On a balmy and calm midwinter Mallee evening, locals and visitors walked, pedalled and car-pooled to Mildura Eco Village for a celebratory feast of community engagement, art, music, food and eco-friendly ideas which encapsulated the Mildura Fringe EcoFest 2019.
Mildura Eco Village is a four hectare sustainable living site that includes an Education Centre, Solar Distillation Demonstration site, Community Garden and Eco House, and was the perfect site to host and reflect the values of the Mildura Fringe EcoFest 2019.
In the aftermath of EcoFest 2019, Arts Mildura General Manager, Gareth Hart, commented:
“The feedback so far has been very positive! The community really invested in the event, it had a different ‘vibe’ to other Fringe events, and, as former Mildura Mayor Mark Eckel reflected at the start of the event, “What an innovative event!””
Gareth continued, “I thought we demonstrated true sustainability – in people power – throughout. And the fact that the whole event was single use free, carbon offset, and sustainable.
This was demonstrated in so many ways:
- pedal power for the cinema
- reused crockery from the bar
- LED lighting not incandescent lighting (much more eco!)
- to the small amount of power we used for the LED lighting being the excess power generated by the solar panels
- Eco paper and dyes for the posters (plus a very minimal print quantity – around 1/3 of what we usually print)
- Wood fired heating for the cob over cooking
- Encouraging everyone to car pool / pedal / walk
- Carbon offset/tree-planting donation to balance out the omissions that artists/crew incurred travelling to the festival
We surveyed the audience community on the night, and some really inspiring outcomes were measured, namely that:
- 88% of attendees reporting an increased sense of belonging
- 90% of attendees thought that the event increased the cultural contribution to Mildura
- 92% of attendees felt that this was an inclusive event
- 83% of attendees mentioned that they met new people at the event
- 81% of attendees felt that the ECOfest was a distinctive event on the Mildura Arts calendar
This is such positive feedback and really speaks to the unique cultural offering of Mildura Fringe, and some of the deep social benefits that this type of programming brings about.”