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Tips and Tricks from Kultuurikompass: a Stage on Wheels Brings Concerts to the Streets

The cultural sector must contribute to reducing people's impact of the environment to mitigate climate change. All events organised under the banner of European Capital of Culture Tartu 2024 must adhere to the same environmentally friendly event planning guidelines.

Esineja laval.
22. Jul Kaidi-Lisa Kivisalu

European culture managers, creative people and policymakers gathered in Tartu at the Kultuurikompass forum in April to discuss the future of environmentally friendly cultural management and share experiences with Estonian colleagues. Veloconcerts creator Jonas Skielboe presented an innovative yet simple and world-changing stage solution at the forum.

Desire to change the world leads to innovation

Veloconcerts started from the desire to create a new format for organising events and bring culture to non-traditional places. So musician Jonas Skielboe put the stage on a bicycle.

“We started operations in 2019. By then I had been touring the world as a guitarist for almost 20 years. After the birth of my children, I felt that I had to make the lives of future generations better. I had to take personal responsibility and a big step towards a more environmentally friendly life,” Skielboe pointed out during his visit to Estonia.

According to him, building the first stage was a big challenge. The final result was a five-meter-wide stage that could be set up in two minutes and accommodated up to 11 people. The first stage weighed nearly 90 kilos, which made the bicycle too heavy to ride. Three years later, the stage has “gone on a diet” during the development work and weighs half as much.

“Our first concert tour took place in Austria in 2020. The pandemic required creative solutions. With our stage, we showed that we can bring culture back to the people without a massive ecological footprint. Culture must be experienced by everyone. My goal is to make it easier to participate in culture. We all listen to music, but not everyone has the same opportunity to attend concerts. With Veloconcerts, we can fill cities with music, we help democratise and enrich culture,” Skielboe summarised his activities.

Simple tips for sustainable choices

Similar to Veloconcerts, the organisers of European Capital of Culture Tartu 2024 events also make environmentally friendly choices when organising transport to and from their events. Tartu 2024, in cooperation with the City of Tartu and Acento, created a guide for organising environmentally friendly events, which outlines the minimum requirements and recommendations for cultural organisers.

Change starts with small steps. It is extremely important that the organisers share information with the visitors about different transport options, which are an alternative to coming alone by car. It is good to remind those coming from foreign countries how to compensate for the environmental impact of air travel.

  • Add a suggestion to information materials to come to the event by public transport, bike or on foot.
  • When choosing the location of the event, consider a place that is easily accessible by public transport and by bike. Always inform the participants how to get to the event by public transport and where the parking areas are located.
  • You can also sell tickets for certain events on a per-car basis: one ticket per car, regardless of the number of passengers.
  • If possible, organise special buses or trains.
  • There are no good solutions to compensate for the climate impact of flying. However, you can support local environmental organisations that keep valuable natural communities alive, in Estonia, for example, ELF and the Koosloodus Foundation.

The Tartu 2024

Guidelines for Organising Environmentally Friendly Events
summarises the minimum requirements and recommendations for organising environmentally friendly events. The manual is accompanied by practical recommendations and checklists that help the organiser to navigate the requirements. Change starts with small steps and with you. Check out the guide and feel free to start experimenting. Standing up for change and making it happen is an Art of Survival.

Kultuurikompass is a forum for Tartu and Southern Estonia that invites cultural organisers, creators and entrepreneurs to learn from each other.