All posts by Bethan Riach

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.

the showman's show vision 2025 event

Vision:2025 at The Showman’s Show 2018: Resource Round up

It was great to see so many Vision:2025 festival teams and environmentally-minded suppliers at The Showman’s Show in October 2028. Thank you all for bringing your knowledge and questions on event sustainability to share with the community.

In case you missed the day or wanted to follow up on conversations: Here’s a round up of the speakers and suppliers who were there with links to websites and/or PDFs of slides (if available).

  • Our keynote speaker Paul Reed (CEO, Association of Independent Festivals) – Drastic on Plastic: to get involved with the drastic on plastic campaign or the AIF see

Progressive Power & Energy Session

The Showman’s Show Green Supplier Award

‘A TOAST TO THE FUTURE’ Panel: With host Andy Fryers at Hay Festival:

Roundtable talks: 

‘JOIN US’ session: Building communities of change with:

Networking Drinks: Purity Brewing Co : Our 2025 drinks sponsor: Sustainably brewed award winning beers from Purity. Available to supply, setup and install your festival bar and beer requirements. Contact Paul Brazier for a free sample pack and chat

Chris Johnson receives award at AFO conference

AFO Conference celebrates sustainability

The annual AFO conference in November focused on sustainability this year by leading the first day with a session called ‘A Blue Planet wakeup call’ which invited guests to talk about the environmental impact of events and the initiatives that can help in the move towards sustainability.

Powerful Thinking’s Chris Johnson chaired the session with panel guests, Teresa Moore (A Greener Festival), Mary Corfield (Greenbelt Festival), Tim Benson (Smart Power Ltd), Mark Laurie (8th Plate) and Liz Warwick (Lansdowne Warwick).

Chris Johnson was later celebrated with an AFO award for his ‘Heroic Campaigning in Sustainability’ which was presented by the AFO’s General Secretary, Steve Heap .

FestivalVision2025 members event 2018 at The Showman's Show

Vision:2025 at The Showman’s Show 2018 – Full Programme Released

The power of festival industry communities to work together to create more sustainable events takes centre stage at the Vision:2025 annual conference at The Showman’s Show on October 17th 2018.

We’re pleased to announce the full programme; which represents the great support for Vision:2025 and the move towards sustainable events from festival industry organisations & communities, green-minded suppliers with progressive products & approaches, and experts with the skills and knowledge to tackle the ‘in the field issues’ of Vision:2025 members.

Download PROGRAMME PDF or see below.

Vision:2025 festival can REGISTER HERE. Festivals that have not signed the Vision:2025 pledge but would like to attend can become a member at

With many thanks to The Showman’s Show for hosting, our event partner, TheTicketSellers & Eventree for covering the costs of the Vision:2025 gathering, to Purity Ales for providing the networking drinks and to Enviro-cup for the serve ware.

Vision:2025 at The Showman’s Show Programme 
Wednesday 17th October, 2018

13.00               Arrivals & Welcome: Johnny Lance (The Showman’s Show) &
                          Graham Brown (Powerful Thinking/Plaster PR)

13:05               Festival Vision: 2025 Update: Bethan Riach (Powerful Thinking)

13:10               Keynote: Paul Reed (CEO, Association of Independent Festivals):
The power  of festival communities and collaboration to catalyse change.

13: 25              Progressive Power & Energy Session

  • Lloyd Lawson (S2VS): Electric vehicle charging for events
  • Matt Collins (ide Systems): Next generation remote monitoring systems
  • Robert Miles (Immersa): Is battery storage the future?
  • Tim Benson (Smart Power Ltd) How to plan for Smarter Power at events
  • Laura Pando (Julie’s Bicycle)Biofuel sourcing made simple

14:25               Festival Focus’ Panel + Q&A —Steve Heap (AFO) talks to event organisers        about the challenges of tackling environmental impacts and the initiatives that worked in 2018. With panel guests:  Joe Buirski (Fire in the Mountain), Mary Corfield (Greenbelt) & Chris Johnson (Shambala Festival).

