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Making Music Festival Audio and Lighting Solutions More Sustainable.

Andy Robertson

The sustainability policies of many festival organisations have a focus on waste management, reducing single use plastics and using alternative power sources. The use of audio and lighting equipment rarely gets a mention but there are various environmental impact factors to consider when festival organisers are selecting equipment for their event.

Advances in technology are helping manufactures of audio and lighting equipment meet ever stricter requirements when it comes to reducing their carbon footprint and making products that meet the sustainability needs for operation. There are significant challenges for designing, manufacturing and supplying equipment that meet the extremely high power output requirements of most large festival stages yet satisfying sustainability needs.

Lighting Equipment. 
Many lighting companies that manufacture lighting systems for use at festivals and concerts are now moving towards use of LED technology. This makes perfect sense when most festivals use hundreds of lights because LED lighting is much more energy efficient resulting in lower power consumption. As more of the energy is converted to lighting LED lights emit less heat too. Additional benefits of using LED lights is more efficient use of colours with RGB LED lighting, and, they are less prone to damage because they are more resistant to the vibrations often experienced on festival stages. On the whole LED lighting has 80% lower CO2 emissions compared to traditional lighting.

Audio Equipment. 
The power requirements for amplification and speaker outputs at music festivals are huge and despite numerous efforts to use solar and wind generated power most systems still need the large power output from traditional generators. However, these generators are now using biofuels or hydrogen making power generation more sustainable. Some manufacturers are still trying to develop solar powered systems but these will be some way off meeting the requirements of most festivals for now. Technology is helping to make sound systems more energy efficient and this is certainly helping them move in the right direction. When it comes to the manufacture of audio equipment companies are now making more effort to use recycled materials where possible along with making sure that at the end of the product life the materials can be recycled again.

Selecting the Right Supplier.
The ongoing development of audio and lighting systems for use by festivals can certainly contribute to achieving the overall sustainability policies for festival organisers. When considering contractors and suppliers it is essential to ask about the green credentials of the equipment being supplied. The key elements to consider in any assessment are the energy efficiency and manufacture from recyclable materials of any proposed system. Thoroughly researched technology is helping manufacturers of equipment make more sustainable products whilst improving the quality and delivery of the audio and lighting experience.

For festival organisers planning their events using a software management platform like Festival Pro gives them all the functionality they need manage every aspect of their event logistics. The guys who are responsible for this software have been in the front line of event management for many years and the features are built from that experience and are performance artists themselves. The Festival Pro platform is easy to use and has comprehensive features with specific modules for managing artists, contractors, venues/stages, vendors, volunteers, sponsors, guestlists, ticketing, cashless payments and contactless ordering.

Photo by Teddy Yang via Pexels

Andy Robertson
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