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Festival Republic, UK: Reading, Leeds and Latitude.

Festival Republic is a UK music promoter. Among its other events it runs the Reading, Leeds and Latitude festivals each year in various locations around England. Both the Reading & Leeds Festivals have each achieved a three star Industry Green rating for the 2013 events; this is the highest possible achievement within the Industry Green Certification scheme. Reading & Leeds are two of only a small number of festivals in the UK to have achieved this maximum rating and the first dual site festivals in the UK to accomplish this level of accreditation.

Festival Republic is committed to minimising the environmental impact of all its festivals and works carefully throughout the year to ensure that all events are as environmentally sustainable as possible. Key sources of potential environmental impact are identified and addressed by the Sustainability Coordinator, who sets clear targets for each event and works with all employees and contractors to achieve them.

Environmental best practice and new initiatives are communicated clearly and concisely to all employees and contractors, and festival audiences are kept up to date through the festival websites, social media channels and on site volunteers.

Energy efficiency initiatives implemented at Reading & Leeds have included encouraging attendees to cut costs and carbon emissions by sharing their car journeys to the festival; increasing the use of biodiesel onsite; and monitoring the generators usage in order to improve their performance and therefore reduce the amount of fuel burned.

These initiatives helped Reading & Leeds Festivals to achieve impressive reductions in their total relative emissions from energy use, water use, sewerage and waste, with Reading Festival reducing emissions by 11% between 2012 and 2013 and by 26% since 2009.



Take Control of Your Power

Festival Republic introduced bio-diesel targets back in 2007 in order to reduce carbon emissions. This move was made in spite of biodiesel costing more than red diesel. Historically the fuel had always been bought by the power contractor on each site up until 2012 when Festival Republic took control of the purchase and also decided to have a single power contractor across all festivals. Meetings are held with the contractor prior to the festival season and they are contractually bound to provide data on the actual fuel consumption breakdown.

Below is a table with figures from 2010 – 2013.


 Leeds  Fuel  Litres 
2013
2013%  Litres 
2012
 2012%  Litres 
2011
 2011%  Litres 
2010
 2010%
  Diesel
 General 
 119.065,00  89,21%  112.187,00   90,34%   131.549,00   75,47%   125.584,00   81,48% 
  Bio
Diesel
 14.400,00  10,79%   12.000,00  9,66%  42.750,00   24,53%  28.550,00   18,52% 
  Total
 133.465,00   100,00%   124.187,00   100,00%   174.299,00   100,00%   154.134,00   100,00% 

 


 Reading Fuel Litres
2013
2013% Litres
2012
 2012% Litres
2011
 2011% Litres
2010
 2010%
 Diesel
 General 
 100.058,00 82,25% 103.117,00  81,76%  123.368,00  91,47%  104.911,00  87,49% 
 Bio
Diesel
 21.600,00 17,75%  23.000,00 18,24% 11.500,00  8,53% 15.000,00  12,51% 
 Total 121.658,00  100,00%  126.117,00  100,00%  134.868,00  100,00%  119.911,00  100,00% 

  


 Latitude  Fuel  Litres 
2013
2013%  Litres 
2012
 2012%  Litres 
2011
 2011%  Litres 
2010
 2010%
  Diesel
 General 
 101.360,00  85,90%  86.155,00   81,90%   118.668,00   91,17%   85.747,00   81,86% 
  Bio
Diesel
 16.609,00  14,10%   19.000,00  18,10%  11.500,00   8,83%  19.000,00   18,14% 
  Total  117.969,00   100,00%   105.155,00   100,00%   130.168,00   100,00%   104.747,00   100,00% 

On the whole, the complexities experienced by Festival Republic when deciding to increase biodiesel use included:

  • How prepared contractors are in terms of equipment and sourcing to deliver on specific targets
  • Size and location of the generators and equipment plugged into them

  • How precise power demand is compared to actual use

  • Communication and feedback between festival and contractor

  • Lack of biodiesel suppliers

  • Limited supply of biodiesel

  • Price fluctuations

On a separate note, but very much related to the diesel consumption, is that up until 2013 there was a lack of information regarding generators performance. Festival Republic required from the contractor a thorough telemetry on their generators at the three festivals. The results showed that more than half of the machines were oversized; an issue that is currently being addressed by planning the generators plan for 2014 around the 2013 data. This should translate into either smaller generators or bigger but fewer generators onsite, which should, in both cases, lead to diesel savings.

At the same time, Festival Republic has facilitated the conversation between the power contractor and a solar power contractor in order to ensure that hybrid solutions are trialled at the three festivals.

The above actions highlight the crucial need for taking more control of the power supply (purchase of diesel, bio-diesel targets imposed to contractors, accurate telemetries on generators, etc.) in order to have a better understanding of the actual demand and therefore identify areas for improvement.



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