Who doesn’t love the most important musical and artistic event of the year in Ireland? Electric Picnic is a huge festival that every year sees more than 70,000 participants coming from all over the world for its vibrant and dynamic atmosphere. Each year worldwide artists perform on the many stages of the festival for the entertainment of huge and diverse audiences. From pop to trad music, comedy shows, inspiring talks and discussions on current global themes and issues, displays and games, Electric Picnic offers enough entertainment to suit everyone’s tastes and ages. Then why not use the spotlight of this platform to raise awareness on an important theme such as climate change?

As ESC volunteers, my colleague Ahmet and I had the chance to spend 3 days volunteering at Electric Picnic as representatives of Good Energies Alliance in the Global Green area of the festival.  For years, Global Green has been the sustainability hub of the festival, gathering the most important environmental NGOs in Ireland. Its aim is to engage festival goers and involve them in activities, artistic installations, workshops, talks, discussions, music and poetry, and raise awareness on environmental and social-related topics.

To encourage people to adopt a more sustainable lifestyle, this year Global Green offered a vast programme to inform the public on biodiversity, bike culture, upcycling, renewable energies, sustainable agriculture and many other themes, and give a chance both to festival goers and organisations to share their ideas, exchange tips and discuss solutions. For example, do you know the meaning of ‘doughnut economy’? And what about the fundamental roles of agroforestry and hedgerows in keeping the land healthy? How can we deal with change and adapt in this globalised world driven by consumerism?

These questions were addressed not just in talks, but also through a more creative and interactive lens, with yoga and dance sessions, quizzes, painting and stitching to involve more people and create a safe space in which nature and creativity can flourish together and draw from one another. During a stroll through the Global Green area, you could stop at the Irish Cycle Network stall for a ride on a tricycle or make delicious apple juice at the apple pressing station and try out tasty and sustainable sourced food at the Cloughjordan Community Farm. In these 3 days we did our best to help by engaging the attendees, answering their questions and talking about our work at GEAI, both from an environmental point view and as European volunteers.

As a result of this experience, we managed to create valuable, long-lasting bonds with the organisations we collaborated with, sharing our interests and looking forward to partnerships for future projects.

To discover more about Global Green: https://www.electricpicnic.ie/explore/global-green/

To discover more about the Global Green organisations:

Irish Environmental Network: https://ien.ie/

Environmental Pillar: https://environmentalpillar.ie/

Cloughjordan Eco-village: https://www.thevillage.ie/

Cloughjordan Community Farm: https://cloughjordancommunityfarm.ie/

Léargas: https://www.leargas.ie/

GOAL: https://www.goalglobal.org/

Self Help Africa: https://selfhelpafrica.org/ie/

From left to right: Alanagh (Environmental Pillar), Ciaran (Environmental Pillar), Ahmet (GEAI), Chiara (GEAI)