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Musica Sulle Bocche International Jazz Festival

Jana Project was founded in 1997 and run a range of workshops, shows, international festivals and other jazz projects including the Musica Sulle Bocche Festival in Italy, which has been running since 2001.
The festival is set in Santa Teresa Gallura in Sardinia, a town of 5000 inhabitants and a tourist destination situated on the Bocche di Bonifacio strait. The Bonifacio Strait is a designated nature reserve and international marine park recognised by both Italy and France. It is also part of the Pelagos Sanctuary for Mediterranean Marine Mammals (formerly known as the Ligurian Sea Cetacean Sanctuary) between France and Italy. There is currently a pending application for the Bouches de Bonifacio to be listed as a UNESCO world heritage site. The landscape is additionally famous for its wind-sculpted rocks.
The festival is strongly influenced by the connection between the music and the landscape, so the environmental context influences the organisers’ commitment to sustainability. Nature is seen as an actor in the performance rather than scenery or backdrop.
The shows use minimal equipment and set-up, often taking place on the beach. Power is either taken from a mains grid connection or if none is available, small generators. In the last three years, the Jana Project have developed this format of music/landscape with the “Tramonti della Sardegna” concert series held at sunset in key locations with notable landscape, archaeology, and history; using music to amplify both the human and natural environment. Financial constraints are seen as an opportunity to enhance creativity: working with a minimal set-up and searching for ideal locations. Audience numbers are sometimes limited to ensure minimal impact on the environment.
The festival makes taking care of and respecting the site a focus of its communications. Culturally, the audience demographic therefore already tends to be sensitive to and respectful of the environment.
The local municipality has a wide range of green policies, including recycling programmes and the distribution of ashtrays for the beaches. The festival attempts to work with the municipality wherever possible to use this infrastructure and amplify existing municipal initiatives to the public.

Collaborations for the Environment 

In 2008, the Jana Project worked with an agency to calculate the total festival carbon emissions and compensate these: 64,252 kg of CO2 were offset through the planting of 16,581 m2 of new forests in Costa Rica. However, this scheme could not be maintained because of the associated costs. 
In 2009, the festival worked with and supported a Greenpeace campaign to ban oil tanker transit through the Bonifacio Strait – a dangerous shipping route increasing the risks of spills that could cause irreversible damage to the sensitive, protected habitats. Although regulations have been made more stringent in past years, the overall campaign has not yet been successful and over 140,000 tonnes of hazardous material continue to be transited through the strait annually.
In 2015, the festival partnered with the Regional Forest Agency. The agency had a stand during the festival to distribute information about avoiding forest fires, which are a significant problem in Sardinia during the summer, and give out educational material for schools and families. The festival also partnered with the agency and the environment and culture boards of the town council of Santa Teresa Gallura on a programme of local reforestation as a strategy to compensate, at least partially, for the CO2 emissions caused by the festival while at the same time helping to contribute to local environmental regeneration and conservation.
An area in a park near the local tower Torre di Longosardo, facing the Strait of Bonifacio and the Rena Bianca beach, a panoramic point from where it is possible to see the cliffs of Bonifacio in Corsica and the islands of the archipelago of the Maddalena, has been turned into the ‘garden of the festival Musica sulle Bocche’. The first tree planting action took place in November 2015, overseen by the district forest agency and involving students from the primary school of Santa Teresa Gallura. Over the years, additional trees will be planted – and the location will be used as a setting for concerts as part of the festival.

Creating a Jana Project Green Team

After participating at the "Take the Green Train" seminar at the Sage Gateshead in April 2015 and sharing their existing experience on sustainability, the festival decided to adopt a more structured approach to its green initiatives. The team working on the new edition of the festival formed a ‘Green Team’.
The Green Team adopted several operating principles:
  • It is not a formal membership, but a substantial one: this means that you adopt sustainable behavior wherever possible both at work and in everyday life;
  • Each person is tasked with figuring out all the solutions or best practices to avoid waste and reduce CO2e emissions in their own specific area of responsibility for the event;
  • Everyone must share the wider vision and awareness that even the smallest actions taken by each person can generate great changes.

Green Actions taken for 2015

  • In Sardinia, it is almost impossible to rely on public transport for work purposes, so the team tried to car-share wherever possible.
  • During the festival, a shuttle service was organised for all concerts outside the city centre. The use of this was incentivised through the all-inclusive ‘concert+transport’ ticket package.
  • Almost all of the publicity material was printed on sustainably certified paper (FSC). However, it was a challenge to find FSC-certified paper for bigger formats (6 m x 3 m posters), so the organisers were forced to use other paper.
  • To make electricity savings in the office, stand-by was implemented for short periods of non-use, switch-off for longer periods, multi-way sockets with single switches were used (to make it easier to turn off electricity at the socket), and energy saving light bulbs where used where possible.
  • All paper materials (notebooks, notepaper, meal tickets, etc.) left over from previous years were recycled.
  • All printing was avoided if not strictly necessary. For example, digital contracts were used, and digital boarding passes for travel.
  • The festival tried to promote the use of a QR-code to download the festival prorgramme in order to save paper. However, while the audience appreciated the effort, many people still preferred having the paper programme.
  • Instead of printing promotional flyers, they printed bookmarks, which are much less likely to be thrown away (and therefore also better marketing value!)
  • The team worked to completely eliminate the use of disposable plastic objects. For all the events organized by the association throughout the whole year only ecologically preferable options were used for food and beverages: stem glasses for wine, returnable tumbler glasses made of long-lasting plastic for other drinks, and plates and cutlery in biodegradable plastic.
  • The team also made a conscious effort to keep themselves updated about other organizations, activities, exchanges, and events on sustainability to have an overview about whatever is happening in the "green" sector.

Key objectives for the future

  • Continuing to address the impacts of printing by gaining a better understanding of the environmental impacts of digital vs. paper marketing materials, and further reducing the amount of printed materials produced in conjunction with the event.
  • Exploring the use of renewable energy (sun or wind power) to power sound amplification and other technical equipment as the festival is increasing the number of concerts held in natural landscape sites as well as at historical and archeological sites that do not have access to a mains grid electrical energy supply.