Green Disco Partners with Nashville’s Deep Tropics Fest To Go Net Positive
Megan Scallorn – Channel Tres performs at
Deep Tropics in 2019. That year the boutique festival’s sustainability efforts included collecting 700 pounds of compost material and sending 300 pounds of non-recyclable plastics and waste to Terra Cycle to be reused to make into other plastic products. festival
Returning in 2021 to safely put on an event would be a lofty enough goal for most festival organizers. But the organizers of Deep Tropics Music Art & Style Festival are determined to take their greening efforts to the next level to become a net positive energy and water event. As Deep Tropics’ website explains, net positive “simply means we create more energy (and water) than we use.”
The third edition of the boutique festival is set for Aug. 27-28 at Nashville’s Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park. The event will feature a socially distanced model at 33% capacity or 1,000 tickets (subject to change based on pandemic restrictions at the time of the festival) with a lineup featuring Claude VonStroke, Yung Bae, Cassian, Whethan, Dombresky and more.
“An acceleration of planetary chaos has many of us waking up to a sense of accountability to live more intentionally and purposefully,” Deep Tropics executive producer Blake Atchison – who co-founded the event with his twin brother Joel – tells Pollstar. “The Deep Tropics team realized the need to integrate regenerative design practices into the festival infrastructure.”
Blake adds, “Our primary goal is to create life-sustaining systems that integrate the needs of society while preserving the integrity of nature. We need to move beyond sustaining the status quo and move towards innovative approaches that provide awareness and life-affirming options for living and thriving on planet Earth.”
– Deep Tropics
– Deep Tropics
To support Deep Tropics’ mission “to be the greenest festival in the United States,” organizers have partnered with Green Disco, a newly launched public benefit corporation (PBC) that works with event organizers to implement eco-friendly initiatives that engage with attendees at the point of purchase, on-site, and after the event.
Coalition Entertainment founder Peter Gross, whose company does talent buying and other services for events and festivals across the country, is on the board of Green Disco and an advisor for the organization. He explains that he’s been doing everything he can to“help these young hustlers make their vision come to life.”
He says, “I’ve always been inspired by organizations of initiatives that give back. It’s super important to me. I’ve served on the MusiCares young ambassador board for almost a decade, I sit on the Propeller board, and when I was approached by the Green Disco team and learned what they were about, I had to be a part of it.
“I was able to link them with my good friends Blake and Joel over at Deep Tropics as their vision when it comes to sustainability and giving back to the earth is very algined. It’s been very cool to watch the relationship with Deep Tropics x Green Disco grow and I’m excited to see it come to life at the live event this summer!”
Along with event tickets, Deep Tropics announced April 12 that it is selling Green Disco “eco-bands” for $20, an optional hemp wristband that pays for the planting of 100 trees in Kenya through nonprofit partner Trees for the Future. The trees sequester an average of 3,882 pounds of carbon annually and grow fruit such as avocados, mangos, and pears for local schools and communities. Each band includes a $1 donation for Nashville-based nonprofit Urban Green Lab, which educates youth on sustainable practices and cultivating their own gardens.
“Deep Tropics is already bringing [hundreds] of like-minded individuals together. So we really think that we can just intensify that by adding this little wristband that’s a badge of honor that shows, hey, I care about the environment, my impact, and I did something proactive about it,” Jonah Geschwind – who co-founded Green Disco with Maxwell Landy and Jacob Chandler – says.
He adds, “The idea is making [the eco-bands] a badge of honor because when people are publicly recognized for doing good, they’re a lot more willing and susceptible to actually do good.”
Geschwind explains that if a minority of attendees purchase eco-bands it will offset the carbon footprint of the festival, including transportation emissions. An estimated 60% to 80% of an event’s carbon footprint stems directly from attendee travel, also known as unavoidable emissions.
“The two main values that we have are transparency and measurability,” Geschwind says. “The whole idea behind [Green Disco] is really just collective success and so by being transparent in our efforts and by being super measurable with what our outcomes are, what our impact is, we really believe that we can kind of spur this collective effort of people uniting and trying to create a greener future. … Because of how measurable the impacts are with the eco-band we know exactly how many tickets we need to sell in order to make an event completely carbon neutral [or net positive].”
On the festival grounds, Green Disco will have a 10X20 area set up where attendees can learn about the environment, along with QR codes throughout the event to inform fans about sustainability. Green Disco will also bring in nonprofit international event certification body A Greener Festival to do an on-site carbon footprint analysis and provide an environmental impact report. Geschwind says that following the report, Green Disco will help consult the event to make it net positive.
– Green Disco
badge of honor
– Green Disco
badge of honor
In 2019 Deep Tropics collected 2,800 pounds of mixed recycling along with 1,200 pounds of glass, which was crushed and reused as fill material in the construction of a monolithic dome; 700 pounds of compost material that was implement into a local permaculture farm’s closed loop system; and 300 pounds of non-recyclable plastics and waste that was sent to TerraCycle to be reused to make other plastic products like park benches. Deep Tropics diverted more waste from entering landfills via its reusable cup program and its no single-use plastic policy for vendors. The event also donated $3,000 to support conservation efforts of Greenways for Nashville and hosted a permaculture action day at Grow Enrichment Center to support a food forest in a city park.
Deep Tropics’ 2021 projects include designing art installations with sustainable materials, integrating renewable energy into the festival infrastructure, expanding its reusable cup program to include reusable plates and utensils, and providing sustainable transportation initiatives including a free bike/skateboard check. Other initiatives include biochar production and a commercial rainwater catchment system.
Following the festival, Green Disco will host a Leave No Trace Party Aug. 29 for volunteers to clean up waste left behind, featuring food trucks and live sets from local DJs.
“One of the biggest areas that we’re helping with is figuring out post-event how do we keep individuals who attended the event engaged and really minimize the impact of [the festival] on the local area? … If we could get people to prioritize the planet or at least consider the environment when they’re doing entertainment, it’s so much easier to get them to actually implement it into their day-to-day life. We really, truly believe that if we can get people to prioritize the planet during entertainment, it can really become a mainstay in someone’s life,” Geschwind says.