© Volker Lannert

Holger Jan Schmidt (FR)

Holger Jan Schmidt is one of Europe’s leading networkers in the music festival branch. Among various topics he has a special interest in sustainability and social responsibility for festivals and events. Holger is General Secretary of YOUROPE – the European Festival Association, the most important representation of European popular music festivals with more than 100 members from 25 European countries. Part of his duties is the project management of the international Take A Stand initiative and campaign for the (live) music sector, which was launched in 2017 to create a movement encouraging social cohesion in our society as well as promoting awareness and tolerance. He also leads the pan-European think-tank GO Group (Green Operations Europe) that focuses on sustainability related and environmental issues at events.

Holger contributes with his expertise to various European-funded projects such as FUSION – Festivals as social innovation incubators (Erasmus+), FUTURE FESTIVAL TOOLS – green competency for event professionals (Erasmus), GEX – Green Europe Experience (Creative Europe) and EVERYWH2ERE – bringing mobile hydrogen energy to festivals (HORIZON 2020). He is co-author of the book Stay SOUND & CHECK Yourself dealing with stress and mental health in the live music, festival and event industry and co-wrote the “Sounds For Nature guidelines for environmentally friendly events”. 

Why Holger Jan Schmidt?

“Holger Jan Schmidt has been active in the festival business for more than 20 years and has developed into one of the most important networkers in the European context. Sustainability and social responsibility have always played a central role in his work. Above all, the project “EVERYWH2ERE” – bringing mobile hydrogen energy to festivals (HORIZON 2020), which he manages, represents a current and important development for the European festival market on the way to climate neutrality.”