Two women presenting at an indoor event with a projection screen displaying

10th international GO Group Workshop, Bratislava, SK

GO Group celebrates its 10th workshop this year, this time in Bratislava, Slovakia, co-hosted by Pohoda Festival. The workshop is open to all YOUROPE members and other interested festivals, event organizers and cultural organizations interested in green events.

  • Place: Atelier Svelnik, Nová Cvernovka, Bratislava (Slovakia)
  • Time: April 8/9, 2024

The 10th international GO Group workshop will deal with what is needed to help festivals in all of Europe become sustainable and circular as well as how other stakeholders such as artists can be included in the efforts. We provide an exciting program featuring an extraordinary mix of inspiring keynotes, presentations of brand-new tools and inspiring case studies combined with creative workshops, discussions, talks and networking events on three days. We are looking forward to speakers from major events as well as scientists, experts and activists

Registration fee

€150 regular price, incl. all fees and lunch on both days

€40 special rate for YOUROPE members only, incl. all fees, and lunch on both days (please get in touch with us to receive the discount code: )

Register here

Confirmed speakers

Program details

Sunday 7 April

The Sunday evening get-together (19h)
As always, we meet for a casual get-together on the eve of the workshop at a nice location. Let’s get in the mood and get to know your fellow GO Group participants.

Monday 8 April

GO Group Opening – going green while going crazy
Holger Jan Schmidt (YOUROPE / GO GROUP, DE)
& Michal Kaščák (Pohoda Festival, SK)
We live in turbulent times. We have been working with GO Group and many other institutions for years to get the climate issue under control. We make progress, create innovations, team up with like-minded people. And at the same time, the world around us is spinning faster and faster, creating conflicts and social currents that run completely counter to our actions. How are we supposed to stay focused and keep motivated? Well, this will only work together. Let’s set the tone here – for the next two days and maybe far beyond!

Juicy stats – the Impact of festivals and events
By Alex Fintoni (A Greener Future, UK)
Each year AGF produces a report from aggregate analysis of all of the events and festivals who apply for certification and Sustainability Diagnosis. We will learn about the results and developments from 2023 and also take a closer look at the carbon emissions measured by the assessed festivals. The numbers show a more differentiated picture especially in fields like audience and production/artist travel and transport, food & beverage as well as material procurement. Are you ready for a holistic view that also acknowledges the importance of festivals for social, cultural and mental health benefits for society.

Case study: Pohoda Festival
by Ondrej Poláček (Pohoda Festival, SK)
We will learn about Pohoda’s green oprerations. The festival was awarded best medium sized festival at the European Festival Awards 2023, is a former Green Operations Award winner and participants in the Green Deal Circular Festivals. Pohoda is one of the green lighthouses in the eastern festival sphere and will show us how they do it.

Music Dialogue – From Groningen to Bratislava
by Rob van Wegen (ESNS, NL)
At the GO Group workshop in Bratislava ESNS head of sustainability Rob van Wegen will share key findings of the Music Dialogue conducted at this year’s ESNS in Groningen. The Dialogue is part of the Music Moves Europe actions within the Creative Europe program of the European Commission. The dialogue focused these questions: How do we create equal possibilities to work on environmental sustainability in the music sector? How do we provide better access to the information that is available on environmental sustainability in the music sector? How do we move from knowledge to action? We are looking forward to the key results of the dialogue and further discuss these and the underlying questions with the GO Group participants collecting input from practical approach to policy suggestions.

Lost in transformation. The challenges of event organisers going green…
feat. Bianca Damian (Artmania, RO), Peter Dimitrov (A To Jazz, BG) and Marek Vorhalik (Let It Roll, CZ)
host: Linnéa Vågen Svensson (Greener Events, NO)
GO Group is around for 13 years now and highlighting great successes and achievements since. But honestly, that is pretty comfortable and absolutely not enough. Basically, our common task is neither a race nor a competition. The goal is to make the hole sector greener, smarter, more sustainable and raise the level for all. Let’s take the time and discuss the everyday challenges and bottlenecks for colleagues willing to take part in this transition. The reasons are manifold: lack of infrstructure, knowledge transfer or even regulation as well as an attitude-behaviour gap of stakeholders and audience. We will start the honest discussion here and now to define the most important steps to be taken to make a real change in the few years we have left.

