All posts by Bethan Riach

Call for Sustainable Power Suppliers to join Powerful Thinking programme

In 2017 Powerful Thinking, a not-for-profit project supporting best practice in temporary energy at events, launched
the Sustainable Power Supplier programme, an online resource for event organisers, connecting innovative suppliers with a growing community of festivals committed to smart energy management.The programme was developed after Powerful Thinking’s 3rdannual Industry Green Survey showed that a common barrier to implementing sustainable practices was finding a supplier who could make their goals a reality.

Over 10 power suppliers joined the programme in 2017 – all with a proven track record in supporting their clients in fuel reduction and year on year progress. Now the Powerful Thinking steering group is opening the programme to more power suppliers that can demonstrate innovation, efficiency and smart practices. 

The Powerful Thinking is the live event industry’s online resource hub for energy best practice, with wide engagement from across the sector. 

This programme presents an opportunity for like-minded suppliers to showcase their capabilities and share best practices with potential clients, including the 75 festival who are actively pledged to cut their carbon footprints by 50% by 2025 and well as the Powerful Thinking steering groups network of festival organisers.  For information download the PDFor contact

We are at a tipping
point as an industry where, if people are up to speed with the choices they have, we will see efficiencies driven by smarter planning and use of lower emission alternatives. The commercial incentives are now very real.” Andy Lenthall, Chair of the Production Services Association & Powerful Thinking steering group member. 

Power Logistics to provide monitoring equipment for all 2019 projects

Power Logistics, one of the event power providers on Powerful Thinking’s Sustainable Power Supplier List, has announced that all projects the company undertakes in 2019 will be supplied with power monitoring equipment and a post-show energy breakdown report. This will be the lead element in the portfolio of sustainable initiatives the company undertakes this year. 

Installing power monitoring equipment at every event site during 2019 will allow Power Logistics to give event clients real-time knowledge and data regarding their energy consumption. Monitoring will be ‘live’ during events and adjustments made where necessary. Once the event comes to an end, the data collected will be used to produce a report that provides event organisers with a breakdown of their energy usage. Analysis of this data will help drive increased power, fuel and cost efficiencies. 

Mike Whitehouse, Power Logistics’ managing director explains: “Offering an effective power monitoring solution to clients has been a key objective for the last few years. Having real-time information on energy usage across all areas of an event site is a powerful tool for event organisers.” 

Power monitoring has been proven to have a positive impact on an event’s carbon footprint; reducing fuel consumption and often the number and size of generators required onsite, which in turn leads to savings on fuel bills.  

See the full Power Logistics Sustainable Supplier Profile here or on their website:

Julie's Bicycle creative green offer

Julie’s Bicycle Creative Green offer for Vision: 2025

Julie’s Bicycle are offering Vision: 2025 festivals a 25% discount on their Creative Green certification – a scheme which provides the tools and support for assessing an event’s environmental commitment, understanding and improvement. Creative Green provides event organisers with a results report offering recommendations for next steps and a roadmap to meet their environmental targets. Vision:2025 festivals have pledged to aim to reduce the impacts of their events by 50% by 2025 with Powerful Thinking and the Creative Green certification can help measure progress on this journey.

“Creative Green has been the backbone to our continuous improvement as it provides the data and facts for making comparisons between years, judging the success of new measures, and thus guides decision-making. The new assessment is detailed and user friendly and gives us a robust basis to communicate with all stakeholders about our environmental performance.” Chris Johnson, Shambala Festival Co-founder

The Festival Vision 2025 community can join the Creative Green certification at £1,000+vat when they sign-up by 30th April (a 25% discount). Find out more about the offer in the Creative Green for Vision: 2025 PDF or email

4th annual industry green survey results

Industry Green Survey 2018 – The Results

Powerful Thinking’s 4th annual Festival Industry Green Survey for 2018 asked festivals organisers what sustainability practices they were using last year in key areas such as waste, travel, energy and about and about plans for next season and barriers to implementing initiatives. 70 events were represented – and the winner of the free delegate pass to the upcoming Greener Events and Innovations (GEI) conference was Tandem Festival.

The results show that more organisers are committing resources and becoming increasingly savvy about energy efficiencies onsite and reducing environmental impacts across the board. More festivals than ever have appointed a dedicated sustainability role, are checking what happens to their waste when it leaves site, are working with suppliers to increase fuel efficiency, and working with audiences and suppliers on travel. In a year when 65 AIF festivals committed to becoming plastic disposable-free as part of the Drastic on Plastic campaign, we have seen sustainability start to become embedded into the way the sector is delivering events.

