Tollwood Festival of Culture, DE

Tollwood Festival of Culture happens over 25 days twice a year (one in summer and one in winter) in Munich, Germany. It is a non-ticketed festival with ~1.5 million visitors per years. Entry is free, and over 70% of all cultural events at the festival are also free of entry. There is a mix of music by both local and international acts on offer, including rock, jazz, world music and reggae; as well as theatre, including Nouveau Cirque and Physical Theatre.

The festival is on-grid, deriving green energy from Munich’s public utility company SWM (Stadtwerke München), which also supplies the energy requirements for all concessions.

The festival has been monitoring energy consumption for 25 years and responsibility for energy management is held by the Technical Director. The Head of Environment works with the Technical Director on planning environmental initiatives and liaising between different staff and external stakeholders. Tollwood Festival has a non-fixed budget for energy management, which varies to take into account what needs improving, and where potential for innovation can be realised.

Tollwood Festival of Culture conducts a variety of energy efficiency initiatives. It invests in insulated tents in winter, operates a Building Management System (BMS) to control heating and ventilation systems and utilises energy efficient stage lighting and outdoor illumination. External experts come in to do energy audits, and training is also given to staff and external vendors and caterers to improve operations in regard to energy and environmental impact.

In regard to communications and audience engagement, the festival also runs various campaigns on-site such as Energy Revolution in cooperation with Greenpeace Germany. Information on energy initiatives is communicated within the programme, festival magazine and on screens in the concert area. Artists are also engaged through meetings and 50/50 sharing of carbon offset costs from air travel which is built into contracts. 


Mains/Grid Energy

Tollwood has been powered with green electricity ever since a green tariff became available. The tariff comes from the Munich public utility company SWM.

Internal Communication

Tollwood Festival has a clear structure assigning responsibility for energy efficiency and environmental sustainability, with the Head of Environment collaborating with the Technical Director to plan initiatives, liaise with stakeholders, and provide training on energy management to staff and external vendors and caterers.

External Communication

By partnering with campaign groups, such as Greenpeace Germany for Energy Revolution, Tollwood is both using the opportunities it has to reach out to audiences while expanding its reach into civil society. Involving external campaign groups also means a festival organiser doesn’t need to be an expert on a particular topic: the NGO can be the experts! Information on energy initiatives is also communicated through the programme, festival magazine, and screens in the concert arena.


Artists are engaged to consider environmental sustainability through meetings and 50/50 sharing of carbon offset costs from air travel, which is built into contracts.

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