All posts by Bethan Riach

Festival Vision:2025 Conference 2019 – PROGRAMME NOW LIVE

The Festival Vision: 2025 conference returns to The Showman’s Show on Wednesday 16th October this year for another afternoon of talks, panels and presentations on event sustainability with industry-leading guests.

It’s a chance for Vision:2025 festival organisers to get together and talk about the successes of the last seasons and look to the opportunities ahead in 2020. This year for the first time sessions will be open to all delegates to The Showman’s Show. Full programme below or download HERE.


Power Logistics’ reduces fuel usage at British Summer Time by 25%

Power Logistics has been providing a complete project management solution for AEG’s Barclaycard presents British Summer Time festival, held in London’s Hyde Park, since 2014.

Over the last six years AEG Live and LoudSound have been keen to improve the impact of the festival on the environment and has always demonstrated a commitment to sustainability, which Power Logistics, one of Powerful Thinking’s Sustainable Power Suppliers, has been more than happy to support. This has seen Power Logistics carrying out power monitoring and LED lighting solutions at the festival since 2015 and the introduction of HVO fuel at some areas around the site since 2017. However, 2019 saw the prestigious event and Power Logistics take a huge leap forward in terms of sustainable initiatives.  

For the first time the site was fuelled solely with HVO, this form of renewable diesel is produced from vegetable fats and oils. Unlike regular biodiesel, hydrogen is used as a catalyst in the creation process instead of methanol. 

Power Logistics also deployed its bespoke power monitoring system,developed in-house by its research and development team, to provide real time knowledge and data regarding the event’s energy usage. Power monitoring is 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 cost efficiencies.  

The system utilises QR codes, which every generator, fuel tank and fuel bowser has. As the equipment is sited, its location, running hours, fuel usage etc. are uploaded via a server to a purpose-built database. This allows Power Logistics to deliver clients a % breakdown of their fuel usage across identified areas with real time data so event organisers can see exactly how much fuel is being used and where. Early indications show that the effective use of power monitoring has allowed Power Logistics’ to reduce the fuel used at British Summer Time 2019 by more than 25%.

The data from power monitoring is analysed and used to specify more efficient power systems, including using generators in a load demand configuration. Utilising the data from 2018’s event, Power Logistics installed a smaller set in each of its large generator banks, which was used during the build and breakdown period. This resulted in a reduction of 8000 litres of fuel during this year’s build.

Power Logistics also implemented battery technology for the first time at the event this July in two separate areas. Area one was a traditional bunkabin and shower areas providing a sustainable solution. Whilst the second area was for the Barclaycard Stage (the second stage), the data for this is still being analysed but this is the next major phase in Power Logistics’ sustainability offering. The company’s research and development team are focussed on making battery power a reality for main stages in the near future. 

Find out more about Power Logistics on our Sustainable Power Supplier pages or visit their website at

Event Industry Green Survey 2019 Launched + win a GEI ticket

Calling all event organisers! Please take a few minutes to tell us about the environmental measures you have taken over the last season, about your experiences and plans for next year.

The data will contribute to the 2nd edition of The Show Must Go On report, to be published early 2020, after the success of Powerful Thinking’s ‘Festival Vision: 2025 Crowdfunder’ which secured over £28,000 of funding for the project.

All entrants to the survey have a chance to win a delegate pass for this year’s Green Events & Innovations conference (GEI) at the ILMC on 3 March 2020. 


First launched in 2015, with support from the Association of Independent Festivals (AIF) and The Association Festival Organisers (AFO) the survey helped inform the seminal environmental report The Show Must Go On and the launch of Festival Vision: 2025 – a shared vision for a sustainable event industry. 

Now four years on, with almost 80 UK festivals having taken the Festival Vision: 2025 pledge to reduce GHG emissions by 50% by 2025, the results from the 2019 survey, shared as anonymous aggregate data, will support research for the The Show Must Go On report 2020 allow the Powerful Thinking Steering Group to track trends and progress. 

The survey is open until October 4th 2019. The GEI ticket winner will be announced in Jan 2020. 

The Show Will Go On

We did it! Yesterday, 17th July, with generous funding from supporters of the vision for sustainable events, we successfully raised £28,665 in 40 days to fund the Festival Vision: 2025 campaign. Exceeding our funding target secures the publication of a new Show Must Go On report, and signals the UK festival and event industry’s ambition to tackle environmental impacts. 

