SpotiFEST: Becoming A Sustainable Celebration

SpotiFEST: the ultimate playlist for Spotifiers for the summer. This year it was the same, but greener. At Spotify, the CommunityX team are focused on creating moments of community and connection throughout the year, and our mid-year celebration, SpotiFEST, is a cornerstone of this. To say that I could not be more proud of the CommunityX team at Spotify for pulling off yet another series of epic events and also making them sustainable celebrations, is an understatement. 

Our work is a truly global affair. It’s about celebrating the Spotify app, our playlists, our creators and most of all: our people. The Spotifiers themselves, and the work each person does on a day-to-day basis, are what makes Spotify a great place to work. That’s why we make sure to create the time and space for everyone to come together, connect and celebrate. We focus on creating the right atmosphere for our audience to feel free to be in the moment entirely and fully submerge themselves in the experience created. Top that up with moments of building connections, community and it sets the stage for magical moments to be imprinted in their Spotify memory banks.

This year, we have another achievement to celebrate. At our flagship event in Stockholm, we also, very consciously, focused on sustainability. And we’re proud to have been granted the Greentime Sustainable Event certification.

Sustainability In Employer Branding

Visibly demonstrating purpose through sustainability actions is another extremely powerful way to connect our employees’ personal values to the company’s cultural values. Many employees look for confirmation that they’ve joined a company which respects its responsibilities and will follow through on its promises. Therefore, an organisation’s sustainability strategy and subsequent actions are a major deciding factor when choosing to join a company, or even to stay with an employer.

Spotify is one of many organisations that have committed to reaching net-zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2030. To achieve this, we need to look at all parts of our business, including our CommunityX events. We followed Greentime’s planning tool during the production of SpotiFEST Stockholm and chose to target improvements to the areas where we could have the biggest impact. Therefore, we made changes in the event production and at the event itself, which reduced our carbon emissions and encouraged social change.

Sustainable Event Production

Here are the areas we zoomed in on:

Location & Venue

To have the right conditions for producing a sustainable event we chose a location that has event-infrastructure such as electricity, water, wi-fi, toilettes, weather proofing etc. ready to use. To start from this basis instead of building everything up from scratch on a field makes a huge impact both from an ecological, economic, and social perspective. 

Travel & Transports

The event site we chose was accessible with public transportation, which lowered our CO2 emissions as well as saving money and time for our Spotifiers. Making this venue and location choice also minimised the need for transport for catering since most of the food could come from local restaurants in the area.

Food, Beverage & Packaging

To lower the CO2 emissions, more than half of the food was vegetarian/vegan and served by local restaurant partners. We prioritise local, organic and fairtrade food. 

In keeping with our Substance Awareness & Support Program, we continued our approach to CommunityX events not centred around alcohol, extending the Spotify workplace environment in a different location, with the care for our employees’ mental wellbeing. Therefore, we ensured that there was a broad selection of non-alcoholic beverages and that the atmosphere was centred around creativity and inspiration. 

All food and beverages were served in reusable or recyclable, non-plastic, packaging.

Safety & Security

Ensuring that all our employees can feel safe in their place of work (and associated locations) is paramount to being a socially sustainable employer. Therefore, we continued to give attention to the personal safety of our employees, suppliers and performers. We had an extensive security-plan for the event and had several meetings and on-site visits to make sure we had the correct fencing, guards, emergency exits, first aid etc in place. We worked with the most experienced security company in the industry to make sure all guests and staff were safe during the event.

Diversity & Inclusion

The stage and activity program was proactively planned from a diversity perspective. We hosted a broad offering with everything from world-class music acts from different genres, to inclusive and creative guest activities. We also had a separate area within the event site that offered our employees a more chilled environment, giving them the opportunity to relax and reflect.  


It’s important to us that all of our employees feel valued, respected and included in every event we organise. We ensure accessible routes to all of the event areas, and viewing platforms to ensure everyone can see the stages, and we make changes and adaptations that cater for invisible disabilities too. For example, we made sure graphics and signage had background hues and high colour contrast for visibility, and we included a site map with the event layout, making it easier for attendees who needed extra assistance to know where they could find it. In addition, our pre-event communications included an opportunity for Spotifers to flag if they had any additional needs we should consider, which helped us to prepare the event production in a way that suited everyone’s needs.

Design & Décor

The mainstage was branded with digital content on an LED screen to minimise production of physical materials. We built up the event area with as much rental and reusable décor and design elements as possible, and we used absolutely no single-use plastic. The decors that are custom made for the event will be reused at other Spotify events or recycled.

Cleaning and waste management

We minimised waste from the event and any waste that could not be entirely eliminated was collected and sorted in a minimum of three different fractions. All bottles and beverages were recycled and all cleaning products were eco-certified.

We’re thankful to Greentime for helping us find opportunities to make our event more sustainable. We had sustainable approaches in place for much of the above beforehand, however, following a checklist and aiming for an official certification allowed us to find new areas to make improvements. After the success of this more sustainable event in Stockholm, we’ll be rolling out this more thorough approach to events in our two main hub events in SpotiFEST New York and SpotiFEST London, next year. In addition, we’ll share checklists with our smaller offices to help guide them on the things they can do to make their events more sustainable.

We know that one event will not change the world, but many cumulative small changes add up to a meaningful impact – we strive for this impact as a collective. If you are also aiming to reach net zero emissions, we recommend finding an approach to help you cross the ‘t’s and dot the ‘i’s with your different initiatives. And it’s certainly a win-win when you think about the impact this has on the world, and also your employer brand. We can all do more – and the planet, our businesses and our employees will thank us for it. 

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