A video that is going viral and winning hearts world over shows Japanese fans cleaning up all the trash at Khalifa International stadium before leaving the stadium to celebrate their country’s surprise win over Germany in the ongoing FIFA World Cup in Qatar.

“What an inspiring message,” exclaims Shweta Jain, Chief Business Development Officer, Luxury, Reserve and Craft – India and South Asia at Diageo. Can we emulate it at all events, she asks. And then points to the Echoes of Earth (EOE) music festival in Bengaluru to be held on December 3 and 4, where Diageo brand Johnnie Walker is an active partner. “Echoes of Earth is a pioneering sustainability oriented music festival. It gets the kind of artists and audience who walk the talk on how you leave the environment around after a gathering,” she says. At the festival, Johnnie Walker has a campaign, “Walker of EOE”, highlighting a few people (a marine biologist, a musician and urban ecologist, a filmmaker, and an entrepreneur) who are doing yeoman stuff for the environment.

“The bigger narrative that Johnnie Walker stands for is Keep Walking. It has inspired generations to do the right thing while pushing boundaries,” she says.

Walking the talk

“Some of the platforms we are associating with, or are propelling are not just talking about sustainability as lip service but walking the talk , through the glassware they use (biodegradable and recyclable) and eco friendly initiatives. At Echoes of Earth, the experience of the festival is enhanced by how the bar would be run pretty much in an ecofriendly way,” says Jain.

Festival Director Roshan Netalkar started EOE with the idea of showcasing how events can clean up their act. “I had been in the events space for two decades and used to see the debris and litter left behind after a show,” he describes. That’s how the concept of putting together a sustainability driven festival arose. Everything from the stage to the installations are made from recycled material or waste. “The first year was challenging,” he says. But with sponsors like Ikea, Johnnie Walker, Budweiser and U Solar’s backing, the festival that is held in a forest has grown and carved a space. Also, now students of design school Srishti are involved. It takes six months to put together the annual event that is now in its fifth edition.

Making impact

At the fest, IKEA is driving a conversation on how best to use old, unwanted and discarded furniture, pushing the concept of circular economy. Budweiser is helping with the solar bar and solar stage, which is powered by U Solar.

This year’s festival will have about 27 life-size art installations of the flora and fauna that fit into the theme of “circle of life.”

Can the festival be scaled like Jaipur Lit Fest? “We have deliberately followed a slow growth route. From an audience of 12,000 in 2019, we should see 20,000,” says Netalkar. But points to how they have received invites from the Goa government to be part of the ecotourism initiative. It’s certainly striking the right chords.

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