Work starts in earnest on the new The Show Must Go On Report, and the report will launch at an industry event in December, with limited edition printed report and a free downloadable version on the new online ‘Vision2025 Knowledge Hub’ providing comprehensive, practical resources and advice. 

Ahead of the report’s launch Powerful Thinking will be hosting the third annual Festival Vision:2025 conference at The Showman’s Show on the 16thOctober; a chance to learn more about the Vision, meet the experts who’ll be writing and researching the report, and event organisers and suppliers who are leading the way in sustainable practices. This is the 3rdannual edition of the Vision event and for the first year it is open to all delegates to The Showman’s Show as well as to event organisers who have committed to cutting their impacts by 50% by 2025 with Vision 2025. 

The appetite for the project reflects the industry’s commitment to taking responsibility for cutting environmental impacts. Initiatives launched over this season and last year show the dramatic shift towards more sustainable event management across the UK, with events working together and taking their audiences, suppliers and artists with them in their journey.  

Get in touch with book your place or sign up to Powerful Thinking newsletter for programme updates for the Festival Vision: 2025 conference at The Showman’s Show:

99.3% of tents taken home from Glastonbury 2019

Event Sustainability Becomes HOT TOPIC in Press: Early Season Round Up

It’s been an amazing summer for event sustainability in the national and international press. In case you missed it:

The UK event industry press have also embraced the topic:

  • Standout Magazine started a monthly Green Column in 2019, and launched The Green Series videos online. 
  • Insider Insights is running a Sustainable Summer Series, in which they dedicate half their monthly output to guidance on decreasing the environmental impact of festivals. 

To stay up to date with all the latest event sustainability news sign up to the Powerful Thinking Newsletter:

Festival Vision:2025 crowdfunder hits 25k goal in just 3 weeks and extends targets…

YOU DID IT! The Festival Vision:2025 Crowdfunder target of 25k has been reached after just 3 weeks and raised to 35k with funding time extended to broaden the reach of the campaign

The Festival Vision:2025 crowdfunding campaign, launched by not-for-profit group Powerful Thinking, to support the UK Live Events Industry in providing leadership and action on climate change, has met the targetwith just days to go; the new goal of an additional 10k will fund active support for events, and the extension to keep the campaign open until the 17thJuly provides an opportunity for even more people in the industry to be part of this ground-breaking project.

Reaching the initial funding means that Powerful Thinking will launch an updated Show Must Go On report to support the UK festival industry to reduce CO2 emissions by 50% by 2025 with Vision:2025 in the key areas of energy, resource management, water, food & drink, travel & transport and governance.  

The extended target, aiming to raise an extra 10k, will allow the Powerful Thinking steering group to develop and deliver a comprehensive and active program of support in 2020 to all festivals signed up to the Festival Vision: 2025, and to build a dedicated website for the Vision:2025 campaign, providing a ‘knowledge hub’ for sustainable events, available to anyone in the industry.

Significant support has already come from Finnish company, Nordic Wristbands and Festival Republic and headliner sponsors including GL Events, From the Fields, The Showman’s Show, SANI, Enviral, Playpass, Event Buyers Live, Bioglitter™, The Event Safety Shop and The Ticket Sellers. Festivals are also funding the project with support pledged by Hay, Greenman, Shambala, Boomtown, Reading, Latitude, Fire in the Mountain, Bluedot, Kendal Calling and Greenbelt. 

“We believe that there’s immense value in doing better, both as a company and as an industry. That’s why we were so keen to support the Festival Vision: 2025 campaign.” Rachel Baker, GL events UK Group Marketing Manager

Visit the Festival Vision: 2025 Crowdfunder to get involved, and help make the vision happen:

Muddy festival

Meet the Festival Vision: 2025 Team: Steve Taylor on water…

Steve Taylor is an environmentalist and economic development advisor who specialises in developing and implementing sustainability projects. Well known for his work with music festivals, he has been Sustainability Manager for events such as T in the Park, Lake of Stars Festival Malawi, Glasgow’s Commonwealth Games Festival 2014 and Stornoway’s HebCelt festival, securing Greener Festival awards for each event. Steve will be heading up the Water chapter in the new Show Must Go On report – part of Festival Vision:2025. You can help fund the project at

Encourage festivalgoers to drink water, but don’t waste it!

