News

Vision 2025 celebrates reaching 100 members

Festival Vision 2025, has topped 100 members with the ‘From the Fields’ portfolio joining the festivals pledging to reduce their carbon footprint by 50% by 2025. 

With the Association of Independent Festival (AIF) community gathered in Sheffield for the 2019 AIF Congress to discuss issues ranging from mental health to festival economics, Chris Johnson, Vision 2025 founder, participated in the panel ‘Garden of Eden: A Vision for A Sustainable Industry’, he stated:

“It is time critical that we act now. It’s great to see more members of the festival community engaging to reduce their carbon impact, getting onboard Vision 2025 and seizing the moment to play their part in helping tackle the climate emergency.” 

From the Field portfolio of six festivals includes Kendal Calling, Bluedot and Inner City Electronic, which joins other Vision 2025 members; including Festival Republic’s Download, BBC Proms in the Park, Wireless, Leeds and Reading, along with AIF members such as Shambala, Hay Festival, Manchester Pride and Kew The Music.

Ben Robinson, director at From The Fields, comments:

 “We have initiated many successful sustainable initiatives across our festivals in recent years and we recognise the spirit of collaboration to share and promote knowledge and best practice embodied by Vision 2025.”

The Vision 2025 campaign, run by Industry think-tank Powerful Thinking, recently hosted its third, and most successful, annual conference at the Showman’s Show, attracting over 150 event professionals. The growth in attendees and members reflects the growing number of festivals proactively sharing and exploring best practice around implementing sustainable measures. 

Festival Vision 2025 is currently writing the second edition Show Must Go on Report, set to be published in Jan 2020. This will become an invaluable free to access event sustainability tool alongside an online knowledge hub for outdoor event professionals looking to reduce their carbon impact.

To take the Festival Vision: 2025 pledge to cut environmental impacts of your event visit www.powerful-thinking.org.uk/vision2025/

Festival Vision2025 Conference: round up

A huge thanks to all who were part of the Festival Vision: 2025 event last week at The Showman’s Show.

It was great to see organisers from diverse event sectors, and many delegates and exhibitors at The Show, joining the conference throughout the day for updates in key areas of sustainability. 

Many thanks to The Showman’s Show for hosting, to Eat to the Beat for the delicious member’s lunch and to Purity Ales for the networking drinks – and of course to all of the speakers and guests who’s knowledge and experience helped put Festival Vision: 2025 in context of climate emergency globally and nationally and offered potential solutions, while also drilling into the day to day onsite challenges of event management and what the future might look like in terms of new event-led initiatives and innovations in the supply chain. 

Many of you have requested the slides from the day. You can download these HERE.

If you would like to carry on the conversation with any of the speakers, guests or delegates or give feedback on the day get in touch at bethan@powerful-thinking.org.uk

Useful Contacts from the day:

  • Powerful Thinking re: being part of the forthcoming Show Must Go On report: Chris Johnson info@powerful-thinking.org.uk
  • Energy Revolution: the charity tackling event travel miles with investment in clean renewable energy: bethan@energy-revolution.org.uk
  • CGA: Audience Attitudes to Sustainability: Charlie Mitchell: charlie.mitchell.cga.co.uk
  • Networking drinks by Purity Ales: paul.brazier@purityales.co.uk
  • Members lunch by Eat to the Beat: mary@eattothebeat.com

Leading International festivals signed ‘Green Deal Circular Festivals’ at ADE Green 2019

ADE Conference 2019 hosted the launch of the Green Deal ‘Circular Festivals’ by the Dutch Minister of Environment Stientje van Veldhoven.

The Green Deal is an initiative of the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management and Green Events International. The participating festivals collectively committed to sharing knowledge and developing circular solutions for the international event industry.

The participating festivals of Green Deal Cicular Festivals are Amsterdam Open Air, Best Kept Secret, Boardmasters, Body & Soul, Shambala, Boomtown, Down the Rabbit Hole, DGTL, Eurosonic-Noorderslag, Into the Great Wide Open, Lollapalooza Berlin, Lowlands, Mañana Mañana, Milkshake, North Sea Jazz, Roskilde, Shambala, Vierdaagse Feesten, We Love Green and Zwarte Cross.

The organizers collectively want to set the standard for sustainability in the event industry. They strive for circularity in 2025, by developing solutions that can be put into practice by other festivals worldwide. The Green Deal is unique; it is the first time that this many international leading festivals are joining forces for such a cause.

The Dutch Minister of Environment Stientje van Veldhoven stated:

“ We have to stop wasting our resources and focus on circularity. We must reuse materials and turn them into new products. For our planet, for a healthy future. Circularity is our way forward! So, let’s coordinate our efforts, share what we learn and make a difference together.” Paul Schurink of Green Events International adds: “Collaboration is the key to the urgently needed change in how we deal with energy, water, food, mobility, plastic and other materials. And with a combined number of over three million festival visitors we can make an enormous impact.”

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.

CLICK TO BOOK YOUR PLACE

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 www.powerlog.co.uk.

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. 

TAKE THE INDUSTRY GREEN SURVEY 2019

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 bethan@powerful-thinking.org.ukto book your place or sign up to Powerful Thinking newsletter for programme updates for the Festival Vision: 2025 conference at The Showman’s Show: www.powerful-thinking.org.uk/sign-up

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: www.powerful-thinking.org.uk/sign-up

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: www.crowdfunder.co.uk/festivalvision2025

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 www.crowdfunder.co.uk/festivalvision2025

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: www.crowdfunder.co.uk/festivalvision2025