© Nicolas Raymond
This year’s Eurovision Song Contest host Vienna is once again showing the world why it is regularly recognized as the most liveable city on earth.
The city of 1.8 million people is turning Europe’s biggest music event green.
On May 23rd, Vienna will be a role model in proving that large events can be equally fun and environmentally-friendly.
At a press conference last month, Alexander Wrabetz, who is the general director of Austria’s public broadcaster ORF said that this year’s Eurovision Song Contest was the perfect chance to show 200 million viewers that Austria uses its resources sustainably. Wrabetz hopes to sets a best practice example for future ESC hosts.
Reducing, re-using and recycling waste are on the agenda.
He said the sustainability scheme includes a number of actions that require performers, vendors and visitors alike to participate.
Instead of using private transport, Vienna has asked all 40 participating countries and the 20.000 expected fans to use public transport, free of charge, to get to the city hall and public viewing areas.
The performance stage itself will be lit by low energy LED OSRAM bulbs. With 44 metres in width, 14.3 metres in height and up to 22 metres in depth, the stage consists of 1288 individual LED pillars. Even on low energy, these LED pillars can produce a wide variety of lighting effects as can the 11 metre diameter stage floor.
Electricity required for the event will be delivered from sustainable sources.
While food stall vendors will be prohibited from using diesel-fuel generators, they are encouraged to sell locally grown organic produce.
To reduce waste, all drinks will be served in reusable cups and nearly 1000 bubblers across the city will allow tourists to fill up their own water bottles.
Any plastic left over after the event will be re-used to make handbags and go on sale. The recycling has been planned to the point that this year’s ESC winner will receive a present from recycled material during the final key handover.
Currently, Austria is the only country to encourage and carry out environmentally friendly events and conferences. Austria’s interior minister, Andrae Rupprechter, said he hopes that the song contest will raise awareness of the nation’s profile.
“We want this year’s Green Song Contest to prove that even large events can be green. We hope our high standards for the climate and environment can be transferred to the entire world,” he said.
With this year’s slogan being “Building Bridges” Vienna is not only trying to unite 40 nations in the heart of Europe but moreover, connecting us to our planet.
No matter what the outcome of the contest may be, it seems that this year Vienna is the winner of our hearts.