For some festivals there may be access to a water main. Scotland’s T in the Park had one installed as part of the development of their new site at Strathallan in 2015 and this enabled a series of standpipes to be installed where festival goers could fill reusable bottles with free water. Taps were push types with evidence showing that while a 3 second flow with ‘automatic turn off’ works well in bathrooms, the ‘hold in’ type work better at standpipes. If bottles are being filled from standpipes, the tap should not flow after the bottle is full so a push on/release off type is better than the 3 second flow type. This prevents not just wastage but spillage to ground causing mudpools. 

Where water mains are not available, festivalgoers are increasingly encouraged to bring their own bottled water. While plastic water bottles were popular in the past the drive to reduce single use plastic has made these unsuitable but many festivals now encourage the use of reusable water cups/bottles. One of the best schemes is run by FRANK water at numerous festivals. They provide unlimited free refills of chilled filtered water to anyone who buys one of their reusable bottles. Health and Safety may oppose stainless steel bottles on the grounds they might be a weapon so event mangers need to be aware of the nature of their audience before specifying bottle type.

Onsite water covers not only drinking water but water for toilets, washbasins and perhaps showers. Water use can be saved through utilising grey water. Toilets can be flushed with grey water from showers or primed with harvested rainwater, while compostable toilets eliminate water demand providing a potentially massive saving of water.   

Too dry / too wet, and we can’t control the weather

In the UK we’re used to rain and a wet weekend at a festival. But some years it may be too dry! Dust can be created at levels that exceed health and safety limits, especially during the build period when heavy vehicles may help generate dust particles. Site roads can be damped with sprayed water to reduce dust nuisance, but this may have to be cleared with the environmental regulator first, especially if it involves water abstraction from a local river. But in very wet years, even the best drainage might fail if the water table is too high and there’s nowhere for standing water to drain away to.

The best organised festivals understand how their drainage is likely to act before the event starts. Many Scottish festivals, used to heavy rainfall, monitor the rainfall on (or near) site for four weeks beforehand. Comparing this to historical rainfall data for the area (usually by checking rainfall records for the past 20 years) will let organisers know if they are in a wet, medium or dry year. Or a very wet year. If its very wet (higher rainfall than three quarters of the previous 20 years) then drainage will probably fail, and a contingency based on pumping water off site may be needed. Again permission may be needed from the environmental regulator to find a suitable location to eject gulped water as it could effectively create a new lake. Water can be gulped and moved by a waste water lorry, so remember to keep one clean for this purpose if you’re encountering a very wet year!

Protecting our water courses

With so many festivals taking place in our beautiful countryside, we’re all keen on the mantra of leave no trace, but this doesn’t just apply to clearing waste and litter. It also means protecting our water courses from sewage, litter, and festival goers urinating in streams. With the Environment Agency successfully prosecuting a major festival in 2015 for polluting a local river, promoters should be more aware. But…. A recent survey asking festival organisers about conservation measures, only 2% of the responses considered water conservation. And returning to that prosecution, the river recorded ammonia levels over 60 times greater than allowable limits, leading to extensive fish kill.  

Finally control of the products we use can help our water management. Eco friendly cleaning products reduce the need for high volume dilution, water conditioning can minimise detergent requirements while foam soap needs less water than gel based products – and generally is likely to have lower levels of microplastics.”

Check out the Festival Vision:2025 crowdfunder campaign video below to see how you can support the festival industry to come together around a vision of sustainable events – researching best practices and innovations and creating up-to-date resources, like The Show Must Go On edition 2, to help event organisers cut their environmental impacts:

Waste food

Meet the Festival Vision: 2025 Team: Mark Laurie, Lead on Food & Drink

“ Food that costs the Earth… “

Mark Laurie is a director of the Nationwide Caterers Association (NCASS), the industry body for Festival and Street-Food caterers and part of the Steering Group for Powerful Thinking. Inspired by the Green Traders awards at Glastonbury in 2011 & 2012, Mark and NCASS worked with the SRA (Sustainable Restaurant Association) to develop the UK’s first sustainability training course for festival caterers on behalf of NCASS. Since 2015 Mark has developed the 8th Plate Food Waste Project which diverts usable food waste, that would have gone to landfill, from festivals to charities helping people living in food poverty. Mark will be heading up the Food & Drink chapter in the new Show Must Go On report – part of Festival Vision:2025. Here he explains why food is costing us the earth…

“The food industry generates a quarter of all global GHG emissions making it an essential part of the fight to limit global warming and climate change. Around half of all food produced globally goes to waste. Transportation, single use packaging, water use, de-forestation, land degradation waste are all areas of concern that will need to be addressed very soon if we are to avoid the worst of climate change. The temporary nature of festivals can compound the problem with short selling windows leading to post event waste, over supply of food and a disposable culture. Food should be the low hanging fruit of the climate fight. Greater efficiencies, awareness and cultural change both from business and consumers can help us to reduce our impact and overcome hunger. One in 8 people in the world goes hungry every day but half of the food produced globally is wasted.

