Greener Fête – what it’s all about

Berlin has the goal of becoming completely climate-neutral by 2050, keeping pace with other global western cities intent on doing the same. Achieving this is less down to technical innovations and more about social changes – and changes in the way we think. 

And of course the Fête de la Musique is fully on board too! Since 2019 we’ve had the idea of ensuring that we have as green a Fête as possible and made this central to our planning.

Through the “Greener Fête” project that was kicked off in 2019, the Fête de la Musique, along with Jacob Bilabel, founder of the Green Music Initiative, Dr.-Ing. Birte Jung as an expert in sustainable public space events, and the stage partners involved in the Fête are working on making sure that climate protection and enjoying music are in no way mutually exclusive.

It’s not enough for the FETE organisational team to think green, but the stages should have this in mind too

The Fête de la Musique is almost unique in its decentralised setup, with around 200- 300 locations all organising their own concerts and approaches. Which adds the challenge that it’s not enough for the FETE organisational team to think green, but the stages need to have this in mind too!

“To leave the world better than you found it, sometimes you have to pick up other people’s trash.” — Bill Nye (“The Science Guy”), American TV presenter and author

If you’re one of the many stages that we’re delighted to hear are putting on live music in this 2024 Fête de la Musique, here are some ideas that you can think about to help keep the Fête green!

Prioritising Sustainability from the Get-Go

When orchestrating an event of any scale, the initial planning stages are crucial. It is during this time that one can think of how one can incorporate eco-friendly ideas into the event’s blueprint. 

“The greatest threat to our planet is the belief that someone else will save it.”— Robert Swan, British polar researcher and environmentalist

Making sustainability a cornerstone of our event planning process from the outset allows us to seize opportunities that could otherwise be missed. This proactive approach not only reduces the negative impact of the event on the environment but also helps avoid unnecessary problems.

Forming Eco-Friendly Partnerships

The success of a green gig often has a lot to do with the degree of participation of all parties involved. Engaging vendors, caterers, and other partners early in your eco-friendly efforts can help ensure everyone is on the same page. 

They can implement proactive measures to reduce or avoid waste even before it is generated or brought into your event space. Establishing collaborations with locally committed people and organisations who are focused on reducing waste and increasing sustainability can get the ball rolling.

Factoring in Food Waste

Food is an integral part of any event, and unfortunately, so is food waste. Try to make sure any packaging used is as green as possible (no styropor, as little plastic as possible), and use paper, cardboard or bamboo and a refund system. Food waste itself can be reduced as much as possible and what is there can be put in a special food waste container, that can be picked up or delivered to a climate-friendly food waste plant. Try for example

And for left-over food think about partnering with organisations like:

Sir Plus

Too Good to Go


Strategising Bin Placement

While it may seem trivial, the placement of recycling bins can hugely impact their effective use. Optimal bin placement throughout your event can encourage guests and staff to use the bins properly. Understanding the flow of people moving through your event space can help determine the best places to position your bins. For example, ashtrays where people smoke; paper and plastic bins next to where people will be eating – or finishing their meals. And try to make sure that you have a deposit on your plastic glasses so that people return them.

Providing Clear Signs

When it comes to recycling, clarity is key. Clear, easy-to-understand graphics on your recycling bins can help people at the concert make the right choice quickly. It’s best practice to use images of the relevant products during your concert, as it helps guests identify what goes where. This approach can also overcome language barriers and help ensure quick decision-making, even amidst the excitement of the day.

Publicising Your Sustainability Goals

Transparency about your sustainability goals can help generate enthusiasm and encourage participation. You can communicate this information through various channels such as your website, social media platforms, posters, and event program. By letting everyone know about your eco-friendly initiatives, you can foster a climate of collective responsibility and action.

And there are plenty more ways to make sure that your gig is as green as it can be! Watch this space over the lead-up to the big day for more tips and tricks on staying sustainable!

Fotos (c) Titel: Nirgendwo / Straßenmusiker: Mart Productions via Pexels / Berliner Dom: Siegfried Poepperl via Pexels / Signs: Tim Mossholder via Pexels