The demand for sustainable practices in music festivals has grown due to recognized environmental and social impacts. These festivals have the potential to promote sustainable actions and positive community relationships. Communication of sustainability efforts is important for raising awareness, engaging participants, and inspiring collective action. To address these concerns, the professorship collaborates with Eurosonic Noorderslag (ESNS) and students from the minor Music Management to assess the current state of sustainability in European Music Festivals and analyze their communication about sustainability topics.
ESNS is a non-profit music conference and showcase festival that focuses on promoting European artists and their music globally. It has helped launch the careers of several well-known artists by providing them a platform to showcase their talent. ESNS also plays a crucial role in fostering European partnerships in the music industry through initiatives like the ESNS Exchange, which facilitates the booking of European acts at festivals outside their home countries.
ESNS aims to become a fully sustainable festival in the future and recognizes the importance of sustainability in the industry. However, the lack of information about sustainability practices in the music festival market poses a challenge. To address this issue, ESNS is collaborating with the NHL Stenden Professorship Transformational Media and the minor Music Management on a joint project. The project assessed the current state of sustainable practices in European Music Festivals and analyzed how these festivals communicate their sustainability initiatives. Through this research collaboration, ESNS and its partners aim to contribute to the advancement of sustainability in the music festival industry and encourage effective communication of sustainability efforts.
Two research approaches were taken to explore the extent to which ESNS Exchange festivals are committed to sustainability, and how they communicate about their sustainability practices: a content analysis and an online survey research. Students from the minor Music Management conducted the content analysis and the professorship conducted the survey research. These analyses provided valuable insights into the sustainability topics addressed by festivals in their operations and revealed patterns in their communication strategies on their websites.