Festivals are great places to tap into the collective consciousness and also to explore new modes of living. Increasingly festivals are adopting sustainability principles at the same time as diversifying to include a broader arts offering to audiences. Combining these two trends can be a powerful vector for influencing change.


Co2penhagen was the world’s first festival run entirely on renewable energy generated on-site. The festival is the brainchild of journalist Katrine Vejby and architect MAA Nina Louise Jensen, and was a collaboration with business, local and international artists and Danish students. In 2011 CO2penhagen came to Sydney for the Curating Cities: Sydney-Copenhagen exhibition and conference.


Michael Pinsky transformed Belgium’s four largest wind turbines into an ecological monitor or meter displaying the energy and water consumption and noise and waste generation of a night-time festival. These were indicated by the movement of rings of light up and down the turbines communicating the ecological pulse of the festival to the surrounding region.