Øya Festival, Norway

Øya is a music festival that has been running since 1999 and hosts artists spanning a variety of musical genres including pop, hip-hop, punk, rock and electronica. For the last 13 years it has taken place in a medieval park near Oslo city centre and attracts approximately 85,000 audience members over four days.

It is Øya’s aim to be a pioneer of green events; leading by example and inspiring fellow promoters, businesses and audience members alike. Øya embeds sustainable and resource-efficient thinking across all of its operational activities, including: power, waste, food, transport, promotional materials and even toilet paper. Øya has received a multitude of awards, including two ‘Green’N’Clean’ awards, and ‘A Greener Festival’ award for the previous five years.









Photo credit: Johannes Granseth/Øya


In 2010, Øya switched from diesel generators to exclusively grid/mains power, which is 98% renewable-derived (mainly through Norway’s hydroelectricity generation) and has removed virtually all on-site emissions. The switch was implemented gradually, with a mix of generators and mains power in 2009. It required a major investment in new infrastructure for the festival, which the Øya was able to undertake through a partnership with the municipality of Oslo and their main sponsor at the time, Hafslund (a Norwegian power company who continue to supply the festival through the grid today).

Øya also made significant year-on year electricity consumption reductions including a 9% reduction between 2011 and 2012, and a further 22% between 2012 and 2013. These energy reductions are the result of a variety of efficiency projects and awareness-raising campaigns with staff, volunteers and external vendors. Øya has integrated energy efficiency within the festival’s technical operations by rationalising the size of light and sound mixing tables, and using LED lighting and LED based strobe lights wherever possible.

In cooperation with Hjellnes Consult (consulting firm) and Nature and Youth (Øya’s main environmental partner), Øya conducts energy-awareness tours during the course of the festival. The main office in which Øya staff work throughout the year also carries ‘green office’ certification.

Thanks to Øya Festival for providing the information for this case study.









Photo credit: Johannes Granseth/Øya



Because the electricity mix in Norway’s grid is mainly derived from renewable energy, Øya festival has been able to dramatically reduce its emissions by switching from diesel generators to mains/grid energy. The infrastructure investment required was facilitated through a partnership with the local Oslo authority and the local electricity supplier Hafslund, who continue to supply the festival today.

Audience Engagement

Øya has an energy awareness campaign that covers its key stakeholders. There are signs and information on site to inform about energy waste and promote energy awareness to staff and volunteers. Prior to the festival, all external vendors are informed about the festival’s environmental commitments and expectations for them to participate including energy usage instructions. An energy check is undertaken during the festival where all vendors on site are visited. This has improved attitudes and actions among external vendors year to year. Artists are informed about the festival’s lack of diesel generators, focus on energy use reduction, and that some stages use only or predominantly LED lighting. Information about the festival’s environmental sustainability initiatives is also shared with audiences.

Lighting/Sound System

Energy efficiency is a key focus when liaising with suppliers of equipment for stages, with more and more equipment being switched over to more efficient alternatives. In particular there has been a focus on introducing LEDs. For example, the lighting for one of the stages uses less than ¼ of the energy that conventional lamps would consume. Smaller mixing desks for lighting and sound have also been introduced on stages where possible, rationalising what is actually needed for performances.

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