The taste and sound of sustainability

Press release: 13 June 2007

Live Earth and Manchester International Festival first to test new BSI standard on sustainable event management.

Manchester International Festival, the world’s first international festival of original new work, and Live Nation, the event producer behind London’s Live Earth concert, are two organisations taking the first steps towards reducing their impact on the environment and becoming financially and socially sustainable. These two festivals are working with BSI British Standards to trial BS 8901, the world’s first national standard on sustainable event management.

In an event industry worth £3 billion, ignoring sustainability comes at a high price to both business and the environment. BS 8901 sets out requirements for planning and managing sustainable events and provides a step by step guide to producing an event which does not compromise the surrounding environment, society or economy. Climate change, air quality, working conditions and local employment are just a few of the considerations to be made when planning an event, according to the new standard.

Manchester International Festival, working with sustainable events company Organise This, will trial BS 8901 across four food and music events taking place as part of the festival. Key performance indicators will include measuring the event’s current environmental, social and economic outputs and identifying improvements for the future. The trial is the first stage in a developing programme that aims to make genuine improvements in sustainability at Manchester International Festival by the end of the third festival in 2011.

Ruth Mackenzie, General Director of Manchester International Festival said, “We are pleased to be working with BSI to test this new standard. While we are realistic about the time and effort needed to improve the sustainability of a project this size, we believe that with the quality and range of partners assembled, we can come up with innovative ideas which will help international festivals and events around the world to improve their sustainability.”

Live Nation, producers of Live Earth, the flagship climate change concert to be held at Wembley Stadium on 7 July 2007, will work with consultants Arup to review the event against the standard through a series of workshops.

Stuart Galbraith, Director of Live Nation said, “Live Nation is committed to reducing the environmental impacts and enhancing the sustainability of all the events that they manage and promote. The environmental focus of the Live Earth concert at Wembley provides an ideal opportunity to trial BS 8901. We are proud to be involved in the trial as we believe it is a major turning point in setting a sustainability benchmark across the events sector. Live Nation hopes to gain valuable experience from the trial and implement it across all future events.”

The feedback from both Live Nation and Manchester International Festival will be used by the BSI technical committee responsible for developing BS 8901 to produce the final draft of the standard for publication in the autumn.

BS 8901 is applicable to event organisers, clients, venues and organisations in the supply chain and is suited to the entire range of events from large-scale conferences and unique events such as London 2012, to rock festivals and amateur sporting events.

Mike Low, Director of BSI British Standards said, “BSI is delighted that Manchester International Festival and Live Nation are trialling BS 8901. With their help we can fine tune this standard, which offers a clear route to sustainable event planning, management and delivery. Climate change is just one crucial area in which this standard will make a difference by reducing carbon emissions and improving resource efficiency throughout the supply chain.”


Notes to the editor

Manchester International Festival

The world’s first international festival of original, new work – takes place for the first time from 28 June – 15 July 2007, and thereafter every two years. The idea to launch an international festival was first conceived by Manchester City Council, who appointed Alex Poots to create a unique festival for Manchester.

Partners in Manchester International festival’s sustainability programme include The Department of Trade and Industry, the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change at the University of Manchester, Manchester City Council and Festival sponsors such as United Utilities and Virgin Trains.

Live Nation

Live Nation is the world's largest live music company. Its mission is to inspire passion for live music around the world. It is the largest promoter of live concerts in the world, the second-largest entertainment venue management company and has a rapidly growing online presence. Live Nation creates superior experiences for artists and fans, regularly producing tours for the biggest superstars in the business, including The Rolling Stones, Madonna, U2 and Coldplay. Globally, it owns, operates, has booking rights for and/or has an equity interest in more than 160 venues, including House of Blues® music venues and prestigious locations such as The Fillmore in San Francisco, Nikon at Jones Beach in New York and London’s Wembley Arena. Live Nation’s websites collectively are the second most popular entertainment/event websites in the United States, according to Nielsen//NetRatings. In addition, Live Nation also produces, promotes or hosts theatrical, specialized motor sports and other live entertainment events. In 2006, Live Nation connected nearly 60 million fans with their favourite performers at approximately 26,000 events in 18 countries around the world. Headquartered in Los Angeles, California, Live Nation is listed on the New York Stock Exchange, trading under the symbol “LYV.”