Circular: Festival as a testing ground

Wednesday, October 11 2017
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Is it possible to use all the raw materials, energy and materials used in a festival to make a positive contribution to the environment? Yes for sure. Every year, the 700 Dutch festivals attract 21 million visitors. Per person 2.33 kilograms of waste remains in the festival areas.

Amsterdam DGTL Festival & Sustainability DGTL want to be the world’s first circular festival and has been working since its establishment in 2012 to reduce the environmental impact of the event. For example, the festival runs on green energy, recycles plastic to new products, its catering is fully vegetarian and urine is processed into manure for city gardens. Making the festival vegetarian, alone saved around 53 tons of CO2 and 14 million liters of water. Apart from this, it stimulates awareness among visitors and among co-organizers. Circular becomes the norm and that works contagiously.

Festivals bring people together worldwide. At the same time they are also inspiring gathering places of all kinds of innovative ideas, high tech and low tech. There are also good ideas. It is now up to innovative companies, municipalities, startups and universities to look for such collaboration with festivals. Let’s use these front runners!


Company Profiles

Apenkooi Events is the music event company of the next generation. By always bringing new talent, the best artists and using our creativity while constantly seeking for innovations, we turn every festival into a true playground.

Creating next gen playgrounds within the festival landscape with music as our main pillar is what drives us.

Having fun, involve and interact with the next generation will be our objective for years to come..when our visitors have smiles on their faces, we have too.

Also very Important for us is to organize every event as sustainable as possible. Collaboration with our partners and making our visitors and our environment aware of what impact we make on society, is the way to keep it real for ourselves.


The electronic music festival DGTL has ambitions to become the world’s first circular music festival.

City of Amsterdam

As the first municipality in the world, Amsterdam made a quantitative evaluation in 2016 of the opportunities of a circular economy. It emerged that a circular economy creates new business, has a positive economic impact and contributes directly to a sustainable and viable society. After the research was submitted to residents, knowledge institutions and businesses, two complementary programs were drawn up: one with municipal projects and one with projects in which the municipality works with parties in the city: the Circular Innovation Program. Within this program, various circular innovation projects take place at different levels with the aim of gaining insight and becoming a 100% circular city by 2050. The Amsterdam circular approach is characterized by innovative collaborations, chain approaches, innovation, research, and encouraging the city to be used as a living lab for circular innovations. What is most noticeable is that this development is not driven from one organization or imposed from above, but literally occurs on a grassroot level. Many parties develop many solutions and adaptation takes place based on shared interests. When something is scalable, it is quickly taken over. Ultimately, cities should not see sustainability and circular to merely reduce negative effects. If we really want to regain our future, then we should focus on creating positive effects.

Mission Projects