OpenAir St.Gallen — the first climate-neutral Swiss open air music festival with myclimate

OpenAir St.Gallen represents a long-standing commitment to sustainability and environmental protection. In 2019, the event organisers are going a big step further and will offset any CO₂ emissions generated by the festival with myclimate. As a result, OpenAir St.Gallen will be Switzerland's first big open air festival to become climate-neutral with myclimate. This step will also be part of the festival's programme: on Saturday a podium discussion will be held.

Trash Heroes have been cleaning the grounds and sensitizing the public during the festival at the Openair St.Gallen since 2003. foto @Julius Hatt

A large music festival like OpenAir St.Gallen always generates a certain burden on the environment — be that through 30,000 festival-goers, musicians and crew travelling to the festival, or likewise the construction and dismantling of the infrastructure for the temporary outdoor festival village. In 2003, the organisers of the open air event began to address the urgent topic of waste management and brought the programme "Trash Heroes" to life. Since then, various measures have been implemented, to optimise the ecological footprint and build upon "Green’n’clean" initiatives. On the basis of an initial carbon footprint, created for the festival by myclimate, various climate-friendly measures have been realised. Self-developed guidelines for stall operators have thus led to a more sustainable catering offering.

In 2018, myclimate scientifically calculated and evaluated the CO₂ emissions from the festival for the second time. Among the most important emissions factors is the travel for the artists in particular, which contributed to more than 50% of the overall footprint, but which is nonetheless essential for the festival to run. The operators have now taken on the responsibility here. In 2019, OpenAir St. Gallen will offset the remaining CO₂ emissions with a mix of both Swiss and international myclimate climate protection projects.

The first project to be supported was the renaturation of Swiss moorland in the canton of Glarus, the second, a reforestation project in Nicaragua. In doing so, the festival is effectively supporting the climate and making an important contribution to decreasing emissions worldwide.

"OpenAir St.Gallen" is sending out a clear message here. We hope that other large event organisers will be inspired by this and that they examine measures to reduce their own carbon footprint, including potential offsetting," said Kai Landwehr, Head of Marketing at myclimate.

Take a Stand

Within the scope of the Take A Stand campaign, the event organisers are holding a discussion on sustainability and climate protection with the audience and invited guests on the Saturday morning of the festival. The participants on the stage will ask address questions concerning which climate and environment-related measures the audience expects from OpenAir St.Gallen. At the same time, the audience will be invited to contribute to making the festival sustainable. The role of consumer behaviour and its influence on the ecological footprint of the festival will also be addressed. The panel will be moderated by SRF moderator Andi Rohrer. The guests are representatives from the Climate Strike collective, Take A Stand, OpenAir St.Gallen and Kai Landwehr from myclimate.

Openair St.Gallen

Since 1977, OpenAir St.Gallen has been an established feature of the European festival scene with its outdoor location, which is also close to the city, a programme with many trendsetters and a loyal base of festival-goers. It is recognised far beyond Swiss borders as a festival with first-class organisation and outstanding staff and enjoys huge popularity among both festival-goers and artists. Tickets for the 43rd OpenAir St.Gallen from 27–30 June 2019 are still available in all categories. Headliners include "Die Ärzte", "Florence and the machine" and "K.I.Z".

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