How the Music Industry is Adapting to Sustainability – Features

A highlight of the music calendar – the Ibiza International Music Summit – has made environmental issues a priority. Every year, thousands of people flock to the White Isle to participate in panels, open conversations and parties for three days, signaling the start of the Ibiza season. This year, IMS is focusing on a handful of overarching topics, but the climate emergency is arguably the most pressing.

“When I think back to when IMS started 13 years ago, we focused on more industry-related topics. Over time, other issues started to take higher priority and we became more aware our role and responsibility in putting on an event like this,” says IMS co-founder Ben Turner alongside longtime partner Pete Tong. “Because of the nature of what we do and advocate conferences, we felt it was our duty to help educate, inform and inspire, and to look beyond these issues.” Each year, IMS focuses on hard-hitting topics such as sexual harassment , mental health, diversity and inclusion, and climate change.The latter discussion takes center stage this year with multiple conversations about sustainability and environmentalism within the industry.

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“Just before the pandemic, I very clearly remember hosting IMS 2020 – I felt that year the world really woke up to the fact that there is an ever shorter and very emerging that we can save this world in. The music industry wasn’t doing enough, the electronic industry certainly wasn’t doing enough, but I felt like the world turned that year and that was the number one priority for everyone,” Turner tells us. This year, IMS launched the Eco Badge initiative encouraging festival-goers to travel more sustainably, whether by bike, ferry or train. “We ask people traveling to show a picture of their ferry ticket and they get a heavily reduced price in return. We’ve also added an eco-tax on the delegate badge, so we’re contributing a certain amount of each ticket sale to this area with cleanings of beach and usually put it back in the system.

While Turner admits the International Music Summit is only a fraction of the way to becoming fully circular, he knows the end goal is within reach. “We’re about 30% of where we want to be,” he says. “Building one of our stages, Dalt Villa, almost entirely eco-friendly was a great idea, it’s our big trophy and our finale. It’s on a World Heritage Site, so over the next few years it will become the one of our next big goals.

Such programs were put in place after consultation with the team behind A Greener Festival, one of the oldest sustainability organizations in the industry. Through training and education, award initiatives, conferences and supplier directories, A Greener Festival has helped the industry move closer to an environmentally friendly future. “I have been pleasantly surprised by the number of festivals integrating sustainability this year. We’ve seen more festivals apply for the Greener Festival Awards than ever before, and it’s all going in the right direction,” said A Greener Festival co-founder Claire O’Neill. Mixmag. “Research we first did in 2005 proved that this is in fact what the public wants.”

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