Social sustainability

The social power of events

In order to ensure a sustainable livelihood for events, it is important to abide by all 3 of the P’s. In other words, working on a financially sound organisation, and in the organisation and execution of events, taking into consideration reducing the impact on the environment. But what role does the social pillar play in this?

Advantages of socially sustainable organising:

  • A stronger (internal) organisation
  • Organisational growth
  • A stronger bond with stakeholders
  • Improvement of the reputation of the organisation/event
  • Increased attractiveness for (new) stakeholders

Social sustainability in relation to events can be approached in two ways: internally and externally. When we talk about internal (organisational level), we are talking about the mission, vision, norms and values upon which all decisions will be based. But also organising with respect for all internal stakeholders such as permanent staff, freelancers and interns. And if we are talking about external, this can be set out on 4 levels:


Concern for all external stakeholders of the organisation. Examples include using volunteers/ people with a disadvantage on the labour market, choosing suppliers with as little impact on the environment as possible.


Concern for all visitors to the festival grounds. Examples include accessibility for everyone, drug awareness, hearing damage campaign.


Using the social power of the gathering of festival visitors to strengthen the (local) community. Examples include using local crops for the festival catering, a tour for those living in the area.


Using the social power of the gathering of festival visitors to strengthen society. Examples include a volunteers’ day in the vicinity of the festival, using festivals as testing grounds for innovation.

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