Reducing fossil fuel dependency through efficiencies and biodiesel use
Bestival is one of the last major UK festivals of the summer calendar, attracting over 50,000 audience members to the Isle of Wight in recent years for this creative indie and dance music festival.
From the outset of the festival in 2004, organisers Rob and Josie de Bank were committed to being environmentally responsible and endeavouring to annually increase the use of renewables and WVO generators for energy throughout the festival site.
Since 2013, Bestival has made great progress in reducing fossil fuel dependency and they work closely with their energy suppliers to service their somewhat awkward shaped site with maximum efficiency.
The length of the festival site makes the power supply contract a complex issue and as it is considered, “too big for a single contractor,” they use different suppliers for the arena, the showspace and the campsite.
In 2013 and 2014, Midas Productions UK provided power the campsites and at the Tomorrow’s World zone — an area where the Bestival wanted to focus on promoting a ‘fun, sustainable, inspirational future’. Midas were able to monitor and measure power use over the first year and make changes to improve energy efficiency performance in the following year.
Due to the power efficiencies measures taken and the reduction in diesel generators used on campsites, from 2013 to 2014 overall red diesel use was reduced and biodiesel use significantly increased. In 2013, red diesel measured in at 108,000 litres, which dropped to 97,500 litres in 2014. Biodiesel use increased from 16,500 litres in 2013, to 21,239 litres in 2014.
Bestival have found that the biggest users of fuel are the production sets for the stages and that in order to create the greatest efficiencies in powering them they need to have accurate specifications in order to plan the best generator configurations and timings. This requires committing suppliers to accurate requirements, although their experience is that suppliers are not always keen to “tighten up on spec,” due to the fear of power failure to the stage at times of peak power requirement, possibly because while connection sizes are easier to pin down actual loading is harder to ascertain.
Bestival are learning from such experiences and continue to work closely with their suppliers to measure and record power and diesel use as a key tool in creating future reductions. There focus is on efficient site design and they engage with their audience in green initiatives wherever possible.