Wind & Sun at Glastonbury Festival

Powering Music at the Festival

We have been running PA equipment and stage lighting at the Glastonbury Festival completely off-grid since 1986. This concept was originally conceived as a way to demonstrate the potential of renewable energy, by presenting a positive alternative to nuclear energy & nuclear weapons.

For almost all this time we have been teamed up with Croissant Neuf and the venue is now firmly established as part of the festival programme.

In the early days power was provided mostly from small wind generators (as solar PV was then prohibitively expensive) and over the years what we have been able to do has reflected the technology available at the time. To start with everything was run at 12V DC (and we constructed a custom 12VDC stage lighting rig to suit), then inverters were incorporated to run PA equipment (and we struggled for years to eliminate the hum caused by the square wave output). More recently wind has taken a back seat and solar come to the fore with modern high quality sine wave inverters used to power everything.

In addition to powering equipment on the main Croissant Neuf stage, power is provided around the Croissant Neuf field for a Bandstand stage, area festoon lighting, a café’s lights and refrigeration and battery charging for phones etc.

Our latest mobile solar generator is based in a converted ex-police 'Special Vehicle' and uses 2 x Sunny Island inverters with 25kWh of Rolls AGM Series 5 batteries capable of powering loads up to 10kW.

A 1.5kWp REC solar array on the roof and a 4kWp PV array mounted on a freestanding pergola charge the battery.

The lorry carries cables and equipment to enable a 'mini-grid' to be formed around the field for distribution of the power or to allow further solar generation to be coupled in.

With A Little Help From Our Friends

Over the 40 years we have been providing renewable power at Glastonbury we have been privileged to team up with other experts from around the country:

For the first few years we worked closely with the Centre for Alternative Technology from Machynlleth who brought a display and put up their eye-catching 'Cretan' style windmill.

During the 1990's Hugh Piggott travelled down from Scoraig on the Scottish West Coast to help, providing some extra windpower and demonstrating his home built wind generator design based on the brakedrum of a Ford transit van. On occasions he would be joined by Andrew Kerr (Andrew was behind the 1971 Glastonbury Fayre and had lived on Scoraig) and with Hugh's wife Jytte they would demonstrate spinning wool using wind-powered spinning wheels.