All posts by Chris Johnson

SGP save over 10,000 litres diesel and 24 tonnes of carbon by going hybrid

Firefly Clean Energy designed and installed part of the power infrastructure for Secret Garden Party 2014, one of the UK’s biggest independent festivals with an audience of 30,000. The hybrid technology installed saved over 10,000 litres of diesel, significantly reducing the festival’s carbon footprint and fuel costs.

Freddie Fellows, Founder and Director states:

“We’ve used less diesel, reduced our CO2 emissions, and demonstrated that you can run a clean, green festival – so hopefully there will be more and more events turning to hybrid and renewable power next year!”

Will You Join the Energy Revolution?

Powerful Thinking is working with festivals to develop an unprecedented industry-wide colloboration (Energy Revolution) to tackle climate change. Energy Revolutionwill work with festivals and their audiences toward a fossil-free future by reducing festival energy emissions, and driving investment into renewable energy through audience donations to account for travel carbon. Over ten significant UK festivals will launch the project in early 2015, with the aim of collectively funding a 1MW Festival Wind Turbine.

Watch out for the launch in early 2015…

250 UK Events use Renewable Energy in 2014

It’s been an exciting year for sustainable power solutions in the UK, with the number of festivals managing power sustainably exponentially increasing.

Renewable suppliers have been inundated with new businessMidas UK, a leading biofuel specialist who recently won theSupplier Awards Green Award, has experienced their busiest season in fourteen years with almost 200 events. Firefly Clean Energy have seen a 33% increase in contracts compared to 2013, providing over 45 events with hybrid energy solutions.

Festivals such as Bestival, Reading, Shambala, Secret Garden Party and Standon Calling have seen their fuel bills and carbon footprints reduce by embracing efficient practices and renewable technology. Sustainable and renewable energy is becoming the new norm.


Fuel Tool launched

Find out your festival’s fuel efficiency rating in less than a minute!

Festivals organisers can now use a free online tool to check their energy performance. Supported by the Association of Independent Festivals (AIF), this simple tool asks a series of questions and then provides the user with an energy rating based on industry benchmarks and fuel-related carbon emissions. Over time the data will provide improved benchmarks for small, medium and large events, allowing festivals to better judge their performance.

Use the FREE Fuel Tool on the AIF website HERE

TED Talk: The big change behind the scenes…

The festival industry has renewable power solutions emerging that meet the dynamic requirements of events and are cost-effective, but relatively few companies are currently at the vanguard of these emerging technolgies. The key has been the successful use of waste biofuel in generators, and the development of storage solutions to manage the supply of renewables. Storage is the issue at all levels – festival site to national.

This TED talk highlights breakthrough research which could usher in a worldwide energy revolution, enabling free sun and wind energy to be harnessed.

Watch the TED Talk HERE

How does the IPCC Report relate to festivals?

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Report (2014), looks at current greenhouse gas emissions, the levels they will need to fall to in future, and how this can be achieved. Among the key findings of the report are:

  • Efforts to reduce emissions need to take place across all sectors and all regions. Reductions in demand for energy (e.g. through implementing energy efficiency measures) can play a big part
  • Greenhouse gas emissions are still rising, and the rate of increase has itself been increasing
  • Staying under the 2 degree limit is possible but increasingly difficult
  • Many countries already have policies in place to reduce emissions, but much more needs to be done – investment in clean technology needs to be massively scaled-up

Find out how to reduce fuel consumption, save money and communicate effectively with audiences about energy using our fact sheets and case studies on the website HERE

New Benchmarks for Festival Fuel Consumption

Julie’s Bicycle has developed and published a set of benchmarks to help UK festivals compare their environmental performance against the industry average for venues, cultural buildings, offices and outdoor events.

Findings based on 13 UK festivals spanning 2011- 2013, with audiences of 20,000+, revealed that fuel use averaged 0.7 litres per person, per day. The festivals engaged with the Industry Green certification scheme used an average of 28% waste vegetable oil (WVO) biodiesel.

Find out more information about festival benchmarks HERE

Over 100 UK Events went Hybrid in 2014

Shambala Festival, The Secret Garden Party, Love Saves the Day, Red Rooster and 100 other UK events went ‘hybrid’ this season. Working with Firefly, one of the UK’s leading sustainable temporary energy providers, these events combined waste vegatable oil fuelled generators, solar panels and solar batteries to reduce fuel bills by around 30% and reduce their carbon emissions to zero!

Find out more about hybrid power and how it works on the Hybrid Energy Fact Sheet HERE.

Hot off the Press: New Edition of Sustainable Events Management Book

Powerful Thinking is proud to be featured in the Sustainable Event Management book, which was released at the beginning of June, after working with the author to peer review the chapter on energy. The book is a practical, step-by-step guide taking readers through the key aspects of how to identify, evaluate and manage event sustainability issues and impacts. The book covers events of all styles and scales, on a global level.

Click here for full details.


Powerful Thinking and Julies Bicycle are proud to have launched EE MUSIC in the UK on Wednesday 5th March at the Bargehouse in London. Managed by 8 European partners and spanning 27 countries, EE MUSIC aims to increase the music event sector’s understanding of its energy use and impacts and build its ability to become more energy efficient and sustainable in energy source and use.  It brings together a network of sustainability and energy experts, music industry experts and communications agencies to both inspire leadership within the sector and build capacity through a range of events, workshops, training, best practice case studies, online resources and tools.  To find out more about EE MUSIC and explore best practice case studies from some leading European music venues and festivals, go to the EE MUSIC preview website