Sunrise pioneers renewable power system for festivals
and takes measures to produce a greener event than ever before
Sunrise Another World – the latest exciting incarnation from the producers of Sunrise Celebration festival and the Natural Communities Foundation – will be the first UK music festival to use a smart grid site-wide to generate a renewable power supply for their event at Wiltshire’s Thoulstone Park next weekend (Thursday 30th May – 2nd June). The groundbreaking technology is set to revolutionise the way festivals are powered.
The new smart grid integrated power system for Sunrise has been developed in collaboration with energy companies Firefly Solar, Green Heart Energy and ABB Power, combining high-spec battery technology with more traditional waste vegetable oil generators and a combination of solar and wind power, to create a site-wide power system that is energy efficient and low impact.
Alex Lepingwell, Director of Sunrise says the new power system will revolutionise power provision at festivals. “We’re proud to be pioneering this new approach and technology which will hugely help to conserve energy waste at outdoor events in the UK,” he says. “Sunrise will also be carrying out thorough monitoring of the power systems onsite this year, teaming up with De Montford University to introduce real academic rigour into their testing and published results.”
This year’s Sunrise, billed as the world’s first ever “Festival Micronation” – a free independent state with its own ethical principles – promises to be cleaner and greener than ever before. While Sunrise has always been committed to renewable energy, organic food, compost toilets, eco-transport and reducing waste, in 2013 the festival plans to majorly up the ante.
Sunrise’s primary goals this year, in addition to introducing the new power system to reduce dependency on biofuels, are: to continue to reduce disposable plastic bottle use; to increase sustainable transport options and increase recycling; to reduce waste; and, with an eye on the future – to continue to raise money for environmental projects and invest in renewable energy technologies. Sunrise also aims to be the first “Transition Festival”, building a strong, resilient festival community grounded in the local area, demonstrating sustainability principles across all areas of production.
As ever, the festival will be an innovative forum for social and environmental education, covering alternative technologies, eco building, green crafts, permaculture, lively debates, and featuring talks and workshops in the Green Talks Dome with leading eco pioneers, authors and environmental activists – from Satish Kumar and Natalie Bennett to Tim Macartney and Polly Higgins.
Alex Lepingwell, Co-Director of Sunrise: Another World, says: “Sunrise is a forum for open expression of ideas. We believe in the importance of sustainable community, of living in harmony with the planet and walking lightly upon the earth. We also believe that it’s possible to celebrate without compromising our values.
“Festivals are a platform where ideas can be raised and discussed in a non-dogmatic and inspirational fashion, whether this be water-powered cars or free energy, Transition Towns or freedom of health. Exchanging ideas and inspiring each other, we can really make a difference as well as take home practical information on how to minimise our impact on the planet and live an empowered, sustainable existence. The values of Sunrise are reflected in those of our micronation, whose constitution will embody principles of environmental sustainability, ecological protection and preservation, and low impact living.”
For 2013, Sunrise – the pioneering permaculture-based nation – is keen to highlight the importance and value of permaculture, not only as a means of providing natural systems of food and resource production, but as a way to organise our societies, homes and lives.
Alex Lepingwell explains: “Sunrise is a permaculture festival at heart. We believe our principles are grounded firmly in the ideas of the movement and that the festival can be a good vehicle to communicate these principles to the public. Permaculture is the basis for many great ideas including the Transition Movement, another philosophy that we are happy to align ourselves with. Again, in many ways the micronation is a Transition State, rather than a permanent call to independence.”
In 2013, Sunrise again offers free spring water to festival-goers and refillable plastic bottles, in partnership with Life Water and drop4drop. Profits from bottle sales go direct to drop4drop to fund their community well project for poor communities in rural India. Other green initiatives at the festival, include reusable pint mugs, disposable nappy recycling with Green Bottoms and an innovative campsite waste station from Upcycle whose“Exchange” allows you to swap your rubbish for fabulous recycled goods.
Sunrise continually strives to increase the number of people travelling to the site by bicycle and public transport, and this year has teamed up with Roll Up On Bikes to provide an organised bike ride from Bristol. Camplight’s provision of a Reuse Camp brings over 100 recycled tents from Glastonbury 2011’s disposables (complete with sleeping bags and mats) allowing cyclists to travel light. To ease train travel, shuttle buses will ferry to and fro the local train station. Meanwhile, horse drawn carts will deliver locally produced organic goods to the festival, and as ever there will be a range of fun transport options available on site – from horse and carts and rickshaws to fancy dress bikes.
Sunrise is all about low-impact fun, says Alex Lepingwell: “As you while away a spectacular four days, living it up under glorious skies, dancing all night before endless stages, listening to incredible bands, you can do so happy in the knowledge that it’s all at minimum impact to the environment. As well as all the fantastic nightlife there are lots of wonderful wholesome activities to get on with during the day – from traditional crafts and skills like willow weaving, felt making, green wood work and pottery, to bushcraft skills, nature walks, wood lathing and learning about alternative technologies and sustainable construction in the Eco-Build Area. Push back the boundaries of the festival experience in our free-state Micronation and take an educational adventure learning life-enhancing skills and soaking up inspiration for creating a better world.”
MUSIC LINE UP HIGHLIGHTS: Krafty Kuts, The Beat, Dub Pistols, The Egg, The Drop, Utah Saints, A-Skillz, Babyhead, The Freestylers, Youth (Killing Joke), DJ @ War, Andy Smith, The Skints and Dancefloor Outlaws
For more information about sustainability at Sunrise, visit: info/sustainability
About the AuthorView Author Profile
Since 2004, Will Gethin has worked as a holistic explorer and travel writer, writing articles for the Independent, the Evening Standard and various lifestyle, wellbeing and environmental magazines, including Tatler, Harpers Bazaar, Resurgence, Kindred Spirit and Yoga Magazine. In February 2012, he set up Conscious Frontiers, a leading edge communications, speakers and events agency giving voice to the growing movement of people working to propel a shift in consciousness. Inspirational speakers represented by Conscious Frontiers include Peter Owen Jones, Graham Hancock, Dr David Hamilton, Tim Freke, Dr Jude Currivan and Sarah Rozenthuler. Prior to founding Conscious Frontiers, Will also worked as a communications consultant, promoting humanitarian and intercultural organisations like The Isbourne Foundation, IT Schools Africa, The Makhad Trust, Tribe of Doris and Afrika Eye Film Festival. And he founded a Guest Speaker programme at the Isbourne Holistic Centre in 2008, bringing leading edge conscious living authors and presenters like Byron Katie, Graham Hancock, Dr Masaru Emoto and Brandon Bays to Cheltenham to present educational talks and workshops. From 1993-2003, Will worked in music, consumer and arts PR for London agencies, ultimately working as Account Director for Virgin Megastore at Borkowski PR. Will is also a Contributing Editor to Life Arts Media.
View Author Profile
There are no comments yet. Why not be the first to speak your mind.