Festival Vision: 2025 Conference on event sustainability – programme goes 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 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. 


Programme highlights include:

  •  Keynote speaker Sophie Thomas, introducing the Circular Economy model and what it means to events in the coming decade
  • Julie’s Bicycle on climate emergency on the global stage, public arena and broader creative community 
  • The Future of Food’ looking at food waste, provenance, zero-packaging and the practicalities of implementing initiatives onsite 
  • ‘Insights on Waste Management’ gathers experts who’ve worked on some of the UK’s most celebrated events to consider how to implement effective waste strategy and engage audiences
  • ‘Innovations in Energy’ session showcases the latest in power management, monitoring & efficiency from suppliers and consultants
  • Preview of The Show Must Go On report & update on the future of Festival Vision

Full programme below or download HERE

Event Industry Green Survey

Powerful Thinking Launch Event Industry Green Survey

Calling all event organisers! Please take a few minutes to tell our founding partner Powerful Thinking about the environmental measures you have taken over the last season and your 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. 


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 December 21st2019. The GEI ticket winner will be announced in Jan 2020

Event Tech Live offer Carbon-balancing

Event Tech Live offers carbon balancing to travellers

Event Tech Live has partnered with Energy Revolution to provide travellers to the event with the opportunity to balance travel carbon to this year’s event.

This year marks the sixth edition of the ever-popular show and promises to be bigger and better. ETL showcases the latest event technology as well as the best event practices, pulling in experts from all sectors of the industry to demonstrate their professional opinions, research and expertise.

The show runs from 6th-7th November 2019 and takes place at the Old Truman Brewery, East London. Its sister event, Event Technology Awards takes place on the evening of the first day (6th) at Troxy.


AIF make Festival Congress first travel carbon neutral industry conference

The Association of Independent Festival’s annual Festival Congress in Sheffield 6-7th November this year, is set to be the first travel carbon neutral events industry conference, working with Energy Revolution to balance the carbon emissions from travel for all speakers and staff with investment in projects that create clean renewable energy. Delegates will also be offered the option to balance their travel emissions with a donation at point of ticket sale – with 100% of all donations going directly to renewable energy projects.

The sixth annual Festival Congress, following five consecutive sold-out events, is expected to attract over 350 delegates. The conference will take place at Abbeydale Picturehouse, a stunning, Grade II listed, 1920’s cinema. Buy tickets and find out more about the programme here.

AIF CEO Paul Reed said: “Following an exciting inaugural year in Sheffield, Festival Congress has firmly settled into its new home and is back with our most ambitious and varied programme to date. We’ll be debating the key issues currently facing the independent festival sector and, as ever, looking outside of the industry for inspiration. With Abbeydale Picturehouse, we’ve found a conference venue that is aligned with the content and Independent Festival Awards in terms of creativity and atmosphere. In addition, as part of our commitment to environmental change, and following our Drastic On Plastic and Take Your Tent Home campaigns, I’m delighted that AIF is working closely with Energy Revolution to walk the walk and be the first transport carbon neutral event industry conference.”

Festival Vision 2025

Festival Vision:2025 Crowdfunder

Energy Revolution’s founding organisation, Powerful Thinking, launched the Festival Vision:2025 Crowdfunder this week, on 11 June. The campaign invites everyone in the industry to be part of an ambitious strategy towards sustainable events – cutting impacts by 50% by 2025. 

The Crowdfunder aims to raise £25k to fund a second-edition of The Show Must Go On Report, which will provide, free-to-use, practical resources, advice and a roadmap for change in key areas – with Energy Revolution trustee, Liz Warwick, heading up the Travel & Transport chapter and our CEO and Chair of Powerful Thinking, Chris Johnson, overseeing the project.  

There are many opportunities for events, companies and individuals to be part of this vision. Below Chris, explains what the project is all about. Get involved:www.crowdfunder.co.uk/festivalvision2025

Watch the video and visit the Festival Vision: 2025 Crowdfunder page for support and sponsorship opportunities: www.crowdfunder.co.uk/festivalvision2025

Love Saves The Day 2019

Love Saves Tomorrow!

The travel-emissions-busting festival hero award for this month goes to Love Saves the Day!

