A manifesto anti Sustainable Events Standard ISO 20121
We are not dancing to this song. Yes, you heard us right.
We do not believe all things should be normal, normatized, normalized, regulated, standardized, regimented or modulated. The new ISO 20121 (Sustainable Events Standard) does not make things better, does not make the world a better place for humankind nor for other species. And yes, we know we have provided significant contribution to sustainability and good examples of how to WALK the talk. However, we must stay out of this one as we do not think that affirming corporate dellusion is the way to go.
If you have any questions please ask our public, the ones that line up for our handmade toilets instead of the corporate portable stinker. They will tell you that in our history we have made mistakes and also have undertaken huge and visible efforts to correct them. To the point of becoming models in "innovation".
Yes we understand that you have been working on these "standards" for quite a while and that you formed committees with international representatives discussing and listening to the "key stakeholders". We know your standards are kept by a well respected organisation, made up of other organisations represented in each and every country (or most of the official ones). But we dont think festivals should simply reflect the official culture. We think we must go much further than that. Festivals should be the expression of the new and therefore always challenge the status quo, not ratify it.
Perhaps the problem is that you should not have defined your scope as the "entertainment industry" and then expect that authentic festivals would simply normalise. A festival is, by definition, a celebration in large scale. A gathering of human beings for the purpose of expressing life´s wonders and mysteries. Indigenous nations throughout the planet still celebrate in this way and should be respected as models of harmoniously integrated living. Are you going to normalise the indigenous people in the countries you are represented?
We answer first to our public, to our community, as it is made up of people from 152 countries (Boom 2014). They have been asking us to be pioneers in sustainability without loosing sigth of beauty, art, music and unity. And we plan to continue doing just that. Remember that we were the first on our league to introduce dry toilets in large scale and we are still the only ones to collect and treat all the waste water biologically.
You tell us that now we need help to understand the language of your standards and for that we probably need to employ the new experts to translate sustainability. At the same time you seem to rush to award your new ISO to some corporations better known for their green washing than for responsability. While you were busy with such abstractions and concerned about creating jobs for newly found consultants on event sustainability we were generating energy and playing music with the sun and recycled vegetable oil.
Our vision is precisely the opposite of yours. We believe it is possible to stop the destruction of our world and revert all the impact with the presence of people. We are not content with minimizing damage and remaining commercially viable. If the damage cannot be reversed there will be no commercial interest to fight for. Can´t you see that? So this is where we draw the line and this is why we chose to not dance to this one. We say No to normalization, we say not to Sustainable Events Standard ISO 20121.
By the way, without standards Boom Festival and the Boomers did all this HERE