Sustainable City Festivals Research Team

Sustainable City Festivals Research Team

We will examine sustainability criteria for city festivals in open discussions with Rotterdam City Festivals committee; building good and inclusive relations, engaging in joyful conversations and surfacing innovative ideas.

Rotterdam is known to be a festival leader in Europe. The purpose of this initiative is to determine what the current situation of city festivals is through a sustainability lens. With this project we aim also to contribute to a healthy environment, satisfied neighborhoods and more profitable festivals. We will achieve this by building relationships with the municipality and experts in the area of sustainability and event management. Moreover, by undertaking our own research on current festival practices in Rotterdam and throughout the world, we aim to identify leading practices and highlight areas for improvement, providing practical recommendations to festival planners and to the municipality.

In the autumn 2016 beginning phase of our project, we undertook desk research to find out best practices of the initiatives that organisers have taken to make their specific festival events more sustainable both locally and globally. We distinguished between 3 geographical areas, namely the Netherlands, rest of Europe and Oceania. Several festivals in these areas have been purposefully selected after which their official websites were analyzed in order to find the sustainability initiatives they selected. Based on this research, we were able to construct a list of the sustainability issues that currently receive most attention at festivals. The desk research was followed in early spring 2017 by interviews and questionnaires with the municipality of Rotterdam, the organisation Rotterdam Festivals, a festival organiser and festival visitors. This allowed us to bring light to the current situation and expectations of each party concerning sustainable city festivals. Currently, we are putting together all information, providing recommendations and a best-practice framework, to be published in an internal report, by May 2017.

The intention is that this year’s work will set a strong base for the next year's team to actively work alongside the local festivals office and target areas for sustainable development.

Research Team: Betul Colak, RSM MSc Business Information Management; Daisy Visser, RSM MSc Global Business & Sustainability; Laurien Dwars, RSM MSc Global Business & Sustainability.