14.55               Tea & coffee break

15:10               The Showman’s Show Green Supplier Award:  YOUR VOTE COUNTS. Three shortlisted suppliers pitch their innovations to the audience and panel of judges:  Paul Reed (AIF), Laura Pando (Julie’s Bicycle), Steve Heap (AFO) and Liz Warwick (Lansdowne Warwick/Cambridge Folk Festival)

With suppliers: Enviro-cup (Russell Blakey), RAW Foundation (Hannah Jolliffe) and MSS International (Jack Beerens)

15.25               ‘A Toast to the Future’ Panel + Q&A: Host Andy Fryers (Hay Festival) talks to   guests about how festivals can cut bar waste & get audiences drinking sustainably. With guests:  Alex Hopkins (Green Goblet), Colin Eade (Bespoke Event Bars) and Nick Beck (Borough Wines).

16.00              Key Topic ‘Roundtable’ Discussions: (4 rotating groups with 15 min a topic)

  • Power: Tenders, contracts & process: The nitty-gritty that will save you ££s with Tim Benson (Smart Power/ZAP Concepts)
  • Waste Plastics – All you need to know about sustainable cup options with Chris Johnson (Shambala Festival).
  • Let’s Talk Toilets: understand the impacts of toilet waste at events & discuss solutions to common issues with Virginia Gardiner (Loowatt) & guest supplier Compoost.
  • Tackling Travel Impacts: Measuring & reducing impacts of audience, crew and supplier travel with host Liz Warwick (Lansdowne Warwick/Cambridge Folk Festival) and guest supplier Tuned in Travel.

17.00               ‘Join us’ session: Building communities of change with:

  • Julie’s Bicycle & Vision: 2025 (Laura Pando, Julie’s Bicycle)
  • 8th Plate – festival food surplus scheme (Mark Laurie, NCASS)
  • Energy Revolution & The Ticketsellers ( Bethan Riach/Mo Jones )

17:15              Networking Drinks: Introduction to ethical brewing from Purity Ales & carry on the conversations over a beer.

17:45             Ends

With many thanks to The Showman’s Show for hosting, our event partner, TheTicketSellers & Eventree for covering the costs of the Vision:2025 gathering, to Purity Ales for providing the networking drinks and to Enviro-cup for the serve ware.

RAW Foundation Guide to Reusable Bar Cups

RAW Foundation Launch Guide to Reusable Bar Cups

RAW Foundation, with funding support from the Event Industry Forum (EIF), have published the Guide to Reusable Bar Cups at Events, the final resource for events in the AIF’s ‘Drastic on Plastic’ campaign.

The guide provides event organisers with comprehensive information about why to choose reusable cups rather than disposables, the environmental benefits, tips on how to manage reusable cups onsite, and examples of how festivals have been successful.

The Drastic on Plastic Action Pack also includes the Plastic-Free Festival Guide, which provides an overview of the action events can take, a festivalgoer guide, and templates for an A6 lanyard mini-guide.

Organisers of more than 60 independent festivals in the AIF have signed up to the Drastic on Plastic pledge, committing to banning the use of plastic straws on-site this season as a minimum first step – and eliminating all single-use plastic at their events by 2021.

Changing to reusable bar cups is one of the key changes organisers can make, and is being adopted by more events every year, with festivals such as Shambala, Download, Glastonbury and many sports sector events and venues using them.

The core message of the campaign is ‘re-use not single-use’.  RAW Foundation is working across the event industry to inspire change toward a ‘pointless plastic free’ world, and is presenting a new conference at the Showman’s Show on Thursday 18th October, the day after Powerful Thinking’s Festival Vision:2025 annual meeting. The program includes experts discussing measures that can be taken to eliminate single-use plastics at events and by companies, a masterclass in values-based marketing from global branding pioneer Ed Gillespie of Futerra, presentations from innovative suppliers and networking.

The guide can be downloaded HERE.

FestivalVision2025 members event 2018 at The Showman's Show

Festival Vision: 2025 at The Showman’s Show 2018

Plans are underway for the 3rd annual meeting of the 70+ festival organisers who have signed the Vision:2025 pledge with Powerful Thinking to cut the environmental impacts of their events by 50% by 2025.

The Showman’s Show organisers, Lance Show & Publications Limited, underline their commitment to sustainability in hosting the Vision:2025 event for the second year running on Wednesday 17thOctober. The afternoon event will be a chance for the Vision:2025 festival teams to share ideas and learn more about the new suppliers, organisations and communities that are helping the industry move towards more sustainable practices.

The event will highlight the power of collaboration and what can be achieved when festivals and suppliers work together: with updates on industry initiatives, latest research, presentations, panels, Q&As, roundtable sessions, and a chance to continue the conversation over an ethically-brewed beer at the networking drinks. This year the Vision:2025 programme will also include a live judging panel for The Showman’s Show 2018 Green Supplier Award.