This year as part of the Love Saves Tomorrow sustainability campaign they have pledged to carbon-balance the CO2 emissions from their audience shuttle buses to and from the festival, with investment in renewable energy, through Energy Revolution.

That’s the carbon emissions from 3000 people each day making 90 round trips from the main train station to the site at Eastville Park! 

Photo credit: Benjamin Eagle for Love Saves TheDay 2019

Cambridge Folk Case Study

Cambridge Folk Festival: Measuring and tackling travel impacts

Cambridge Folk Festival have just joined Energy Revolution and will be pointing their audience to our travel carbon calculator to measure and balance the carbon emissions from their journey. The team Cambridge Folk Festival take their environmental impacts seriously and have been working year on year to cut their travel impacts and a first and vital step. Here their environmental consultant Liz Warwick talks about how they have focused on reducing the carbon emissions from audience, crew and supplier travel. 

“Held in urban green parks, Cambridge Folk Festival is close to bus routes serving the train and main coach/bus stations and the City centre. To promote audience use of public transport we offer a free bus pass for the return trip from the stations and a free shuttle bus between the campsite and festival. As we’re not far from the city a significant number of attendees walk or cycle with plenty of cycle spaces provided. 

For the last few years the Festival has built up a social media/ communications campaign and enhanced internal processes to promote eco awareness, including sustainable travel, actively promoting public transport, car share options available and locating nearby electric vehicle charging points.

In 2019 Cambridge is partnering with Tuned In Travel, a specialist travel operator, to offer dedicated coaches and minibuses to cut down on individual car use. The Folk Festival is also partnering with Energy Revolution to offer the audience the opportunity to carbon balance their journey miles. 

We closely monitor and record the impacts of transport to pinpoint areas we need to tackle – each year new ideas for increasing sustainable travel at Cambridge Folk Festival are reviewed and put into action.

Recent detailed transport measurement and analysis has shown:

  • Car use at 60% (down from 74%) 
  • Staff and contractor car passes decreased by one third by encouraging car share and low carbon travel.
  • Traders’ and caterers’ travel emissions reduced by 30% over 2 years due to the actively selecting more local suppliers – saving over 2 tonnes CO2e.
  • Car share at about 4% of audience travel.
  • 10% audience walking and nearly 7% cycling.
  • Public transport used by 11% of the audience

Find out more about Cambridge Folk Festival at their profile HERE.

Photo credit: Ollie Millington for Cambridge Live

Energy Revolution join Julie’s Bicycle and Believe Music at the Great Escape 2019

Energy Revolution is heading to The Great Escape 2019 to join the teams from Believe Music Group and Julie’s Bicycle who are hosting a discussion on how to empower artist and industry action on climate change within the music sector.

The session, runs from 4-5pm at Believe Social @ Dead Wax Social, 18A Bond Street Brighton BN1 1RD – it will focus on the recent work of artist Novo Amor, who in 2018 released his album Birthplace with a commitment to make the tour and album more environmentally responsible. 

Hear Dave Grinnell, senior marketing manager at AllPoints / Believe and Chiara Badiali from Julie’s Bicycle in conversation: They’ll talk about how the Believe team worked to bring environmental sustainability into the album campaign and manufacture, the impact that it’s had at Believe Music Group and what they’re doing to green their operations, and how Novo Amor worked with Julie’s Bicycle and Energy Revolution around his tour.

Register for the session here

Association of Independent Festivals Launch “No Single Use Tent” Campaign

Organisers of more than 60 independent festivals across the UK, including many Energy Revolution festival members, have issued a call to retailers such as Argos and Tesco to stop marketing and selling ‘festival tents’ as single-use items, which result in almost 900 tonnes of plastic waste every year.

The call comes as part of a new initiativefrom the Association of Independent Festivals (AIF), which has also launched a consumer-facing campaign urging festival-goers to ‘Take Your Tent Home’ and ‘Say No To Single Use’. AIF members include some of the biggest and most well-known independent festivals in the country such as Shambala, Boomtown Fair, Boardmasters, Kendal Calling and End Of The Road.

