Gent Jazz and Polestar 2: a perfect duet
Since 2002, Gent Jazz has been a place for music lovers to experience intimate concerts, with performances from world-famous artists, as well as unknown gems. At this year’s festival Sting, Melody Gardot, Van Morrison, and Agnes Obel were some of the stars who took the stage to share their magic. Another star was also there to perform.
Polestar did not only go to Ghent to enjoy the jazzy vibes, but also to reduce the CO₂ output by providing a climate-neutral shuttle service. The 12 Polestar cars at Gent Jazz did an average of 2,000km each, while ensuring that all artists arrived climate neutral at the festival - and in doing so reduced carbon emissions by just under 5.5 tonnes. Once they were done transporting the artists, festival-goers could also make use of the shuttle service to experience the cars first-hand.
We sat down with Michel Eeckman, Sales Manager for Gent Jazz to talk about the parallels between the festival and Polestar, and why it is a perfect duet.
Michel, what does the partnership between Gent Jazz and Polestar look like, and why did you choose Polestar as a sponsor?
As Sales Manager, I am responsible for all types of relationships at Gent Jazz. We are constantly looking for partners and sponsors who share our values. Polestar’s attendance at the festival adds great value in making this festival a unique experience, which becomes clear due to the enthusiastic response it got from everyone. In addition, Polestar's vision is also in line with another core value of Gent Jazz, namely social engagement. Diversity, solidarity, and sustainability are key concepts for us, and we extend those principles into the smallest details of the festival. The 100% electric shuttles, which offer enormous comfort to our artists and guests, are a perfect example of this commitment. So, choosing Polestar as a partner was a clear choice for me, for more than one reason.
Polestar wants to facilitate the shift to a more sustainable life; how does Gent Jazz encourage sustainable habits?
Not only is the transport at our festival green, but we also apply this pillar of sustainability to packaging, the range of food and drinks we offer, as well as our communication. As an example, we have been working with reusable cups for 10 years now, and we introduced this before it became mandatory. In fact, we make sure to avoid any plastic that cannot be recovered. In terms of food, both in our food trucks and in the VIP zone, we go for sustainable and local options. We also promote veganism so every food truck must offer vegan alternatives, and those alternatives are so good that our non-vegan visitors enjoy eating them as well.
Together with our caterer, we strive for zero food waste. That is why they only cook quantities based on real demand, and if there are surpluses, we make sure that they are reworked or donated.
You are now driving a Polestar 2 yourself. What is your first impression of the car?
I've been driving the Polestar 2 for about four months now, and so far, my experience has been nothing but positive! The comfort, the quiet engine, the superior audio system, and the music experience are all exceptional. I wouldn't go back to a petrol car again. Charging also goes smoothly. I live and work in Ghent, and we do not (yet) have charging facilities at our workplace, but in the city, there is always a charging station nearby. A small behavioural adjustment is required from my end Where I previously used to refuel, I now have to make a habit of charging my car instead.
Why do you think it is important to make the switch to electric transportation?
This turnaround is important for our entire society since we are confronted with the consequences of global warming every day. In addition to that, electric cars are also very pleasant for people who do not drive themselves, as decreased pollution and much less noise accompany EVs.
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