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Essential Water Supplies for Music Festivals.

Andy Robertson

Obtaining the right water supplies for any music festival can present logistical issues particularly when considering the type of water, its source and the quantity required. Getting this wrong can lead to a multitude of issues for festival organisers, what are the key factors to consider when organising water supplies? 


Most music festivals take place in the summer months and are therefore likely to be hot and dry which means festival-goers should stay hydrated so a ready supply of free water should always be made available. Estimating the volume of water to order and how it is transported, stored and delivered on a festival site can be complex but as a guide the average festival-goer uses about 14 litres of water over a festival weekend. In addition, there are sustainability issues to consider particularly for single use plastic bottled water along with the sources of supplies. In addition to drinking water are supplies of grey water required for washing, cleaning and other activities. There are numerous water supply contractors available in most counties and festival organisers should do their due diligence to find the most appropriate supplier. 

Clear (Drinking) Water.
As most music festivals are held in remote locations hooking up to a mains supply is rare and therefore supplies will have to be shipped in. Any contracted water supplier should be able to provide fresh drinking water of good quality using tankers along with onsite installation to provide a suitable number of drinking stations. The supply should be sufficient for the number of festival-goers and suitable water pressure must be maintained to keep supplies flowing. Supplies of drinking water in plastic bottles should be discouraged and organisers can issue notices with these instructions for all vendors, contractors and festival-goers. Many festivals now provide reusable branded drinking bottles made of metal that people can use to refill at drinking stations negating the need for any single use plastic bottles.

Blue and Grey Water.
This is the water usually not suitable for drinking and is essential for hand washing stations, hot and cold running showers and flushing toilets for example. This will also be required by many food and beverage vendors to ensure they have suitable hand washing facilities and is a general health and safety requirement anyway.

Brown / Black water.
This is the waste water produced at festivals and needs to be collected and disposed of correctly. It can include effluent from toilets and sullage from food stall washing up for example.

Maintenance.
Water suppliers will usually provide on-site maintenance of any water supplies to ensure regular quality testing along with monitoring quantities and water pressure for example. For suppliers of clear water in the UK check that they are compliant with the EU Drinking Water Directive legislated in the UK by The Water Supply Regulations Acts 2000 and 2010.


For event organisers planning their music festival using a software management platform like Festival Pro gives them all the functionality they need manage every aspect of their festival water supply logistics. The guys who are responsible for this software have been in the front line of event management for many years and the features are built from that experience and are performance artists themselves. The Festival Pro platform is easy to use and has comprehensive features with specific modules for managing artists, contractors, venues/stages, vendors, volunteers, sponsors guestlists, cashless ordering and ticketing. 

Image by Jason Gillman from Pixabay

Andy Robertson
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