Here’s a taster of the programme but a full speaker and guest information will be release in September:

  • The Industry Energy Briefings session showcases new supplier services, products and best practice around; the future of transport at events; embedding sustainability right from the outset through careful sourcing and smart contracts; and the new technology that is making power monitoring and efficiency more accessible to festival teams.
  • Festival Focus Panel/Q&A: Festival organisers who are leading the way in approaches to waste, power and transport share the initiatives that have worked in the past season and the challenges they faced along the way – with host Steve Heap from the Association of Festival Organisers.
  • The ever-popular ‘roundtable’ session returns offering Vision:2025 members the chance to ask experts and guest suppliers specific questions relating to their events.Topics include: Let’s talk toilets, Power: the nitty-gritty, Tackling travel, and hot topic, Cutting waste plastics.
  • Showman’s Show Green Awards 2018: YOUR VOTE COUNTS:  The 2018 supplier shortlist present their products and services to the audience and live judging panel.
  • The ‘A Toast to the Future’ panel and Q&A explores how festivals can cut bar waste,  the latest knowledge and best practice around alternatives to single-use plastics.
  • Building Community: The ‘Join Us’ session introduces the organisations and initiatives that are bringing Arts communities together around positive change: Including Julie’s Bicycle on monitoring, recording and target-setting and charity Energy Revolution on bringing events, suppliers, artists and audiences together to tackle CO2 emissions from travel.
  • Networking drinks 

Registration for Vision: 2025 members is now open: REGISTER HERE

If you are not yet a Vision:2025 member but would like to attend the event you can sign the Vision:2025 pledge here.

Contact for more information.

Photo credit: George Harrison for Shambala Festival

Biofuels Update

Biofuels: The latest advice

Responding to the complexity and confusion around which biofuels are good environmental choices, Julie’s Bicycle and Powerful Thinking Steering Group members have created a comprehensive new guidance sheet to answer all your questions.

The downloadable PDF will help you to understand the environmental impacts of the different biofuels available, including supply chain impacts; give an overview of the legislative landscape, highlight the issues around paim oil based biodiesel and provide advice on choosing a biofuel supplier.

Download the Guidance Sheet

Julie’s Bicycle & ACE offer Accelerator Programme

The Accelerator Programme is a new strand of this work, recruiting two cohorts of up to ten organisations to work with Julie’s Bicycle to advance their sustainable practice and share insights with their peers and the wider sector. The programme will be looking at everything from touring models and audience engagement to design and supply chains to income generation and governance.

Applications are open from 28th May – 8th June  find out more about the programme and how to apply at

Download Festival Greenest yet

Download aims to be “greenest ever” in 2018

Earlier this month Download Festival, one of the Vision:2025 festivals pledged to tackle their CO2 footprint with Powerful Thinking, announced the major improvements being made to this year’s festival to make it the greenest Download yet.

At last year’s festival there was a decrease in the overall carbon footprint by 96 tonnes of CO2e compared to 2016. For this year they’ve introduced carbon balancing by adding £1 to the cost of all parking passes, which will be donated to the charity Energy Revolution, who balance travel by investing in renewable energy projects. This is on top of all our other current travel initiatives with Big Green CoachLiftshare and shuttle buses to encourage the reduction of traffic coming to the site.

Last year Download received a 4-star Creative Green Certification from Julie’s Bicycle and this year the Promoter, Festival Republic, are raising the bar in their commitment to environmental protection with the introduction of their first ever Eco Campsite with Greenpeace UK.

Last year they decreased the overall waste at the festival by 61% compared to 2016 and introduced reusable cups, resulting in a half a million single use cups being saved! The Deposit Return System has seen over 100,000 bottles collected and recycled since 2016.

To ensure 2018 is the most environmentally friendly yet, they’ve increased the number of campsite recycling points and food traders are not allowed to use single use plastic cutlery or food containers – and they are ahead of the curve in having banned plastic straws since 2016.

Victoria Chapman, Sustainability Coordinator at Festival Republic says:

“Download fans have been shown to be extremely environmental conscious and I am delighted that this has been reflected in the achievement of a 4 out of 5 star award, in only the second year of undertaking Creative Green Certification.”

 Read the full the story on the Download website.