Key results

  • 3 out of 4 organisers have checked where their waste is going in 2018, a dramatic increase from previous years 
  • In the 2017 survey 58% of event organisers stated that they were monitoring energy. This has risen to 80% in 2018, demonstrating that the trend toward organisers taking fuel efficiency seriously is now firmly established.
  • Grid connection has emerged for greenfield events an area to explore with more greenfield event organisers stating they are using a grid connection than in 2017.
  • For those events using biofuel, organisers are choosing to use almost exclusively waste-derived fuels
  • 58% of organisers state that they offer or intend to offer carbon balancing on travel, compared to 25% in 2017


  • 80% monitor fuel use 
  • 20% have Grid connection on green tariff  
  • 40% engaged with supplier to increase efficiency  
  • Of those using biofuel most are using waste-derived fuels


  • 50% offering dedicated coaches and promoting car share
  • 88% communicate about sustainable travel to audiences but fewer to artists (61%) or suppliers (42%)
  • 58% offer carbon balancing to audiences or intend to 


73% checked and verified where their waste is going

Top 5 NEW things festivals have implemented in 2018:

  • Worked with our suppliers to look at how they can help us improve sustainability 
  • Made public our environmental policy 
  • Promoted sustainable travel options
  • Have a plan in place to manage energy more efficiently
  • Joined a project or used a consultant 


  • 70% of the festivals now have a sustainability coordinator role was part of their team top help them deliver.
  • 80% now have minimum food standards in place across the site. 

Event organiser priorities

  1. Waste
  2. Energy Use
  3. Travel

Barriers to implementing initiatives

  1. Cost of implementation 
  2. Lack of time as a resource within organisation 
  3. Inability of contractors to deliver 

AGF International Awards – Shortlist Live

A Greener Festival have announced the shortlists for the debut International AGF Awards, which will be hosted following the Green Events & Innovations Conference in partnership with the ILMC on Tuesday 5 March at the Royal Kensington Gardens Hotel, London.

Winners are selected from the detailed AGF assessments, site visits, evidence and analysis by trained sustainable event auditors throughout 2018. All festivals that have entered the awards have worked with A Greener Festival to assess their sustainability initiatives. This included over 40 festivals from 17 countries in 2018. See the full short list:

Greener Events & Innovations Conference #11

The Green Events & Innovations conference (GEI) returns to the the Royal Garden Hotel next week, Tuesday 5 March, bringing industry leaders and professionals together to discuss environmental and social sustainability at live events.

This year’s new format includes case studies, discussion panels and presentations from around the world, networking breaks, and closing party to increase the opportunity for delegates to connect with the festivals, event organisers, venue owners and sustainability experts of GEI. Check out the full programme and buy tickets:

AIF Presents: Sustainability Training Day

The Association of Independent Festivals (AIF) will host a sustainability training day to offer festival organisers practical tips and information on running more sustainable events on Monday 4 March, at Wilton’s Music Hall, London.

Powerful Thinking’s Tim Benson and Chris Johnson will be speaking around the topic of efficiency in powering events alongside Julie’s Bicycle, NCASS and Energy Revolution alongside AIF members including Boomtown Fair, Shambala and Greenbelt.

Topics will include: green riders, energy supply & consumption, reducing pointless plastics, reusable cup systems, audience transport, eco wristbands, food waste, communicating sustainability and more, through a combination of quick-fire talks and in-depth group-based workshops. AIF Members receive a 50% discount on tickets. 

Find out more and book tickets:

Boomtown Fair Tackle Travel Emissions on Sustainability Journey

The team at Boomtown have a strong commitment to running the event sustainably. In 2016 they took the Festival Vision:2025 pledge to act on climate change, pledging to cut the CO2 footprint of the event by 50% by 2025 and targeting areas such as fuel use, waste, food and transport. With audience travel accounting for up to 80% of the average festival’s carbon footprint, it is clearly a key area to focus on. 

Boomtown’s recognition of the need to tackle audience travel lead them to collaborate with the teams behind Kendal Calling, Bluedot, Shambala and Secret Garden Festival to set up Energy Revolution in 2015. The charity works with festivals and their audiences, suppliers and artists to calculate the CO2 emissions from travel to events, reduce it where possible and balance unavoidable emissions with investment in projects that create renewable energy.

Realising that reducing travel related emissions is the first step, Boomtown have a number of initiatives in place to engage their audience suppliers and artists in travelling sustainably. They work with dedicated coach companies and promote discounted ‘Public Transport Saver’ tickets to their audience which include coach and shuttle bus travel and the option to arrive at the event a day early at no extra cost. In fact, everyone who travelled by coach, train, bike or shared their car (3+) is invited to arrive a day early! In 2018 they worked with Red Fox cycling to offer a guided 2-day cycle experience from Bristol to Boomtown and in 2019 they are extending their ‘Boomtown Bike Ride’ by offering a London – Boomtown route.

By incentivising sustainable travel in 2018 they encouraged 35% of audience arrived by coach or train.In 2018 Boomtown gave £1 from every audience car-parking pass to Energy Revolution to invest in renewable energy to help balance CO2 emissions. So far they’ve supported their audience in donating over £10,000 to balance their travel emissions. 

