Darcey Jackson is event coordinator at AEG Presents – working on All Points East (APE), In the Neighbourhood and British Summer Time Hyde Park (BST Hyde Park) to programme and book festival content. She is part of AEG’s Climate Positive Festival Group and works to implement sustainability initiatives across the events she coordinates.

Despite the restrictions and uncertainty caused by Covid this year, All Points East returns to London’s Victoria Park this summer on the August bank holiday weekend for a in a slimmed down edition with Jamie xx and Kano, Foals and Bombay Bicycle Club, London Grammar and Jorja Smith confirmed as the three sets of headliners. In this guest blog JAckson shares the highlights of APE’s environmental initiatives for 2021 and their plans for 2022.

The last year has felt very stagnant for the music business but while the industry has been prevented from holding events, the work on improving sustainability has not stopped. The pause has allowed us to focus even more resource and time to research new sustainability initiatives and I am so excited to be back and ready to action these at this year’s All Points East festival, and to have planned to make even more advancements for 2022.

There are a number of commitments that we put in place for our 2018/19 events which will continue to be actioned at this summer’s edition. These include the use of 100% compostable serveware, free chilled water refill points, a ban on plastic straws, free bike parking and overall encouragement for our customers and staff to use public transport wherever possible. With customer travel miles contributing to around 80% of the festival’s carbon footprint, it was a priority this year (following on from initial implementation for the 2020 event) to work alongside event industry charity ecolibrium to help reduce this impact.

We introduced the option for customers to balance their travel carbon emissions at their point of ticket purchase, with a range of carbon-balancing donation options including public transport, car or international flight. For 2021, we’ve taken this a step further by adding the option to our guest list system and information pack, as well as introducing this mechanic at our on-site box office. Although we missed out on our first year working with ecolibrium due the cancellation of BST Hyde Park and APE in 2019, the Travel Carbon Calculator is something All Points East has committed to expanding on year-on-year going forward, as well as introducing it to the wider AEG business and teams.

I never thought that I would be the person to write about how excited I am about our fuel usage, but I am so excited that this year the festival will be running on 100% HVO Biofuel in 2021, an increase from 50% at our last event in 2019. The renewable diesel, produced from vegetable fats and oils, will considerably minimise the event’s emissions and pollution, keeping our impact on the local community and Victoria Park to a minimum. This is something that we will continue for future years of the event, and hopefully be an opportunity to encourage other outdoor events to do the same.

There is a selection of incredible traders at the festival this year, including an amazing variety of local Tower Hamlets and Hackney vendors. Food is something that I hold very close to my heart, and I always make it my own personal mission to try something from every single trader on site – it’s a tough job, but someone’s got to do it!

Engaging our traders to get involved in our overall festival goals always helps to make the event stronger and massively expands the reach for our messaging. We are aiming for a veggie meal option at 100% of all food traders this year (and no, chips do not count as a ‘meal’), and although this feels like a small step in this specific department, we are excited to improve and grow on this going forward.

I’m a massive advocate for screaming and shouting about what All Points East is doing and putting in place to help take action on climate change, as every other festival should. It not only encourages other events to step up, but it gets the customers, crew and artists involved and hopefully helps to change some people’s habits outside of our event as well.

I am really excited to be collaborating with Music Declares Emergency (MDE) this year on our ticketed show days, as well as our free-to-enter community event, In The Neighbourhood. Having MDE on site will be an opportunity for ticket holders in the main arena, and artists and guests in the backstage area to gain more information on what they can do to act on the climate crisis from their position as well as how they can encourage other members and businesses in the music industry to engage in the conversation and contribute to our shared objective.

I’m so excited to also be part of the newly formed AEG Climate Positive Festival team, representing both All Points East and BST Hyde Park, and working alongside my colleagues in the US to collaboratively encourage and evolve everything that we can do to create the most sustainable festivals across the world. I can’t wait to hear and read about what the rest of the music and events industry will be putting into place this year, and goals they set moving forward – and hopefully giving All Points East the opportunity to inspire, and be inspired by others.

Find out more about All Point East’s sustainability initiatives HERE.

This guest blog originally appeared in the 2021 Vision: 2025 newsletter.