Boom Festival, Portugal

Boom is a biannual electronic and world music festival based in Portugal attracting 26,000 audience members. Boom Festival began in 1997 as a psychedelic trance music festival, but has now diversified to include a range of DJs, from chill-out to electro, as well as live world music and visual arts performances. It has twice won the Green Festival Excellence Award (2008, 2010), and in 2010 won the YOUROPE Green & Clean Festival of the Year; which resulted in Boom becoming a participant in the United Nations Music & Environmental Initiative.

In terms of roles and responsibilities, Boom has a Sustainability Director, who oversees the work of the Off-Grid Project Manager and Electrical Managers. They use the forum of the ‘general meeting’ to receive reporting from all levels, and to collectively plan energy and environment strategies.

Boom Festival is powered by a mix of off-grid photovoltaic panels, diesel generators and a 100kW Waste Vegetable Oil (WVO) generator; for which waste oil is collected from local towns as part of the pioneering Your Oil is Music Project. In 2008 Boom collected and re-used 45,000 litres of WVO, which they used to feed their generator as well as three fleet vehicles. Boom is currently transitioning to renewable power and has several photovoltaic arrays. The largest array comprises 18 panels, all following the tilt of the sun, and producing 13kw per hour, per day. Boom Off-Grid is a project that was developed in 2012 (in partnership with the local organisation BioEspaço) to increase Boom's energy efficiency and includes integrating technologies such as solar irrigation systems, LED lighting and inverters.

The area in which Boom takes place, known as Boomland, is home to around 20 permanent residents, with the on-site renewable technology being a permanent feature. The population spends the 23 months in between festivals living entirely on renewables, and creating an energy surplus in time for the next festival.

As well as utilising renewable and energy efficient technology, BOOM also carries out a variety of energy management practices including conducting energy audits and power demand assessments before and during the festival, as well as continually auditing and reviewing generator sizings.

Thanks to Boom Festival for generously providing the information for this case study.



Boom’s Your Oil Is Music collects waste vegetable oil from businesses in towns local to the festival site for reuse in their biodiesel generators, ensuring a local supply of renewable energy as well as engagement with the local community. 10,000 litres of WVO biodiesel are used for each edition of the festival.


Boom festival uses 400 kWh of solar energy produced on site and is in the process of transitioning from diesel to more off-grid photovoltaic energy. There is a permanent community living on Boomland who live powered by solar power year-round.

Generators/Internal Communication

Boom festival has careful energy management strategies in place. A sustainability director oversees an off-grid project manager and electrical managers. A complete energy audit including a study of power demand as well as consumption during the festival is undertaken before and during the festival, and generator sizing re-evaluated continuously. Recent changes on energy planning and generation mean they are expecting up to 40% less energy consumption in 2014 compared to the 2012 edition.

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