The food chapter of the new edition Show Must Go On report will look at the impact of the food industry at events on the environment, identifying areas where events can have an impact, often at neutral cost or better. We aim to show how festivals can limit the environmental impact of food provision for their events, including caterer sourcing, single use packaging, food waste and water while inspiring change in the habits of their customers. “      

Check out the Festival Vision:2025 crowdfunder campaign to see how you can support the festival industry to come together around a vision of sustainable events – researching best practices and innovations and creating up-to-date resources, like The Show Must Go On edition 2, to help event organisers cut their environmental impacts:

Cambridge Folk Festival: Measuring and tackling travel impacts

Cambridge Folk Festival has been running since 1965, it takes place in July and has a capacity of 14,000. As part of their commitment to sustainability they have taken the Festival Vision:2025 pledge to cut environmental impacts by 50% by 2025. Here their environmental consultant Liz Warwick talks about how they have focused on reducing the carbon emissions from audience, crew and supplier travel. 

“Held in urban green parks, Cambridge Folk Festival is close to bus routes serving the train and main coach/bus stations and the City centre. To promote audience use of public transport we offer a free bus pass for the return trip from the stations and a free shuttle bus between the campsite and festival. As we’re not far from the city a significant number of attendees walk or cycle with plenty of cycle spaces provided. 

For the last few years the Festival has built up a social media/ communications campaign and enhanced internal processes to promote eco awareness, including sustainable travel, actively promoting public transport, car share options available and locating nearby electric vehicle charging points.

In 2019 Cambridge is partnering with Tuned In Travel, a specialist travel operator, to offer dedicated coaches and minibuses to cut down on individual car use. The Folk Festival is also partnering with Energy Revolution to offer the audience the opportunity to carbon balance their journey miles. 

We closely monitor and record the impacts of transport to pinpoint areas we need to tackle – each year new ideas for increasing sustainable travel at Cambridge Folk Festival are reviewed and put into action.

Recent detailed transport measurement and analysis has shown:

  • Car use at 60% (down from 74%) 
  • Staff and contractor car passes decreased by one third by encouraging car share and low carbon travel.
  • Traders’ and caterers’ travel emissions reduced by 30% over 2 years due to the actively selecting more local suppliers – saving over 2 tonnes CO2e.
  • Car share at about 4% of audience travel.
  • 10% audience walking and nearly 7% cycling.
  • Public transport used by 11% of the audience

Check out the Festival Vision:2025 crowdfunder campaign to see how you can support the festival industry to come together around a vision of sustainable events – helping more organisers cut their environmental impacts and share best practices, resources and innovations:

The Vision2025 event at the Showmans Show 2019

Vision:2025 Session to return to The Showman’s Show in 2019

The annual Festival Vision: 2025 session returns to the Showman’s Show on Wednesday 16th October 2019

The session is a chance for event organisers to get inspired, share experiences and meet innovative suppliers. This year for the first time the event will be open to events who are not yet signed up to the Festival Vision: 2025 pledge – through which over 70 events have pledged to am to reduce their CO2 impacts by 50% by 2025.  

This year’s program includes sessions such as ‘The Future of Food’, which will explore food waste, understanding the supply chain and sharing inspirational examples from the season. Additional topics on the table currently include the circular economy, insights on waste management practices and an industry briefing on innovations in energy management with the full program set to be revealed in early September.

Participants can also expect an exclusive preview of some of the new Show Must Go On Report findings and insights from the festival season with panellists presenting initiatives from a number of well-known UK events.

Once again, the three shortlisted exhibitors of the Green Supplier & Innovation award, co-founded by Energy Revolution’s founding organisation, Powerful Thinking, and The Showman’s Show, will be invited to present their sustainable products and services to the event organisers in attendance in a Dragon’s Den style format. 

In addition, there will be networking opportunities over a sustainable lunch and drinks reception at the end of the day. 

Chris Johnson, Chair of Powerful Thinking says: “The Vision:2025 event at The Showman’s Show has proven to be a great success over the last few years. We’re looking forward to returning this year with another set of interesting topics, bringing together organisers and suppliers and sparking some lively debate.”

Email: if you’d like to attend.