AIF estimates that each year 250,000 tents are left at music festivals across the UK. Most aren’t collected by charities and can’t be recycled, meaning the vast majority end up in landfill. The average tent weighs 3.5kg and is mostly made of plastic – the equivalent of 8,750 straws or 250 pint cups.

Major retailers have a history of selling cheap tents marketed specifically for festival-use.

Research by Comp-A-Tent, who have been researching festival waste and testing solutions since 2015, suggests that as many as 36% of tents left at festivals are bought from either Argos or Tesco. As part of its ‘Festival Season’ range, Argos offers a four-man tent for £29.99, a sleeping bag or £9.99, an airbed for £14.99 and camping chair for £7.99 – a total of £62.96 (1). Amazon also offers two-man tents for festivals for as little as £19.99 (2).

Research from environmental charity Julie’s Bicycle says that the carbon impact of manufacturing a 3.5 kg tent that ends up in landfill is 25 kg CO2e (3).

AIF’s ten-year report, published in 2018, revealed that 9.7% of people attending its member events had ditched a tent during that year’s festival season, equating to an estimated 875 tonnes of plastic waste – the equivalent of 70 Routemaster buses or eight blue whales.

Whatsmore the “ditch” rate is higher for some other festivals, averaging 1 in 5 according to research with Love Your Tent, Bucks New Uni and AGF, in which case the actual plastic impact is even greater.

The AIF campaign includes an animated educational video that will be displayed across social media for all participating festivals, as well as assets being displayed on screens and at entrances to festival campsites throughout the 2019 season. The Take Your Tent Home campaign follows the Drastic On Plastic campaign, launched by AIF last year in partnership with RAW Foundation, which empowered 65 of the trade body’s member festivals commit to eliminating all single-use plastic at their events by 2021.

In 2018, the first year of the Drastic On Plastic pledge, festivals have reported some significant changes at their events: 93% of signatories ditched plastic straws, 40% banned the sale of drinks in single-use plastic on-site, 40% replaced single-use bar cups with reusable cups, 67% sold branded reusable drinks bottles, and 87% promoted the use of reusable bottles.

AIF CEO Paul Reed said: “We call upon major retailers to stop marketing and selling tents and other camping items as essentially single-use, and profiting from disposable culture. AIF launches this campaign to raise awareness and highlight abandoned tents as part of the single-use plastics problem. The message here is not to buy a more expensive tent – with a single tent carrying the same amount of plastic as more than 8,700 plastic straws, festival audiences can take positive action and reduce their carbon footprint simply by taking their tent home and reusing it, ensuring that it doesn’t become a single-use item this summer.”

Chair of Powerful Thinking Chris Johnson said: “We’re finally waking up to the climate crisis en masse. The stuff we use is part of the problem – everything has an impact, usually hidden from the user. As festivals, we can work with audiences to inspire better decisions, reduce single use and waste, and minimise ecological damage at this critical moment in history.”  

Campaign partners:

Julie’s Bicycle: https://www.juliesbicycle.com/
RAW Foundation: http://rawfoundation.org/making-waves/
A Greener Festival: https://www.agreenerfestival.com
Camplight: https://www.camplight.co.uk


(1) https://www.argos.co.uk/static/ArgosPromo3/includeName/festivals-and-camping.htm
(2) https://www.amazon.co.uk/Trail-Festival-Camping-Waterproof-

(3) This figure is based on a lifecycle analysis undertaken by Julie’s Bicycle in 2017 on behalf of Comp-A-Tent, partly funded by Innovate UK and in collaboration with festival promoter Festival Republic, circular designer Sophie Thomas, and business developer Matt Elliot. It includes impacts from materials, manufacturing, distribution, and landfill, but excludes audience transport to the shops for buying the tent or transport to the festival site.

Just So Festival: campers arriving

8 ways to cut your festival travel footprint

When you think of the environmental footprint impact of festivals what springs to mind? A field marred by broken tents and discarded plastic bottles? The hum of a diesel generator at 3am? The weird blue chemicals in festival toilets…or the pollution to the water table from punters too busting to queue to use them…

These are all problems that impact on the environment BUT…  Did you know that the CO2 emissions from travel have by far the largest impact on the average UK festivals’ carbon footprint? Audience travel alone typically accounts for up to 60-80% of their footprint!  …and that figure will increase as we find out more about additional impacts of crew, supplier and artist travel.

