DescriptionEnvironmental sustainability has become a central concern in current event industry and related event research. ‘Green Events’-Accreditations are an expression of the subject’s relevance in the contemporary event industry. Additionally, the growing canon of scholarly literature on sustainable events studies indicates the increasing interest in the emerging research field (Pernecky, 2013; Mair & Smith, 2021). While these on-going debates are very practice-driven and focus on the sustainable production of events, the underlying discourses require further investigation: What kind of conceptual narratives of environmental sustainability are constructed, fostered, and produced in, through and beyond events?
In an exploration of the conceptual narratives of environmental sustainability, the event framework of Bad Ischl-Salzkammergut European Capital of Culture 2024 (Bad Ischl-SKGT 2024) serves as an intriguing case study. Not only does the event emphasis sustainable practices through a catalogue of minimum standards for programme partners, but the project further challenges concepts, builds narratives and shapes discourses surrounding the notion of ‘climate culture’ throughout the programming of cultural activities in the year-long event-based regeneration process.
This approach fits well with the increasing attention to socio-cultural value production that the event-based regeneration framework of the European Capital of Culture (ECOC) increasingly facilities (Immler & Sakkers, 2014). While regenerative ambitions were originally mainly addressed through a focus on economic and/or socio-economic dimensions, the contemporary ECOC initiative has become gradually a setting for the negotiations of socio-cultural values contributing to socio-cultural and even socio-political regeneration: Linz’s exploration of its national socialist history in 2008 or Donostia/ San Sebastian’s ambition for peace and reconciliation in 2016 are just two examples, in which the ECOC celebration acted as a platform for negotiations of socio-cultural values. With the case study of Bad Ischl-SKGT 2024 and its negotiations of the notion of ‘climate culture’, the regenerative ambitions are directed towards environmental sustainability as a socio-cultural value in the event context.
Embedded within a larger project entitled ‘Between Culture and Salt. Anthropocene negotiations of socio-environmental transformations in the context of Bad Ischl-Salzkammergut, European Capital of Culture 2024’, this paper theoretically engages with environmental sustainability as a socio-cultural value and empirically explores in what way these considerations are expressed in the context of Bad Ischl-SKGT 2024. Through the close reading of PR materials, participative observations of event productions, and interviews with key stakeholders, the research explores in what way the notion of ‘climate culture’ establishes a conceptual narrative of environmental sustainability in the event of Bad Ischl-SKGT 2024.
|Period||5 Jul 2023|
|Held at||University of Surrey, United Kingdom|
|Degree of Recognition||International|