propose their concrete transportation plans to the festival and we offer financial compensation – funded by the Eco Tax – for the difference between the conventional option (e.g. travel by aeroplane) and the greener option (e.g. travel by train). Touring artists cannot transport their own equipment by train, so these costs also cover the additional costs for renting equipment locally. 

Read more about Green Touring Support and submit your request online using this online form (include deadline info).

Industry-leading innovation
ESNS is constantly on the lookout for the latest developments in sustainable innovation. The conference aims to be an industry-leading source of inspiration by taking on innovative experiments, impact-driven partnerships and offering space for the exchange of cutting-edge knowledge in sustainable progress. Inviting festivals, pioneers and artists to share experiences and insights, ESNS aims to accelerate the music industry’s transition to circular, sustainable models.

A leading example of our talent development is Innofest, which was co-founded by ESNS. Innofest offers organisations the opportunity to test their prototype at our festival as a living lab in the city centre of Groningen.

ESNS x Choo Choo
ESNS has partnered up with the train travel agent Choo-Choo to help book your international trip to Groningen in a sustainable fashion. Like ESNS, Choo-Choo is committed to building a sustainable society for future generations. In supporting ESNS in their goal to diminish their CO2 emissions, Choo-Choo takes on the challenge of arranging climate-friendly transportation for all the international artists & visitors of ESNS. Book your journey to Groningen now via the ESNS webshop.

“The time for talking has passed, we want to take action and inspire others to follow. Next to the efforts of our conference, our initiatives aspire to create roadmaps for other festivals and events to take steps to make an impact.” — Rob van Wegen, ESNS sustainability coordinator