Towards a sustainable music festival: Festtogether

Towards a sustainable music festival: Festtogether

Towards a sustainable music festival: Festtogether

Turkey’s first sustainable music festival, Festtogether, will be organized in Istanbul. To organize the festival, a dozen representatives of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and social enterprises came together but none of them had a firsthand experience in the specific field.

But they are joining forces and sharing their experiences together.

The stakeholders of the event included representatives from Buğday ecological movement, NeedsMap, the cooperative platform that matches and visualizes social needs, Basic Needs Association (TIDER), which specializes in preventing waste, scriptwriter and director İlksen Başarır and renowned actor and UNDP Goodwill Ambassador Mert Fırat.

“Through this festival, we were aiming at activating individuals to create a better world and to contribute to the achievement of sustainable development goals such as responsible production and consumption and climate action,” said Itır Erhart, who is representing Adım Adım (Step by Step), an initiate which tries to mobilize individuals to take action towards solving societal challenges.

“We had a powerful tool at hand: The mobilizing and unifying power of music and sports. Hence, we came up with the name ‘Festtogether’ and the motto ‘Have Fun, Leave No Trace Behind,’” she added.

While the NGOs planned all their activities in line with this motto, the team in charge of the lineup and entertainment reached out to musicians who have been involved with social responsibility projects or fundraising campaigns.

Bob Geldof, the name behind the Band Aid charity group and the Live Aid concert in 1985, accepted to take part in the festival, too. The final lineup brings some of the most exciting international and local performers and bands around, including Büyük Ev Ablukada, Athena, Unkle, Yüzyüzeyken Konuşuruz, Kimbra and Son Feci Bisiklet.

“During the planning and preparations for non-music-related activities for the two-day event, we were well aware that organizing a 100 percent sustainable event and leaving absolutely no trace behind was a goal almost impossible to achieve,” Erhart said, adding that they decided to aim for the best they can.

The festival will also be organizing a variety of events.

Adım Adım will be organizing a plogging event, with the participants set to pick up trash while running through Maçka Park and all the trash collected will be recycled or upcycled.

Plastic bottles, straws and food containing meat will not be sold or offered on the festival grounds. Water bottles will be available to purchase at the entrance. Should the participants decide not to reuse them deposits will be returned.

The participants will be able to attend panels and workshops on sustainability, recycling and responsible consumption.

Used books and musical instruments will be collected at the entrance. The instruments will be repaired by Repairs Club and, along with the books, distrusted to schools through NeedsMap.

All the waste, including organic waste, will be separated and recycled. Volunteers will be helping out participants to use the right containers.

Children will create toys using waste materials collected on the festival grounds.

Erhart said that they didn’t see Festtogether as a one-shot-event. They are planning to organize year-round activities to bring about long-lasting awareness and change for a better world.

“We are already making plans to organize Festtogether in other cities and counties in 2020—very excited to announce that Troy Cultural Route in Çanakkale will be one of them,” she added.

Tickets for the festival, which will be organized on Sept. 14 at DasDas and Sept. 28 at KüçükÇiftlik Park, can purchased from Biletix.