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Powering Your Music Festival Responsibly

Andy Robertson

One of the biggest concerns in staging a music festival in a field somewhere is access to reliable power. The use of diesel generators is commonplace but not exactly the most environmentally friendly power solution. With advances in technology there are new innovative ideas that could transform the whole area of remote power sourcing. 


For music festivals held in a remote field somewhere that inevitably is off the gird the primary source of power are diesel generators and, in the UK alone the music festival sector consumes in excess of 12 million litres of diesel a year. Aside from being one of the chief costs in staging a festival the diesel-powered generators can be responsible for up to 70% of an event’s core carbon footprint. 

Research suggest that the high costs of diesel generators could be reduced massively by running them more efficiently and balancing the generator size with power requirements rather than obtaining generators that are in stock and running them only when power is needed. Using a more scientific approach and consulting and expert could save event organisers up to 40% in their power bills. In considering alternative sources of power the dichotomy will be the efficiency of diesel as a low-cost fuel, it is inexpensive to purchase, widely available and when used to power a generator a very efficient provider of electricity, notwithstanding that the generators are not being utilised efficiently by event organisers.

If considering cleaner electricity provision many look at wind and solar power, in theory these are great at generating clean electricity however, they are dependent on climate and weather conditions. They can also be quite expensive to install and actually produce very little power.

All of this does not bode well in moving away from diesel generators however, there is new technology becoming available now. The development of hydrogen powered cars for example has largely been overshadowed by the emergence of the battery powered (EV) car. A hydrogen powered car powers an electric motor from a hydrogen powered engine, the result is zero emissions and batteries that never need to be recharged from an external source. There are a few companies who are now using this technology for remote based electricity generation.

Hydrogen generators are most likely going to be the future of power generation for music festivals. You get the same amount of power as diesel generators yet produce zero emissions. These are becoming available from various companies, but have a look at AFC Energy as they are supplying these now. Of interest this company have developed hydrogen generators that can also provide remotely located charging points for traditional EV’s.

For music festival event organisers, the technology exists now to gradually migrate from diesel to hydrogen generators potentially reducing costs and hugely reducing emissions and carbon footprint. As more event goers attend in EV’s event organisers can provide EV charging points knowing that the electricity is from a source that is also zero emission.

If you use an events management software solution like FestivalPro it already has built in functionality for all your music festival event management logistics needs. 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 FestivalPro platform is easy to use and has all the features you need to plan and manage every aspect of your music festival including power contractor management.  

Photo by Markus Spiske from Pexels

Andy Robertson
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