Le Guess Who? is dedicated to boundary-crossing music & culture from all over the world. Our mission is to platform underrepresented sounds* that are rarely heard in other places, but that have the power to enrich lives.
*with ‘sounds’, we do not only mean music, but also other art forms, disciplines, ideas, or ways of looking at the world.
Le Guess Who? strongly believes that music and art form a language that transcends cultures, words and borders. We see music and art as a way to bring people together: a means to combat stereotyping and stigmatization, and to foster understanding for each other and for different ideas.
Le Guess Who?’s artistic program is a manifestation of artists that offer new and inspiring ways to look at the world around us. The theme of Representing the Underrepresented is central within our artistic process: with a focus on equity and diversity, artists collectively paint a picture of the awe-inspiring diversity of human creativity.
In order to fulfill our mission and vision, attention to sustainability is a necessity. Without it, equity and diversity cannot arise within our festival. Diversity is what we strive for in our program, audience, partners, and team. Battling our current climate crisis is equally important, as it disproportionately affects the vulnerable on our planet and greatly exacerbates their situation, including people from the same underrepresented regions that Le Guess Who? platforms on stage.
We’re aware that, as a festival, we have a negative impact on the climate. At the same time, we want to take steps to reduce this impact where we can. Below, we list some of the ways in which we commit ourselves to a better world. This is by no means a finished plan or approach, but rather a starting point to explore more possibilities to create a sustainable festival model.
Social Sustainability & Accessibility
• Le Guess Who? is a member of the Green Deal Circular Festivals: a partnership between European festivals who collaborate to be circular and climate neutral by 2025.
• LGW is a member of PACT: a network of Utrecht cultural players who, together and within their own organizations, look for ways to become more diverse and inclusive.
• LGW has created a Code of Conduct which is available on our website and sent to artists, partners, and team members.
• LGW has made the Accessibility of venues visible on our website. We also offer Mobility Passes to those who need it during their visit to the festival.
• LGW collaborates with Possibilize for the project ‘Superkracht’, to develop the talents of young people with disabilities and make them visible in the cultural sector.
• In 2023, LGW works together with Marianne Dijkshoorn of Welkom Toegankelijkheid & Evenementen to give us advise and critical feedback on how we can make the festival more accessible for people with an (in)visible disability.
• LGW offers the 'Grant an Entry' initiative to welcome people who are interested in visiting the festival but do not have the financial resources to do so. For this, we collaborate with the Dutch Council for Refugees, NewBees, and Buddy to Buddy.
• LGW offers discounted tickets for students via CJP and to Utrecht residents with a low income via U-pas.
CO2 Compensation & Travel
• Where possible, LGW offers train travel for festival artists. To compensate for the CO2 emissions of air travel by artists, LGW collaborates with Natuur en Milieufederatie Utrecht (NMU).
• Starting in 2023, LGW will also offer visitors the option to compensate for the CO2 emission of their travel in the ticketing process; these compensation funds will go directly to NMU.
• Starting in 2023, LGW collaborates with Choo Choo to offer festival visitors an easier way of booking international train journeys.
Food, Waste & Production
• LGW catering for visitors, artists and crew is vegan. To combat food waste, we collaborate with BuurtBuik, who prepare healthy and free meals for local residents from collected food.
• In accordance with current legislation, LGW strives to be 100% free of single-use plastics in 2023 (front- & backstage). Plastic cups, glass bottles and cans used at the festival are currently already being recycled.
• All LGW merchandise is produced by local partners such as Katoenfabriek, who are committed to sustainable production. For our merchandise, we use organic and/or recycled materials.
• LGW is committed to reducing the amount of printed materials and has stopped producing program guides. Recycled paper is used as much as possible for print materials.
Partnerships & Education
• LGW collaborates with Innofest: an organization that helps startups to test their innovations (on the subject of sustainability) at festivals and living labs.
• LGW invests in Educational projects with several local schools; currently, we collaborate with X11 media en vormgeving, De Werkplaats Kindergemeenschap, Gerrit Rietveld College and Nimeto.
Photography by Rogier Boogaard & Tim van Veen.