Monday, 18 January 2021

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SDGs go Rock‘n’Roll at German Hurricane & Southside Music Festivals

southside rock festival

Arctic Monkeys, Arcade Fire, Kraftklub, Franz Ferdinand: close to 140,000 visitors came last weekend to see these and other bands at the Southside and Hurricane Festival. For this year’s edition the UN partnered with the organizers to bring a special guest on stage: the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Featured on video screens and festival websites, the SDGs allowed festival-goers to learn about the global roadmap for a more sustainable, equal and prosperous planet by 2030.

Having started with less than 20,000 visitors in the late 1990’s, the “sister festivals” in the South and North of Germany today count among the biggest rock events in the country. With more and more fans traveling to the festival sites each year, the organizers also boosted their efforts to make their events more sustainable. As part of the sustainability concept “Grün Rockt” (“Green Rocks”), music fans are now encouraged to carpool and to avoid food waste, plastic cups and other rubbish. The SDGs – a holistic development agenda adopted by UN Member States in 2015 – showed this year’s visitors the global challenges behind these local actions.

Why do we need to carpool? Because air pollution causes 3 million deaths per year. Why is it important to recycle? Because every year nearly 13 million tons of plastic waste are dumped into the sea. Making these connections helps to inspire people to act on behalf of the SDGs and create the political will to achieve the 17 Goals.

During a video-screening music fans used the opportunity to take a break from the party and learn about each of the Goals. Ranging from the eradication of poverty and gender equality to climate action and responsible consumption, the SDGs – just like many musicians – tell the story of a better world. For an audience as young as the festival crowd the stakes are high. If we fail to make progress in these areas, today’s youth will bear the brunt of the damage.

Click here to find out how you can help to achieve the SDGs.


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