How does a festival become circular? DGTL’s Milan Meyberg discusses the event’s journey towards being a circular festival
One of the major themes of this year’s ADE Green is circularity, with our partner DGTL one of the international frontrunners whose mission is to become the world’s first fully circular festival. At the last edition, the staff mapped all of the event’s waste flows, both in order to improve DGTL’s approach to waste, and to use the results as a template for other festivals wanting to do the same. According to Milan Meyberg, sustainability manager at DGTL: “We believe that becoming circular is not something you can do on your own. We need to collaborate with other festivals and their suppliers to really close the loop, gain insight and improve the process. The more people work with the circular approach, the easier it gets. And this in turn will truly make a difference in changing our world’s perspective on what waste is. Plus it will eventually lead us to a place where there is no such thing as waste.”
The end of “take, make and dispose”
Before Milan starts explaining how he carries out his mission, we need to understand how a circular economy works. This model relies on system-wide innovation and aims to redefine products and services by designing out waste, while minimising negative impact. The model is built to re-design the way our economy works - designing products that can be 'made to be made again' and powering the system with renewable energy. It questions whether through creativity and innovation we can build a restorative economy. “The first thing that people should realise about the circular economy model is that it is not just the next step for sustainability, but also the most efficient.” Meyberg points out. “You look for smarter ways to use, for example, electricity or plastic, challenging its potential uses. What can we do with the products after we use them for what they were originally intended? We need to redesign the way we use materials, which leads to more efficient use of the products.”
Efficiency vs Effectiveness
Although DGTL is taking some daring steps in implementing this approach, it is equally regarded as merely a logical step for the core DNA of the festival. Since its beginning in 2012, sustainability, such as renewable energy, meatless catering, and recycling plastic, have been an integral part of the DGTL festival program, and are just as important as the line-up. DGTL’s Revolution Foundation is the catalyst behind this initiative. “We understand that heading towards a circular economy in the festival industry generates a lot of perks. There are loads of business opportunities plus you have to keep on challenging your visitors to change their behaviour, as they in turn become more engaged and critical every year. By taking the lead now, we hope to help form regulations and legislation in both technical areas and the granting of licenses for events. Sustainability is one of our core values and we want to do it differently to other festivals. Every year we ask ourselves, ‘if we start a festival from scratch, what could we do differently?’
Designing Out Waste: How To Become A Circular Festival
Want to know more about DGTL’s mission to become a circular festival? As well as how Roskilde and Lab Vlieland have the same mission, but a different approach? Come to the panel.
Tickets for ADE Green (35,-) are available here. The event is also accessible for ADE Pass & ADE Conference Pass holders.
ADE Green is presented by ADE and Absolut (official partner ADE), and supported by our many partners.