4 steps to make your festival save energy, sustainably

May 13, 2017

4 Steps to make your festival safe energy, sustainably

An energy efficient festival, how do you do this? Making organizers aware of the possibilities in energy saving techniques, is what Innofest aims for. They use festivals as ‘living labs’ for innovation. The previous brainstorm session shed light on the challenges that nearly every festival faces, and we provide you with a basic 4-step guide towards more sustainable energy consumption at a festival.

Innofest describes a festival as a ‘temporary mini society’. As it is the case in society, energy and waste are important challenges at festivals. The difference with society however, is that festivals have a fence usually, therefore are a perfect test ground for innovations. If a prototype or experimental technique works at a festival, it might work in society as well. Festivals make a perfect laboratory setting, an actual ‘living lab’.

Three weeks ago Innofest, Accenture and startups came together to brainstorm about how to make festivals safe energy.

Energy challenges

The brainstorm session started off identifying some interesting festival challenges:

  • Accessibility: the current trend seems to be that festivals are organized in areas, difficult to reach. Therefore, there are few possibilities to make use of public transport, which leads people to go by car.
  • Generators are used to energize electrical equipment; however, they consume a lot of diesel.
  • There are no insights into the energy use of the equipment used.
  • Energy use has high peaks during popular times.
  • Visitors are not aware of the energy use at festivals, so they maintain their behavior.

Sustainable energy solutions

Of course, Innofest does not stop at the discovery of problems. We want to know how these issues can be tackled. Using sticky notes, solutions were brought to light, some concerned small adaptions, some solutions require more strategic approaches. There are a few areas for improvement identified. These are opportunities you can dive into:

  1. Use a platform where festivals can work together. Leaders in sustainable energy solutions can teach peers how to make their festivals more conscious towards energy and waste. Innofest already facilitates communication between eight festivals. ADE Green and Eurosonic Noorderslag are examples of festivals that already emphasize sustainability, innovation, and social change.
  2. Get insights into the actual energy consumption of the equipment that is being used. If you know what you are using, you know how much you are polluting.
  3. Make visitors aware of these numbers. People become increasingly aware of their own energy use, and try to find ways to minimize it. Otherwise it will always stay in the dark and be invisible.
  4. When they are aware, reward visitors as equipment renters when they involve in sustainable behavior. By making them aware and rewarding them, you stimulate both intrinsic and extrinsic motivations for energy saving behavior.

Next steps

The importance of making festivals more energy efficient is obvious, but now we must make steps. Innofest aims to make one festival that is currently extremely energy inefficient, more sustainable by implementing these steps. To do this, they are looking for partners that can finance their case, so that they can serve as an example for other festivals.


Do you have a great idea about sustainable energy consumption? Contact Innofest here.

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