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Generation Future: Looking Forward

Generation Future: Looking Forward

January 28, 2020
By Leeds International Festival

We are  putting our best foot forward in terms of embracing the theme this year.  As a Living Wage employer, we have made a pact to hold ourself to high sustainability standards.

The pact

As an international festival with a huge reach across different generations, we have a responsibility to promote thought and discussion, and to encourage exploration and action on what we as a generation can do to help shape a better future for all.

Leeds International Festival is committed to contributing to those positive impacts on the future, helping the Generation of Today ensure there is a world for the Generation of Tomorrow.

Environmental Impact

In collaboration with Energy Revolution, we will be working towards reducing our carbon emissions and impact on the environment. We will be compiling data on our emissions as a whole festival, and working towards being as efficient as possible in the short term and setting a benchmark for improvements for years to come.

The festival will look at tracking audience travel emissions and offsetting artist mileage with initiatives including tree planting, as well as thinking about energy consumption.

The festival will use the most logical footprint for all speakers’ travel, staff travel and more, and use public transport, where possible.

We will only recruit volunteers from the locality and encourage them to use public transport to attend festival events, (therefore minimising footprint).


We recognise festivals can accrue a lot of waste and are considering waste reduction and recycling initiatives for 2020 and beyond.

The festival will have no single use plastics in the L20 Cube, and will look at utilising vegware.

The festival will use recycled material for marketing and merchandise (where needed) will be ethically and /or locally sourced, where we can.  We encourage all our event partners to do the same.

We prioritise the use of digital tickets, and will work to minimise the use of printed tickets, where they are a necessity.

The festival prioritises working with local suppliers, where possible, investing back into the local community. 


The festival is a platform to showcase the talents and creativity of the people of Leeds alongside inspirational and innovative international artists.

We aim to provide events which attract a wide range of people from the community as well as inviting visitors from further afield.


The festival will always promote and platform equality and diversity, and represents Leeds, truly, on an international stage.

A not for profit festival, income is invested back into continuing the widening participation and engagement opportunities for artists in future years.

Leeds International Festival is proud to be a real Living Wage employer

The real Living Wage is an hourly rate of pay set independently and updated annually (not the UK government’s National Living Wage), calculated according to the basic cost of living in the UK. Employers choose to pay the Living Wage on a voluntary basis.

Festival Executive Gemma Holsgrove explained:

“As an international festival with an ever growing reach across different communities and generations, we are committed to encouraging, exploring and contributing to the positive ideas, initiatives and impacts which we as a generation can have to help shape a better future for all.”

“The pact and our January challenge see Leeds Int Fest looking at how we can review and then improve all we do as part of our responsibility to ensure there is a world for the generation of tomorrow.”

Follow the progress of the Leeds International Festival team, or join the campaign yourself, by following @LeedsIntFest and #WeAreGenerationFuture.