The Shambala 2023 Impact Report: Deep Data!

The Shambala 2023 Impact Report: Deep Data!

Times change, technologies transform and digital develops – and in accordance: the world of data deepens dramatically!

This year at Shambala, we’re proud to have dived into more depth than ever before… because if you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it. 

We’ve gone above and beyond in recent years to work with our community and partners on delivering a more detailed and diverse set of data encompassing all impacts across all 3 scopes. Check out our ultra-detailed and interactive Impact Report for Shambala 2023 (or read the same report in more simple, sharable form here)

Our achievements this year include:

  • Encouraging 1,000 people to take our new rail & entry packages for the first time. 
  • Increasing public transport to the festival by 10%, to 35% of festival goers.
  • Our onsite energy emissions reduced by 13% (per person per day). We have an onsite footprint of 0.3 kgs of CO2 per person per day, which is lower than the average of 0.5 kg per average UK citizen in “normal” life. 
  • We measured the full footprint of the food served at Shambala for the first time ever! 54 tonnes of CO2e, with an average of 0.54 kgs per plate. 
  • We sent 13.5 tonnes of festival food waste to a local farm, which will be composted and used to grow food for next year.
  • We’re a core member of an European consortium of 50 international festivals exploring what being circular really means for festivals.

However, the main milestone this year was (ironically) increasing our festival carbon emissions significantly!

This is because we went into more depth, more insight and more measurement of more emissions than ever before – to bring a true representation of the cost of running events. 

Running greenfield events means we create a small town in a field, and wanted to be crystal clear on Scopes 1 – 3, to bring potential new improvements into focus for the future and for the industry:

Our Food Footprint 

  • We made a massive meal of finding our footprint for the first time – read more on that here
  • Nailing this for the first time was amazing, we used carbon-mapping software specifically for food and ingredients, and conducted lots of liaisons with our food traders and catering companies. 
  • Our average impact per dish for Food Trader meals was 0.54 kgs CO2e, just over the 0.5 kgs recommended by the WWF One Planet Plate. The easiest way to get as close as we did is to remove meat and diary from the menu. Making more improvements is tricky! But we’re working on it with our Crew Catering, replacing far-flung, high-impact ingredients like rice with local UK grown grains. 

Waste processing

  • We uncovered the true impact of our waste processing, working with Julia’s Bicycle who developed a more realistic representation of the emissions involved in the life cycle and waste processing of materials in their reporting software.

Artist Travel

  • We collected Artist postcodes and surveys to shed light on the often confounding dynamic of multiple-member band-travel, which provided a good benchmark for our artist travel footprint.
  • This year we’ll edit our accreditation hardware to capture more info through the ticketing process.


  • We figured out the CO2 equivalent from the delivery emissions of our infrastructure, which we measured with some sample data on vehicles and distances with our close suppliers, then expanded this out to apply to our entire supply chain.
  • This year, we’ll work with those who were high-impact, and are creating a framework for advising and improving the efforts of our partners.


  • We also used online resources to measure and account for the production emissions from the small amount of different materials we bought (we reuse the majority each year) including wood, tools, and equipment.
  • This year we’ll refresh our equipment storage process to better map what we have available, to avoid buying more stuff! 

We’re proud to bring even greater transparency into our reporting, and share more accurate data with our audience and community. This will help us make the bold and appropriate steps we need to take to really make a difference in each of these previously unseen areas. If only the world’s governments would do the same…

Get in touch to find out how we can help you go deeper into the data.