Live Music Exchange Resources

The Power Behind Festivals: a guide to sustainable power at outdoor events – Green Festival Alliance (2012)


Author(s): Green Festival Alliance
Publisher:  Green Festival Alliance
Date: 2012

After 18 months of exploration into the world of temporary power, the Green Festival Alliance (GFA) has created The Power Behind Festivals; a guide to sustainable power at outdoor events.

Click here to download the full report.

Power lies at the heart of festivals. It also has significant implications for the economic and environmental success of any event. With rising fuel costs and an increasing awareness of sustainability, the industry is asking for more knowledge, understanding, and expertise on sustainable power at festivals.

We know that:

  • 12 million litres of diesel were consumed at UK festivals in 2011, costing in excess of £12m, and producing 31,600 tonnes CO2e – enough to provide electricity to 12,000 homes for an entire year.
  • If the UK’s summer festivals cut their diesel consumption by 10%, over 1 million litres of diesel and more than 3,000 tonnes of C02 would be saved in one year alone.
  • The overall contribution of reported solar and wind power to total festival power consumption in the UK was less than 1%.
  • Of the 94 festivals using the IG Tool for festivals in 2011, 5% of power was provided by WVO biodiesel.
  • There are many examples of festivals, large and small, that are already reducing fuel and cost by approaching power more sustainably.

Who is it for?

This guide equips festival organisers and promoters with the knowledge and insights to make more informed decisions on powering your event. It enables site, procurement, and production managers to work with power suppliers to deliver a power system that works for you, your concessions, contractors and audience.

What does it include?

  • Summary of the current situation and future directions
  • Case studies & practical examples
  • A guide to temporary power systems
  • An in-depth glossary, and advice on the language of power
  • Action lists, next steps & example role responsibilities

What will it do?

The guide demonstrates how, through joined-up thinking and by developing a culture of energy awareness, any festival can save money and carbon. In fact, we believe you can make fuel savings of at least 10% as a result of implementing the ideas in this guide.

“This guide responds to requests from festivals for more information about how to manage power more efficiently and aims to spark an industry-wide conversation . There’s no magic bullet, but there are gains to be made if we move forward together and share experiences.”

Chris Johnson, Chair, Green festival Alliance

“This Guide will provide information and hopefully some inspiration to those who will have to balance the competing elements of expediency, practicality, lack of expertise and cost when setting out the requirements for their events to enable them to achieve the most sustainable but practical infrastructure.”

Bill Eagen, Head Olympic Design Engineer, Aggreko

“We will be sharing this guide with colleagues across the BBC to raise awareness of the issue and hopefully drive change.”

Richard Smith, BBC Sustainable Production Manager


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