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Managing Festival-Goer Electric Vehicle Use at Music Festivals.

Andy Robertson

Although the sales of electric cars have been rapid the penetration of ownership remains very small. Music festival organisers are keen to promote use of cleaner energy vehicles when festival-goers are making travel arrangements and discounted parking is now common. What additional considerations are required for managing electric vehicles on a festival site?


Music festival organisers are making great strides to promote more sustainable travel by festival-goers as the carbon footprint from travelling to and from a festival site still accounts for the majority of emissions produced by a music festival. Part of their sustainability policies often include preferential treatment for fully electric vehicles used by visitors which sometimes attract free or heavily discounted allocated parking.

Cleaner Zero Emission Vehicles.
It is likely that only fully Electric Vehicles (EVs) will be considered as zero emission cars along with hydrogen powered cars. Any Hybrid Electric Vehicles (HEVs) and Plug in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEVs) still produce emissions albeit at a reduced level. The current availability of fully electric vehicles sold in the UK include: 

  • Tesla Model 3.
  • Kia EV6.
  • Audi Q4 e-tron.
  • Porsche Taycan.
  • Peugeot e-208.
  • Mercedes EQS.
  • Hyundai Ioniq 5.
  • BMW i4.  

One thing all these cars have in common is their premium pricing and for the majority of festival-goers they remain financially out of reach.

Charging and Infrastructure. 
The range of most EVs is still limited and this can present problems if they are being used to drive from a city to a remote location. Most owners will be looking to charge their EVs either on-site or close to the festival site. There are suppliers operating in the UK who can provide dedicated hydrogen powered generators specifically for temporary remote locations with the ability to plug in a handful of EV cars. The supporting charging infrastructure is improving over time but may still be problematic if owners are looking for a charging station in a remote countryside location close to a festival site. Using diesel generators on-site to charge EVs defeats the purpose of bringing a zero-emission car and the last thing anyone wants to see is the ridiculous scenario of EV owners charging their cars with portable diesel generators.

Managing Breakdowns and Other Issues. 
When an EV is left unattended for any length of time the battery charge can reduce, referred to as ‘Vampire Battery Drain’ (15% over a 30-day period). Whilst this is not an issue for most EVs with plenty of remaining charge there will always be owners who have travelled long distances to a festival site leaving a small charge remaining on the Friday only to completely drain over a 4-day festival. It may be worth considering having a dedicated breakdown rescue service on a festival site when numerous EVs are using parking facilities. As most breakdowns will be due to no charge the breakdown services can either charge in situ or towed to the nearest charging station.

While well intentioned the use of EVs by festival-goers can present operational challenges for organisers. The best initiatives for reducing emissions and the carbon footprint of festivals is still to encourage festival-goers to use the variety of travel packages now provided by most organisers. Using a combination of train and coach travel is likely to remain the preferred option for festival-goer travel.

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
Rathaphon Nanthapreecha via Pexels

Andy Robertson
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