Galway Jazz Festival 2019 to Focus on Sustainability

2019 art work for Galway Jazz Festival by Mel Keane.

Galway Jazz Festival 2019 to Focus on Sustainability

Festival reducing flight travel by 30% this year due to climate crisis.

Galway Jazz Festival, which takes place from 2 to 6 October, will have a sustainability theme this year in its programming and is also taking a number of steps to reduce its carbon footprint.  

‘We had a debrief in January,’ Festival Manager Ciarán Ryan told the Journal of Music, ‘and ran the rule over everything we did… Doing things the same … isn’t an option any more.’ 

Slow travel
The festival is significantly reducing the number of flights it uses. Last year, approximately 40 UK and Europe return flights were used for travelling artists, but this year it has offered alternative ‘slow travel’ (trains, boats and buses) to international artists and this reduced flights by 10%. A further 20% reduction was achieved by using more artists based in Ireland.  

Slow travel wasn’t possible for all international artists, but ‘everybody’s interested in it, everybody’s… open to having a conversation about it,’ says Ryan. The festival is also engaging with local authorities to encourage car-pooling through free parking and aiming to stop one-off plastic bottle use through highlighting which pubs, restaurants and cafes will refill water for audiences. 

Visual ecosystems
The festival has just released this year’s programme art work by Mel Keane (above). The design ‘takes its cue from the imagery of weather and tidal charts and aims to create visual ecosystems that are layered, colourful and playful in the same way a great piece of music can be’. 

The festival has already presented a climate-focussed concert this year. In March, Galway Jazz presented the Irish premiere of 12 Years by British composer and pianist Sarah Nicolls. The work was inspired by the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) statement last October.  Galway Jazz Festival will announce its full programme in mid-August.  

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Published on 1 July 2019

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