Luckily there are easy ways that every festival-goer can help reduce their travel emissions and help their favourite festival cut overall emissions: 

1/ Buy a ticket that includes public transport: Many festivals offer coach + entry tickets – which means you get a discount on the cost of your travel – and you might even get an extra perk: Boomtown offer all coach ticket holders free early entry… and travelling with a coachload of friends means your party starts even earlier! 

Check out National Express, Big Green Coach or Tuned in Travel – who all provide coaches to many of the UK’s favourite events. If you go with Tuned in Travel have the added bonus of offering passengers the chance to offset or balance their emissions with a small donation to renewable energy projects through Energy Revolution. 

2/ Go by public transport: Look into train or bus routes – festivals usually provide all the info you need – and many even have deals with local bus companies meaning your travel from the station to site is free. The team behind Timber Festival work with local bus company Midland Classic to offer a bus route direct the site. Cambridge Folk Festival go the extra mile by offering free bus rides from the main bus and train stations onto site.

Worried about carrying all of your kit there and back? More festivals are offering affordable pre-pitched tents – check out tent provider with Camplight to see which festivals you can rock up to a ready-made canvas home from home. The Green Gathering have created a detailed Green Traveller Guide to the event and are working with Camplight who will throw in FREE hire of a thermarest and camping chair for every public transport traveller who books a tent with them. 

Some events even have onsite shops meaning you can lighten your load by saving your booze shopping until you’re there – Download, Latitude, and Reading and Leeds festivals all welcomed the Co-op into their grounds for the first time last year selling food, water, beer and wine, toiletries including medicines and, to cover all eventualities, both sun cream and rain ponchos! 

3/ Use leg power! Many festivals organise guided bike rides – which means all your festival kit gets delivered for you while you freewheel onsite to meet it! You might even get an extra perk – Shambala Festival offer free programmes to all those who arrive by bike! Red Fox Cyclingoffer guided rides to a number of events including Boomtown, Shindig Weekender, Bluedot, Wilderness, Timber Festival and many more…  

4/ Fill your car with friends! With four people in your car you cut your CO2 per passenger mile by 25%! Want to make new friends? Sign up to a lift share scheme and hop in someone else’s ride or pick up some travellers. Try LiftshareBlablacaror GoCarShare. Got a lot of friends? Consider hiring a minibus at Tuned in Travel offer a range of options to get your crew there in style. 

5/ Go electric! Electric vehicles (EV) are the way ahead with the government committing to making 60% of all vehicles manufactured EV by 2030. Don’t own one yet? Check out the benefits and find your perfect match at Go Ultra Low– they event offer grantsto help you make the switch. EV charging is also becoming available at events across the UK so you can hop back into your car for the return journey fully charged… check out S2VS who offer a meet and greet “valet” charging service for all types of EV at festivals. 

6/ Be a happy camper… Driving solo in a campervan is one of the worst things you can do – the CO2 emissions are, on average, over double that of a solo journey by car. Worryingly the Association of Independent Festivals (AIF) 10-year reportshowed that in 2017, 38.34% of travellers arrived by campervan – if you’re going to bring yours remember to fill it with friends or leave it in the drive this year and look into other ways of getting there. 

7/ Drive efficiently: Over 70% of people still travel by car… if that’s you remember you can cut emissions by driving with care: Drive smoothly. Shift up early to a higher gear.  Switch off your engine instead of idling. Slow down! Use your air-con wisely – if you’re travelling below 60 mph opening the windows is more efficient. Check your tyre pressure. Lighten your load & ditch the roof rack: To learn more check out the Energy Saving Trust’s guide on fuel efficient driving for businesses.

8/ Balance your travel emissions: However you decide to travel you can choose to do something positive to balance the negative impact of your emissions. Of course, the first step is ALWAYS to cut emissions at source, but for unavoidable emissions you can calculate your individual journey’s CO2 and make a small donation to Energy Revolution – we’ll give 100% of your donation directly to projects that create clean renewable energy. Balance your travel here: www.energy-revolution.org.uk

Photo credit: Ten Eight for Just So Festival