(Bloomberg News) The founder of Glastonbury, the U.K. festival likened to Woodstock, plans to use cow dung from his west England farm to help power the music event that showcased Beyonce and Coldplay this summer.
"The big thing is the bio-digester that we're looking at to turn the cow manure into energy," festival organizer Michael Eavis said in an interview. Glastonbury takes place at Worthy Farm in Somerset in June, attracting more than 150,000 festival-goers. This year's acts included U2 and Elbow. Past guests have included a who's who from the pantheon of popular music.
"We're planning a bio-digester at the moment," Eavis said. "We're joining the two farms together and building a big one with the farm next door so we'll get a lot of electric from that, which will be day and night. It's very good stuff, fossil-free electricity." Bio-digesters can convert organic waste into biogas for electricity and heat energy.
The festival that began in 1970 with tickets for 1 pound ($1.55) including free milk targeted cutting its emissions by 10 percent this year to help contribute to the fight against climate change and reduce environmental impact. The festival requires 11 million liters (2.9 million gallons) of water during its five-day run and has almost 3,000 portable toilets across a site that's more than 1.5 miles (2.4 kilometers) wide.
Eavis is also planning a 10-kilowatt wind turbine at the site in a bid to make the festival the greenest ever. The barn that houses 350 dairy cows already has 1,200 rooftop solar panels that can generate as much as 200 kilowatts of power to power the milking equipment and help run the festival during the day, Eavis said.
In addition, the festival uses tractors running on 100 percent biodiesel, solar showers and composting toilets. The event has joined the Julie's Bicycle initiative that works with the arts industry to guide on environmental sustainability.
The next Glastonbury opens June 26, 2013, not next summer. There will be no festival in 2012 as each fifth year the land is left fallow to regenerate.