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New initiative aims to bring renewable energy to UK festivals

It hopes to kickstart a transition within the UK outdoor live sector to grid power


A new initiative has been launched to bring renewable power to UK festivals.

The Live Nation-owned Festival Republic, which promotes festivals including Reading and Leeds, Latitude and Wireless, have teamed up with the environmental pressure group Music Declares Emergency to drive grid connections to UK festival sites. 

The aim is to present fully renewably powered, grid-connected stages at three of Festival Republic's events in the 2023 festival season. The initiative - which falls under the No Music On A Dead Planet climate campaign - hopes the decision will kickstart a general transition within the UK outdoor live sector to grid power, as doing so would reduce carbon emissions in relation to temporary power generation.

Ahead of next summer, Music Declares Emergency will have a strong presence at Festival Republic events this summer, providing information to those interested in renewable energy within the music industry. 

As part of Festival Republic's own commitment to creating sustainable and environmentally-friendly events, this year's Reading & Leeds will be exclusively fuelled by HVO biofuel – a renewable form of fuel that has 90% less carbon equivalent emissions than standard diesel.

In a statement, Festival Republic MD Melvin Benn said: “This project will be a gamechanger for outdoor live events. Generating our own temporary power is the highest contributor of on-site Greenhouse Gas emissions at a festival, and by plugging into the grid we will reduce this significantly."

"By doing this, and sharing our knowledge with others, festival goers can have an amazing time at festivals safe in the knowledge that we are doing everything we can as event organisers to create events that have positive rather than negative impacts.”

Music Declares Emergency co-founder Lewis Jamieson added: “Festival Republic and Melvin personally have been at the forefront of action on climate and environmental issues within the music industry for years. In partnering with MDE to make renewable event power a reality, they are not just continuing FR’s transition towards a greener future but offering the entire live sector an invaluable pathway that will benefit the whole live music community.”

Revisit DJ Mag's long-read, Dance Yrself Green: can clubbing generate renewable energy?