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How the most responsible festival in France helps change mentalities

How the most responsible festival in France helps change mentalities

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Eric Mottard
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The Crussol festival received the award for the more eco-responsible event during the event “Objectif Green”. We speak to Olivier Malinaud, CEO of the Anthakarana agency, which organizes it. An agency that integrates CSR approaches to optimize its environmental and social impacts. “We create events aware of the problems, to take into account environmental impacts, social interactions with local actors and territories”, he says. “We are moving towards something that makes sense. We collaborate with the Good Planet Foundation, which helps young people, for example, to adopt the correct energy gestures, better understand energy problems through fun and educational tools.

Are events the best tool to change perceptions and customs?

Yes, with this in mind I entered the adventure 7 years ago. The agency was created by the singer Zaz, very sensitive to these issues. I come from the management of common goods (territorial and environmental strategy) and in 2014 we wanted to bring together the artistic world (a sector that encourages, moves, helps to change) and my world (sustainable development) that was reserved for a niche and had a a bit heavy side (seen as expensive, inaccessible, complicated to understand…). We see that through the arts and events, we can reach more people. With popular artists like at the festival, people come to concerts, in a festive time and with an open mind. If we pass them messages about change at this time, people are more open and receptive. In fact, every year people tell us that thanks to the festival they have changed, they have committed themselves…

Events, ephemeral in nature, can be seen as not necessarily responsible, but allow behavior to be changed in a way that will last throughout the year, hence the overall life cycle analysis. is positive. But if we focus on production, there is work left and we have to move towards lightweight design, transportation optimization, etc.

Why this impact? What is there at the event that raises awareness?

The emotion. We ask ourselves questions about our model of society. Faced with these questions, everyone does what they can. But experts and politicians often cause anxiety: they say we need sustainable development because resources are finite, humanity is going to die… But we can see this as a new challenge that humanity must take up. It is true that it is difficult, we have to question ourselves… but rethinking society is a very stimulating challenge. And events allow us to bring the emotion that allows us to see things in a constructive way. The joy of D-Day makes us think that it is possible, it makes us want to reinvent ourselves. A catastrophic debate does not help.

The festival has a musical part and a debate part. Is it a mixed experience for many people?

Yes, but not enough. If this idea of the debate is communicated by the artists and they make the game, there is much more participation in the debates, because the artist is a prescriber. Then people come for the music, but between concerts there are free moments where people participate in workshops and debates. The coexistence of the festival makes many people participate. But it is difficult to know exactly, it would be necessary to compare with another place where there are the same number of people.

Do they measure the impact after the event?

We don’t do a study, we only have qualitative results, messages from attendees who talk about their experience and what changes in their lives afterwards, but nothing statistical. We also see that we have an impact on the local companies and communities that collaborate in this event. Intuitively, this is positive but it is tricky: we cannot attribute a change to a single factor.

Has the local economic fabric changed thanks to the festival?

We contribute to it, yes, we are an accelerating factor. We bring a new mood, we make people want, we bring sympathy, sweetness.

Your principles to stimulate change?

We are talking about the management of common goods. We must reinforce the identity of the other, respect it. If we make them feel guilty, we will not succeed. If they’re not doing something, it’s probably for a reason. And it is necessary to provoke desire rather than coercion. Giving desire is stronger and more lasting than obligation (and today we only work under duress). Finally, to be humble with what we know and to focus above all on dialogue and moving forward together.

The most meritorious thing you have done?

Consumption. We never stop choosing local service providers. And 2 years ago we stopped selling water and gave it away. A large turnover loss (water) or a significant cost (production costs). It was a lot of effort but it was worth it. The 2nd is the fidelity of the festival-goers, the volunteers, the team… and every year it is the same joy and people come back.

Your frustration?

Let it be that difficult. There are still many people who criticize the price (39 euros), or the impacts on the site, although we take many measures to protect the space. A crushed flower is cause for tears, but the event sensitizes 15,000 people. And the energy to make up for a complaint is enormous.

The festival

Le Crussol Festival is an eco-citizen musical meeting launched in 2017. It brings together the public, associations and companies around a rich program in Saint-Peray (Ardèche), an exceptional site classified Natura 2000*, overlooking the Rhône Valley .

This meeting has an environmental and social approach to promote exchange, respect for diversity and cultural variety. It brings together the public around associative spaces to build together a supportive and sustainable society thanks to animations installed in an associative citizen village (with carbon terminals to understand their impacts in the context of their movements).

It integrates associative, economic and territorial institutional actors into its value chain to involve them in its organization.

  • 80% of suppliers are within a radius of less than 120 km from the site
  • 100% of food service providers are within a 50km radius.

The festival is committed to a CSR approach signed by its employees, volunteers, production teams and supported by concrete actions to reduce its environmental impact:

  • Water management measures: elimination of plastic bottles, free distribution of water bottles
  • 76 m3 of water saved in 2022 thanks, among other things, to the installation of dry toilets
  • Choice of exclusively local products (except condiments)
  • Light installations, made with recyclable materials (mainly wood), classification of assembly and disassembly waste to optimize material flows
  • A scenery that integrates the idea of upcycling
  • Prohibition of the use of single-use plastic
  • The event is supplied with 100% green energy and limits greenhouse gas emissions thanks to the elimination of generators.

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