Sharing Tricks of the Trade: Top Tips to Save Energy and Money from other music event industry professionals - Energy Efficient Music Culture

 EE MUSIC exists to create an energy efficient music culture. That means eliminating waste, saving money, and being more creative. It also means helping venue owners, festival promoters, and events organisers to work more efficiently. The best way to do that is to exchange knowledge rather than individually trying to re-invent the wheel.

We’ve been sharing the expertise we already have but also learning a lot on our travels through Europe, meeting festival and events organisers and venue/club managers, and stumbling across some great energy-related ideas and top tips. Here are some things to think about in the next few months:



  • Fridges in clubs and venues aren’t usually well looked after. You can reduce their energy use by cleaning their condenser coils and fans and cooling fins regularly. Reposition them so they’re not near any heat-generating equipment like washing machines and so there’s space for air to circulate around them. Also check their temperature settings to make sure you’re only cooling to the temperature you need: each 1°C can reduce their energy consumption by 2%.
  • Look into your energy tariff, and whether any of your local energy suppliers offer green tariffs so you can get green energy and support renewable energy generation. Particularly nightclubs will have an energy profile where most of their consumption will be at night (22:00-6:00) - so you might also be able to switch to a cheaper tariff or avoid any extra costs even if a green tariff is more expensive.
  • If you’re looking into switching to LED lighting, don’t start on stage. Your payback periods will be much shorter if you begin by replacing lights that are in constant use, like emergency lights or bathroom lighting.



  • Portable autonomous battery power packs that can be used to charge phones etc. have been invaluable at conserving fuel during build/break periods at Shambala and other festivals as they mean generators can be turned on later (rather than running just to charge a few devices). Mobile lighting towers usually also have an outlet and can be used to charge small devices and test cabin lighting etc. during build periods.
  • Monitor your generators during this year’s festival: speak to your power provider about doing this now! Recent monitoring projects continue to identify huge inefficiencies such as peak loads at as low as 10-20% of generator capacity, generators running at zero load when they could have/should have been turned off, etc. By gathering data this year you can plan much more effectively for next year – and having data means you can have an informed conversation with power providers, site managers, stage managers, and other stakeholders.
  • Reducing the amount of fuel you use on site can also have health and safety benefits, as it will reduce the amount of vehicle movement needed on site for refuelling!


Communication & Collaboration: 

  • The Absolutely Free Festival in Belgium doesn’t charge an entrance fee: instead, they ask attendees to bring empty/spent batteries for recycling and work in partnership with a local battery collection initiative.
  • The Energy Revolution campaign, launched by festival energy industry group Powerful Thinking of which Julie’s Bicycle is a member, is harnessing the festival community’s collective power to create global change: audiences are asked for a small donation at point-of-sale to account for their travel carbon to the festival; these crowd-sourced donations are then invested in building wind turbines in India.
  • DGTL Festival in the Netherlands has encouraged its audiences to ‘earn your festival experience’ by cutting back on energy usage at home to save the amount of money it costs to buy a ticket, producing a short video to show them how while also promoting the event.

For more top tips, ideas, and advice, visit the EE MUSIC website at and check out our case studies and guides. To get even more insights into what your peers across Europe are doing, check out the Event Reports on our blog at - or join us at an event in your region!



If you haven’t entered your data yet, now is the perfect time to do so. If you’re a club or venue, you’re in the middle of the year, and if you pull together last year’s energy use data you can plan for the rest of the year. If you’re a festival, you’ve probably just left site so it's the best time to gather together information. Entering your data only takes a short time (make sure you have your bills at the ready!) and the EE MUSIC team are on hand if you need any assistance – just email support [ at] juliesbicycle [dot] com

The EE MUSIC IG Tools are free-to-use carbon calculators designed specifically for festivals, clubs, and venues that use metrics like number of performances, or festival attendance. Using the Tools can help you keep track of how much energy and/or fuel you’re using, help you plan your future spending, and recognize any anomalies over time and compared to average benchmarks.


The Creative IG Tool is an invaluable asset that has massively helped us to simplify the daunting yet essential task of benchmarking and reducing our carbon footprint.”

- Melvin Benn, Festival Republic (Reading, Leeds, and Latitude Festivals)


Go to the EE MUSIC IG Tools.



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