The new Heineken ‘Greener Bar’ puts sustainability centre stage at Electric Picnic

Heineken® has become one of Electric Picnic’s most anticipated brand and music experiences and this year, with the help of THINKHOUSE, “The Greener Bar” at Electric Picnic was Heineken®’s most sustainable bar yet.

The world has changed radically since the last Electric Picnic in 2019 and so too has our client Heineken®. “Brew a Better World” is the company’s global sustainability initiative and as part of it, the brand has ambitious targets to reduce its carbon impact. Here in Ireland, the company is committed to brew with zero emissions by 2030. As part of this we worked with Heineken® to bring a new, greener activation to Electric Picnic. We worked with the team at Heineken® to ensure that we would not compromise on Heineken®’s iconic festival experience, service and entertainment whilst ensuring we deliver The Greener Bar on a minimal carbon budget.

For Electric Picnic, Heineken® reimagined how the festival experience can be greener by taking a new, innovative approach to:

1: Design & Construction (The Greener Bar)

2: Artist and Entertainment Production

3: Promotion & Marketing

This transformative new way of working demonstrates Heineken®’s ambition, and unrelenting commitment, to realising new circular, low-carbon, entertainment experience. By reducing waste and energy use Heineken® aims to save an estimated 23,646kg of CO2 emissions - the equivalent emissions from over 4,600 homes' electricity for a year or the equivalent savings to the carbon sequestered by over 390,000 tree seedlings grown for 10 years*.

The Greener Bar

The Greener Bar utilises the best innovations in circular design and building methods, materials and technologies to reduce waste, water and energy use. Heineken® Greener Bar. Our Planet Team worked in partnership with Heineken®'s sustainability experts and marketing experts to reimagine how The Greener Bar can come to life. The activation:

  • Saved up to 9,760kg of plastic event waste - the equivalent to the daily waste of 11,132 average Irish individuals**. The utilisation of Reusable Cups at The Greener Bar means a reduction in the amount of single use plastic cups - 2022 will see at least 20,000 less cups than 2019.
  • Utilised circular and recycled production. All materials used for The Heineken® Greener Bar have had a life before, or will have a life long after the festival. From the structure of the bar; the selection of organic, recyclable staff uniforms and the reclamation of festival-planting for a local horticulturist, the contents of Heineken’s® Greener Bar are recycled, upcycled or reused where possible offering music fans a planet friendly destination both day and night.
  • Outside of the Greener Bar, all cups throughout the rest of the event will be made with recyclable PET

Greener Artist & Entertainment Production

In organising the music experience we worked with Heineken® to deliver a lighter, more sustainable production for music fans (without compromising on world-class lighting and sound) by:

  • Cutting international travel. For 2022, all musicians booked by Heineken are local. This marks the first year the brand has cut international travel in preference for 100% local artists. The exciting lineup included PrYmary Colours, George Feely, Stevie G, DJ Safari & Sing Along Social.
  • Embracing alternative energy sources to regular diesel fuel. This is estimated to achieve an emissions reduction over 90% (v’s regular fuel) and over 60% less emissions than previous years (v’s 2019). The Greener Bar used bio generators and a customised smart power plan to reduce unnecessary waste. The plan is inspired by the MyZap Smart Power Planning (an exciting new lower energy solution currently being trialled by Coldplay on their most sustainable world tour yet.)
  • By commissioning a custom built lower emission LED lighting rig (which can use up to 85% less electricity than traditional light bulbs) and LED screens we aimed to achieve an energy saving of up to 50%. (Energy measurement is currently underway)
  • Encouraging responsible consumption over the festival weekend by making Heineken® 0.0 available on draught at The Greener Bar.

Ronan McCormack, Marketing Manager, Heineken® Ireland: “We wanted our festival comeback to be ambitious and to reflect who we have become as a company. As part of “Brew a Better World” we’re working on brewing our beer here in Ireland with zero emissions by 2030. Festival activations like The Heineken® Greener Bar demonstrates how our sustainability commitments are being delivered impactfully through our brand activities.

Melvin Benn, MD, Festival Republic: Heineken® has been the official beer of Electric Picnic for many years, a long term partner who has brought a stellar experience to Electric Picnic year after year. We work hard to deliver the most sustainable experience to festival goers and we’re delighted to see how Heineken has innovated and created an exceptional experience for this year’s festival.”

Promotion & Marketing

An extensive pre, during & after PR campaign ensured Heineken®'s innovative activation got the attention it deserved from leading influencers from the world of entertainment, music, culture and sustainability. Our carbon-conscious way of working ensured that simple decisions like media and influencer transport, ticket collection and media relations were planned, and measured, in a conscious and considered way.

The Identity & Content

The identity and content/ visuals for the Greener Bar was developed by our Creative Tech Team. We wanted to achieve a high-impact, digital-first identity that communicated sustainability in a new way for Heineken® - the kind of modern digital design aesthetic that this iconic brand deserves.

For footage of the festival itself - our Film and Editing Team experimented with new technology and some equipment trickery to reimagine how 'festival event content' can be produced. Moving beyond the traditional 'montage' format that's so popular at brand activations at festivals, Heineken®'s content for The Greener Bar at Electric Picnic captured the energy of the activation in a way that is more innovative, epic and thumb-stopping.

The Greener Bar Festival Visuals

The visuals we developed for the Greener Bar stage itself were dramatic and energetic - perfectly complementing the festival energy and Greener Bar's creative identity. The long-form, LED screen festival visuals were designed as a backdrop to the DJs and performers who wowed the crowds who flocked to Heineken®'s Greener Bar all weekend long.

In the lead-up to the festival, the activation caught international marketing media attention (named “Work of the Week” on LBB) because of its innovative approach

Work of the Week: 02/09/22 | LBBOnline

Search ‘Heineken® Brew a Better World’ for more information.