This year they want to increase this positive impact by giving the artists and contractors travelling to the event the chance to balance their travel emissions too.  In 2019 Boomtown are introducing a “Green Ambassador” initiative as part of the artist sustainability campaign for 2019. Artists can pledge to balance all of their travel to and from site in return for being awarded a green leaf emoji next to their programme listing.   

To benchmark travel data, identify new areas to tackle and to help quantify the success of their car-sharing incentive, Boomtown worked with Face Your Elephant to carry out a car park survey. Over two thousand vehicles were surveyed, counting the number of people, the number of vehicles and the fuel type from Wednesday – Sunday.  The results showed that Boomtown effectively managed to gain above average car occupancy on the Wednesday proving the early day entry initiative was successful. 

Find out more about Boomtown’ environmental mission here

A Greener Festival announce 2018 award winners

International not-for-profit organisation A Greener Festival (AGF) has announced the 35 recipients of Greener Festival Awards 2018.

Thirty-five festivals and events from 14 countries achieved the prestigious accolade in 2018, which is awarded to those events and festivals that have demonstrated conscientiousness with regards to sustainability and a reduction in environmental impacts in 11 areas including transport, waste, power, water, and local area impacts. Applicants undergo a rigorous assessment, site visit and post-event analysis of their events’ sustainability actions.

AGF Directors Ben Challis, Claire O’Neill and Teresa Moore presented awards to a host of worthy recipients that included Das Fest, Germany; DGTL, Netherlands; Pohoda Festival, Slovakia, and Ireland’s Body and Soul.

Xander Kotvis, Revolution Manager of DGTL Festival Amsterdam, one of seven events to receive an Outstanding Award – Greener Festival Awards’ highest accolade – commented: “The Outstanding Award is a crown on many years of hard work. With this prize, we demonstrate that it is possible to implement circular systems without having to compromise on quality or experience. We believe that this is the best way to introduce the world to a new economic paradigm, in which we distance ourselves from our current linear (take-make-waste) behaviour.”

Another event, Boomtown Fair, applied for the award assessment and feedback for the first time in 2018. Sustainability Manager Emily Ford said, “We are delighted that we obtained the Commended Award from AGF. That highlights the positive action we are taking. It’s a great start to our mission to ensure that we significantly reduce the environmental impact of the event, as well as raise awareness on just how vital it is that we all pull together to protect the planet for future generations.”

Co-founder/Director of A Greener Festival, Claire O’Neill, commented, “This year has seen unprecedented action and an awareness of the urgency to make our industries and our lives more harmonious with nature. The festivals and events that we have had the honour to assess and award are helping to shape this transition, which has positive repercussions not only within the events’ operations but also through the message and example they put out into the world.”


Boom Festival (PT)
Cambridge Folk Festival (UK)
DGTL Festival (NL)
Green Gathering (UK)
Øya Festival (NO)
We Love Green (FR)
Wood Festival (UK)

Body & Soul (IE)
Dubcamp Festival (FR)
Greenbelt Festival (UK)
Paradise City (BE)
Rainbow Serpent (AU)
Roskilde Festival (DK)

Boomtown Fair (UK)
Das Fest (DE)
Fire In The Mountain (UK)
Hadra Trance Festival (FR)
Kew the Music (UK)
Mandala Festival (NL)
Metal Days (SI)
Pete the Monkey (FR)
Pohoda Festival (SK)
Primavera Sound (ES)
Spring Utrecht (NL)
Wonderfeel (NL)

BST Hyde Park (UK)
Couvre Feu (FR)
De Poupet (FR)
Les Escales (FR)
Manchester Pride (UK)
Own Spirit Festival (ES)
Terraforma Festival (IT)
Utrechtse Introductie Tijd (UIT) (NL)
Uitfeest (NL)

Powerful Thinking's 4th Annual Green Survey is live

The 4th Annual Industry Green Survey is Live!

Powerful Thinking’s 4thannual Festival Industry Green Survey is now live! First run in 2015 by Powerful Thinking, with support from the AIF and AFO, the Festival Industry Green Survey provides information on how the industry is doing in terms of sustainability and helps Powerful Thinking identify how to support positive changes.

The survey asks event organisers what sustainability practices they have in place and about their aspirations and priorities for the coming year. All participants to complete the survey will be entered into a raffle to win a free ticket for the Green Events & Innovations Conference 2019 on Tuesday 5th March 2019 at the ILMC.


Information collected through previous surveys significantly contributed to the Show Must Go On report (2015) and the launch of Festival Vision: 2025, a shared vision for a sustainable festival industry. The survey was repeated to track progress in 2016 & 17 and now three years on, with 75 UK festivals having taken the Festival Vision: 2025 pledge, Powerful Thinking want to find out, and report back on industry progress.

Please complete the survey by 21st December. The winner will be announced in January 2019.