Can Music Be Green? How the Electrum Up To Date Festival 2024 Brings Ecology to the Music Scene

Can Music Be Green? How the Electrum Up To Date Festival 2024 Brings Ecology to the Music Scene

The first edition of the Electrum Up To Date Festival is behind us. It’s not the first Up To Date in general, but the first one where we are the title sponsor. We decided to strengthen the cooperation that has been ongoing for two years with this significant event, not only in our opinion. Just as it plays the role of an active creator of culture in Białystok, with our help, it could fulfill the role of a model in the area of sustainable event organization.

Together with the organizers, we designed a series of actions through which this well-known event in Poland and Europe sets a great example of how to show respect and help our planet. From a conference where reflection went hand in hand with active exchange of ideas, to abandoning the production of new festival clothing, to using the services and work of local suppliers.

Together we can do more. But this motto only works if we truly collaborate. In the case of Electrum and the Up To Date Festival, it resulted in cooperation we are proud of. See what we’ve done:

Ecological Awareness as the Foundation of a Sustainable Future

The first stop on the road to a more sustainable future is the awareness of how to act in a way that contributes as little as possible to the deterioration of the planet’s condition. The best are, of course, zero or positive impact. However, producing an event is not easy to achieve. This doesn’t mean we don’t try! And when we try, we are transparent and honest in our communication. This year, the Electrum Up To Date social media profiles and the event’s website were even better than last year in providing current information about actions, motivations, and important ideas. We are growing.

We promoted respect for the planet, respect for others, and respect for oneself. These are inseparable components in the discussion about a healthy approach to participating in the world.

To strengthen this discussion, we organized the second edition of the “Do We Really Care?” conference. It included four festival discussion panels addressing topics we managed to signal last year: pro-ecological action in the cultural sector, mental health, the condition of the electronic music scene, and actions for culture in the wartime reality. Together with a series of guests invited to the panels, we asked questions about effective joint creation of changes and outlined the challenges ahead of us.

At Electrum, we particularly know that real change is preceded by conversations where the exchange of ideas and mutual inspiration play a key role. This was also the essence of our cooperation and the introduction of effective actions for a green future.

Reducing Carbon Emissions by Choosing Local Suppliers and Emphasizing Low-Emission Transport

Regarding the gastronomic offer available at the festival, we focused on local producers and suppliers, thereby reducing the transport costs of individual products and the people behind their preparation and service. We chose subcontractors from our region, even in the face of more attractive prices from other regions. In doing so, we want not only to reduce our emissions but also to promote local offers and local cooperation.

We know that cheaper offers often tempt event organizers (and not only them) with limited budgets. There is nothing strange about that; however, when funds are available, we believe it is worth spending them on local cooperation. At the Electrum Up To Date Festival, our role as the title sponsor played a significant role. We invested funds to help a local event, knowing they would be used well and in line with our shared values.

We want to set an example for other entities with greater capabilities and emphasize that investment in local independent culture is much more than just the promotion behind the name change on the posters.

To reduce emissions, though not necessarily the cost of transport for individual artists, we focused on artists on tour, those from nearby European countries, and local names. Many of them used trains to come to Białystok.

We tried to limit air travel to the necessary minimum (e.g., a flight from the UK). Even in the case of choosing a flight, we combined it with arriving in Warsaw and then traveling by train or a special bus to Białystok. Choosing public transport over a flight is an important element of the sustainable chain that helped build this year’s edition of the festival. Festival participants were also encouraged to use public transport, as well as to come to the festival in groups (we had group tickets for sale). This built not only an ecological spirit but also a community.

Additionally, we provided more places for cyclists who chose this mode of transport to get to the festival, the most ecological of all. As for cars, we strongly encouraged drivers to travel in larger groups.

Reducing Waste by Abandoning New Festival Clothing, Emphasizing Reusable Products, and Building Festival Scenery Based on the Circular Economy

Knowing that we want to introduce as little waste into the world as possible, we once again decided to abandon new festival clothing, so-called merch. For the team behind the festival, this was not an easy decision from the beginning – mainly due to the promotion of the brand and high revenue from the sale of such clothing. But the alternative has many advantages. This year’s collection of festival clothing was once again based on second-hand clothes, which meant that so-called fashion gems and unique items were available. Additionally, we offered the opportunity to enhance one’s own clothing with festival prints. This is our way of inspiring actions in line with the circular economy.

The same idea guided the process of creating the scenery – we focused on reusing often forgotten objects and materials. Clothes and decorations brought to life in this way carry undeniable uniqueness.

To reduce the environmental impact of our activities, we chose a local producer and supplier of water in returnable glass bottles. Still water was available in dispensers for those with their own reusable bottles. At Electrum, we encourage the daily choice of such bottles. This year, you could enter any festival area with them. Water available at the bar was for sale at an attractive price of 5 PLN (a little over 1 euro). We know that affordable prices of basic goods are a necessity to create a safe space.

For many suppliers from the gastronomic and bar area, we managed to rely on reusable cups or biodegradable or paper packaging (cups, bowls, plates, cutlery).

Not all partners agreed to such solutions, but we are on the right path to achieving 100% packaging without single-use plastic in the future. Change doesn’t happen suddenly. It’s a whole path, sometimes a labyrinth of actions that need to be consistently implemented to achieve the goal.

Last but Not Least: Promoting Locality and the Region

We already mentioned cooperation with local suppliers and artists, but focusing on locality is a key element in the discussion about the planet’s better condition, so we want to emphasize it again at the end. Using local goods and staying in your region or country as often as possible, including traveling by public transport, is the most effective form of helping the planet. However, we know that for such a form to be possible, among other things, the availability and attractiveness of local products, services, and culture are necessary.

From the beginning, the festival aimed to promote Podlasie as a region worth exploring. Its charms were discovered not only by visitors but also by so-called locals, people who have lived in Białystok for years. This year’s Electrum Up To Date Festival took place at the Białystok Puppet Theater, Arsenal Gallery, Branicki Palace’s power plant, and in an industrial outdoor area forgotten by the local community. The initially heavily devastated city-owned area provided an urban charm to the festival experience and worked well with the festival’s artistic program. This is an example of how available areas within our local reach can be used when organizing events.

Can Music Be Green?

Overall, the Electrum Up To Date Festival is an admirable example of how to reduce the negative environmental impact while organizing a music event. We can proudly say that this year’s first edition of the festival with Electrum as the title sponsor, but already the 15th anniversary edition overall, proved that music and ecology can go hand in hand. Thanks to the joint efforts of Electrum and the festival team, we have created an event that not only provides world-class musical experiences but also serves as a model of ecological responsibility. Our actions for awareness, emission reduction, waste limitation, and promoting locality show that in the world of entertainment, we can and must strive for sustainable development. We believe that such initiatives can inspire others to take similar steps, leading us all toward a better, greener future.


More about the Electrum Group can be found on our social media channels at LinkedIn, Facebooku and Instagramie.

Press contact

Jan Roguz

Electrum Adapt

tel. +48 539 732 610

Magdalena Myczko

Havas PR

tel. +48 508 012 198

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