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.

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.