Group Workshop: Driving Sustainability in the European Festival Sector
In cooperation with Green Deal Circular Festivals
hosted by Ian Tellam (Ecotunes NL/UK)

Let’s come together to shape how sustainability can form the heart of festivals across Europe. In this collaborative workshop, we’ll dive into the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead. How can we collectively foster sustainability across such a vibrant and varied sector? Drawing on the success stories and expertise of sustainability frontrunners and the needs of those following them, we’ll explore which innovative solutions can propel us forward, and in what ways governments and industry stakeholders should lend their support. This is not just about achieving sustainability for every festival in Europe, it’s about festivals as real-life examples of how to use resources sustainably. Sustainable festivals can catalyze similar practices throughout the entire economy.
We need your hearts and minds in this interactive session, because your insight, creativity, and passion are crucial to this mission as we work together to identify key steps forward. The results will help us develop a joint strategy with concrete proposals for EU funded projects to accelerate the sustainable transformation of the European festival and event sector.

GO Group dinner
kindly hosted by YOUROPE
The (not so) secret star of every GO Group workshop is the Monday night GO Group dinner. Always at a special place recommended by our hosts we invite our participants to follow up the day’s hot topics, get to know each other more, start a friendship… everything can happen here! This time our destination will be the restaurant “Otto” in the heart of the old town of Bratislava. Dobrú chuť a vychutnajte si jedlo!

Tuesday 9 April

The art of getting the artists on board – roundtable discussion
hosts: Barbora Bodnárová (Pohoda Festival, SK) & Holger Jan Schmidt (YOUROPE, DE)
What is the best sustainable plan worth if it is not supported by your partners? For many events there is a dependency on headline artists or popular international acts that may interfere with the festival’s efforts to go green. We want to openly discuss approaches and solutions how to integrate artists and other stakeholders. What are the tools and arguments you are using and what didn’t work at all?

Case study: Labor Tempelhof Berlin
by Tabea Kaplan (Loft Concerts, DE)
Three concerts, 180,000 people. This living laboratory project shows us in which ways climate- and resource-positive event management is already possible today and where there are still limitations. It also is a best practise example of how artists, tour and local promoters, venue and science can work hand in hand.

From radical imagination to creative action
By Louise Lindén (Live Green, SE)
In order to create a better future, we first need to imagine it. Research reports can help us understand what’s going on, but what truly sparks our engagement is cultural spaces, artistic expressions and stories. Scope X means “emissions of influence”. In this session, you will learn how festivals can challenge business as usual, be a playground for social innovation and climate action, spark collective hope, and turn radical imagination into practice.

Nová Cvernovka – a tour around arts, awareness and activism
by Michal Berezňák (Nová Cvernovka, SK) & Paula Poštolková (Pohoda Festival, SK)
We are looking forward to a guided tour around ur home for these two days. Nová Cvernovka (engl. “New Scarlet”) is a vibrant cultural hub situated in Bratislava’s former chemical industry area and run by Nadácia Cvernovka foundation. It features multifunctional spaces, an outdoor terrace, stage, community garden, park, playground, and a public library, along with 132 art studios. Offering diverse cultural and educational programs in music, fine arts, literature, film, and theater, it also hosts a bar, bistro, and café. Nová Cvernovka fosters values of freedom, responsibility, cooperation, diversity, and civic awareness. It promotes sustainability, fights against discrimination, and encourages dialogue between culture, art, ecology, and citizenship.

Transport Emissions: Mapping Greener Paths for Festivals
by Linnéa Vagen Svensson (Greener Events, NO)
Transportation is the main source of emissions for festivals across Europe. This introduction will explore methodologies for mapping and quantifying emission sources associated with festival logistics and audience travel. We will look into the complexities of accurately calculating emissions, whilst debating the balance between thoroughness and practicality. To exemplify Rosendal Garden Party (SE) and the carbon calculator Green Producers Tool will be used as a case.
In the session we invite participants to engage in discussions about creating a standardised framework for eco-conscious transport planning and mapping audience mobility, with the goal of collectively moving towards more sustainable festival experiences.

The green blackbox – where are we going from here?
host: Holger Jan Schmidt (YOUROPE, DE)
At the end of two exciting days, this last item on the program awaits us. No clairvoyant abilities are required to predict that many will again draw energy and inspiration from this GO Group workshop. Fortunately, it has always been that way and we are grateful for it. But how do we use this and where do we direct our (joint) efforts when we leave Bratislava behind us. We are using our last hour as a group to look into the backbox and bring some (green) light into the darkness together. Make plans, set goals, dream… What do you think? Are you with us?

Hotel special offers

We can offer you special hotel rates for these two hotels:

Please reach out to us if you are interested in hotel rooms. We are holding a limited number of rooms. The obligatory city tax is not included in this discount offer.