Outdoor events industry sustainability steering group Powerful Thinking will launch a ‘how to’ guide on sustainably powering festival campsites, at this year’s Vision: 2025 Conference on 20 October.

Benson says the Campsite Power Guide will be the first in a series of new Powerful Thinking resources designed to accelerate the move to sustainable power solutions at events.

In this month’s blog, Benson shares details of the Powerful Thinking session at the Vision: 2025 Conference and provides a power supplier’s insight into the summer event season just gone, which saw huge pressure on the supply chain as the industry went into overdrive to squeeze shows into just a few months.

Since the official cessation of full lockdown restrictions on 19 July 19 this year, our industry has gone into overdrive. Event organisers have understandably done their upmost to squeeze a full season of shows into just a few months, often confirming hires at the very last minute. This has put huge pressure on the supply chain and, in some cases, driven up hire rates exponentially. Personally, I have fielded numerous calls from organisers desperately seeking batteries, generators, distribution and site lighting because they have been let down by their power contractor or a plant hire company; and why is this the case? Because said companies have over promised in a desperate quest to recoup lost income and then been unable to deliver.

Worse still are some of the larger promoters – I will mention no names here, but you know who you are – who have insisted that their suppliers cut their hire rates to secure contracts. This kind of bully mentality helps no one and leads to a devaluation of the services and equipment that differentiates so many of the smaller, more innovative firms from the larger businesses.

The interest shown in more sustainable power solutions during lockdowns under the guise of the ‘build back better’ campaign, has dissipated completely.

To compound matters, the interest shown in more sustainable power solutions during lockdowns under the guise of the ‘build back better’ campaign, has dissipated completely. Essentially, we are back to square one where so many events are forced into reverting to their business-as-usual operational models. None of the above is helpful in restoring our industry to its former glory. We are a proving ground where new clean tech can be trialled and tested but, under current conditions, our best efforts are being thwarted.

With this in mind, Powerful Thinking will be launching a series of new resources available free from our website. Given that so many festivals pivoted into organising glamping events in place of their regular shows throughout the Covid pandemic, we start with a ‘how to’ guide on sustainably powering festival campsites, which we will launch at this year’s Showman’s Show as part of the Vision: 2025 Conference on 20 October. The Powerful Thinking session will include a panel hosted by myself and will feature Shaun Pearce, MD of Pearce Hire, and Megan Best of Native Events/Body & Soul Festival in Ireland, both of whom are Powerful Thinking board members. We will present examples of innovative new practices, discuss barriers and solutions to delivering more sustainable campsite power & finish with a list of top ten tips for making efficiency improvements & reducing emissions. “

This guest blog originally appeared in the Vision: 2025 newsletter.