Despite the popularity of music festivals, these events often get a bad rap for leaving behind large carbon footprints and massive amounts of waste. Tens of thousands of kWh of electricity allows Forecastle Festival to rock and roll each year on the Louisville Waterfront. But this year, a new partnership with Arcadia Power signals a major step to help combat climate change and ensure the festival’s carbon footprint will be smaller than ever.
National Clean Energy provider Arcadia Power will help Forecastle Festival run on 100 percent pollution-free electricity through their partnership. For every kWh of electricity used, a kWh is produced and put on the grid by a pollution-free, renewable source like solar or wind.
Arcadia Power is the first nationwide Clean Energy option. Frequently partnering with wind and solar projects, Arcadia Power provides homes and businesses with 100 percent pollution free energy via local utilities. The company focuses on decreasing the demand for fossil fuels, helping to grow American green jobs and power, and partnering with sustainability-minded companies and organizations to combat climate change and secure a better future for the planet.
This coming weekend, artists like Sam Smith, Cage the Elephant, Modest Mouse, and My Morning Jacket will headline Forecastle for its eleventh year. Since 2004, the Forecastle Festival has aimed to offer equal parts music, art, and environmental activism and both parties are excited about the new efforts within the industry. “The partnership is a huge leap forward,” says Forecastle Founder and Captain, JK McKnight, “positioning us as one of the most sustainable, ecologically-focused events in the nation.” Forecastle is the first festival in the state to offset its energy usage with wind power and brings the first major national festival partnership for Arcadia power’s offset program. “Forecastle Festival was built on the premise of environmental responsibility and for years we’ve worked to be as sustainable as possible through conservation, recycling, and composting and the use of biodiesel fuel,” says McKnight. For Arcadia, the partnership was a no brainer.
“We love working with organizations that share the same values, and Forecastle Festival sets an example for everyone of how easy and affordable it is to choose clean energy,” says Arcadia Power co-founder, Kiran Bhatraju.
While Forecastle Festival will attempt to lessen their impression on the earth, they are not the first festival to tackle their negative impact. Live entertainment results in an even greater demand for energy. To power venues and accommodate thousands of attendees for entire weekends, festivals have put forth effort in making energy-efficient changes to their practices in order to reduce their impact. Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival featured an Energy Playground where festival goers charged their mobile devices on an alternative energy seesaw. Prints on Wood help Coachella convert to wooden signage to display the festival’s site map and set times; for every wood printing order placed, POW plants a tree in return. The Bumbershoot Festival in Seattle uses carbon-neutral energy supplied from Seattle City Light and added solar panels to like the rooms that house artwork during the festival. The Sweetlife Festival partnered with Opower to calculate the event’s carbon footprint, purchase renewable energy certificates, and install solar panels on the main stages to offset power usage.In addition to their new found friendship, Forecastle Festival now meets the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Green Power Partnership requirements, joining national environmental thought leaders like Whole Foods and Google. Hopefully, Forecastle Festival’s partnership and determination to reduce their carbon footprint will inspire fellow festivals to make the same moves regarding sustainability.