Festival Republic has announced it is to fund a new research project within Music Declares Emergency. The project aims to drive grid connections to UK festivals and begin the transition of the UK outdoor live sector to grid power. Such a transition will ultimately reduce carbon emissions for the sector in relation to temporary power generation.

Under the “No Music On A Dead Planet” banner, this grant marks a key moment in the transformation of the UK outdoor live music portfolio, and reinforces the commitment of Festival Republic to playing a leading role in creating a greener and more sustainable future for live music in the UK and beyond.

Festival Republic will support the project closely with the aim of presenting fully renewably powered, grid-connected stages at three Festival Republic events for the 2023 festival season, and to help create a pathway for other promoters and event organisers to follow.

Melvin Benn, managing director of Festival Republic, said: “This project will be a game-changer 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, festivalgoers 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.”

Lewis Jamieson, co-founder of Music Declares Emergency (MDE), said: “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 Festival Republic’s transition towards a greener future but offering the entire live sector an invaluable pathway that will benefit the whole live music community. We are delighted to be working with Festival Republic on such a visible example of the difference positive music businesses can make in relation to the climate crisis.”

The project is part of the ongoing work within Festival Republic to create sustainable and environmentally friendly outdoor events. Across the Festival Republic outdoor portfolio for summer 2022, there will be a continuation of sustainability initiatives including £1 from every Reading parking pass being donated to Trees For Cities, a priority car park for Reading car sharers with Go Car Share, a paper cup and rPET bottle deposit return scheme, no virgin single use plastic sold at the festival (all bottles are rPET), campsite recycling rewards and Take Your Tent Home campaign. This year, there will also be a new Eco Camp to grow the eco-conscious camping community at Reading and Leeds, and Green Teams will be supported by the Eco Warriorz at Reading and Everything is Possible at Leeds to engage with the audience on our environmental initiatives.

For the first time, Reading and Leeds will be powered by 100% HVO biofuel, a renewable form of fuel that has 90 per cent less carbon equivalent emissions than regular diesel.

In a new initiative, Festival Republic and Music Declares Emergency are working with the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) to understand the climate impact of food items sold at Reading and Leeds, and will display this to festivalgoers via a simple traffic light system.

Festival Republic has been a supporter of Music Declares Emergency since its launch in 2019. Music Declares Emergency will be onsite throughout the summer at Festival Republic events to continue to engage audiences and the music industry in the climate conversation.

Image: Reading Festival/Phoebe Fox