Upcoming Event: Can Festivals Change the World? with Di Robson

This post comes from Creative Carbon Scotland

This Thursday, 14 August, a group of festival organisers, academics, participants, artists and admirers will gather at Fringe Central to discuss the various reactions and interactions between politics, the environment and art. With festivals becoming a dominant portion of the cultural sector (music festivals gaining particular attention from media in recent years), it is vital to integrate the festival phenomenon into explorations of cultural value, identity and societal trends.

The “Can Festivals Change the World?” seminar, hosted by Creative Carbon Scotland and Festivals Edinburgh, brings this critical discussion to the exceedingly relevant context of the Edinburgh Festivals. The event is held quite literally at the centre of the festivals, as the event is scheduled for the middle of the August festival month and held at Fringe Central, a venue that is in the heart of the festival activity.

Edinburgh is a city that increases drastically in size during the month of August, with production companies, spectators and cultural sector movers-and-shakers populating Scotland’s capital city. With such a dramatic and fleeting festival culture in the city, certain impacts and benefits must be monitored so as to accumulate a better understanding of the impact of festivals. Thursday’s discussion will reach beyond material impacts, however, drawing attention to impacts at a larger scale of influence.

Di Robson will be speaking at the event, drawing on her experiences on the Scottish and international festivals circuit. One of her most noteworthy projects is the Exhibition Road Show festival as part of the London 2012 Olympics. The Exhibition Road Show, held from 28 July to 5 August 2012, was a street festival that included multiple visual arts commissions, an extensive musical programme, many dance and acrobatics productions, literature readings and science exhibitions and talks. Such an extensive programme covered the many British contributions to society across cultural and scientific sectors alike.

The event will also offer the chance for a discussion amongst attendees concerning the potential roles of the arts sector in affecting the world around us. Guiding provocations for the event include the following questions-

  • What is art’s role in a changing climate?
  • How can artists be part of changing the world for the better?
  • What can festivals do for sustainability?

Discussion points and highlights from the event will be published as part of #GreenFests, so be sure to check back afterwards to read our conclusions. Feel free to post your own thoughts via Twitter @CCScotland using #GreenFests.

The post Upcoming Event: Can Festivals Change the World? with Di Robson appeared first on Creative Carbon Scotland.


Creative Carbon Scotland is a partnership of arts organisations working to put culture at the heart of a sustainable Scotland. We believe cultural and creative organisations have a significant influencing power to help shape a sustainable Scotland for the 21st century.

In 2011 we worked with partners Festivals Edinburgh, the Federation of Scottish Threatre and Scottish Contemporary Art Network to support over thirty arts organisations to operate more sustainably.

We are now building on these achievements and working with over 70 cultural organisations across Scotland in various key areas including carbon management, behavioural change and advocacy for sustainable practice in the arts.

Our work with cultural organisations is the first step towards a wider change. Cultural organisations can influence public behaviour and attitudes about climate change through:

Changing their own behaviour;
Communicating with their audiences;
Engaging the public’s emotions, values and ideas.

Go to Creative Carbon Scotland

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