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Artist's Green Rider

The Full Story

I've been thinking a lot about Artist's Green Riders.

A Green Rider sits alongside your Technical Rider and it details the things you need from a festival or presenting venue/host organisations to ensure that you can deliver your work in the most environmentally-friendly way possible. It's hopefully an empowering way to address some of the things artists need to keep creating greener work. Sometimes this territory can be bewilderingly vast, jargon-filled and very specialist and so I've tried to create a simple rider by looking at other people's and taking advice from festivals and artists. As with technical riders - the fulfilment of a green rider can sometimes be a conversation - but I think the conversation is the important thing to a better touring sector for the planet.


Last year I attended the Without Walls Green Forum with various producers, artists and festival directors. I started a conversation with Anaïs Biaux specifically about how hard it can be for artists to feel empowered to make change when working with festivals. And that's where Green Riders come in. Without Walls offered me a bit of support (as well as their platform) to work on how to establish this practice more in the Outdoor Arts. 

I started by doing a lot of research. Artists or companies will have a bespoke version of their own green rider - and that's absolutely right! Different sizes of organisation and show will need different things. But the idea is to encourage anyone who is touring work outdoors to create their own green rider for their work - and for Festivals to value this and to take it as seriously as the technical rider.

In a Green Rider you might have basic stuff, such as ensuring that there is signposted drinking water for artists to fill up reusable bottles, to slightly more complex things like accommodation being near to performance venue and increasing budgets for casts to travel by public transport. These are all things you can ask for in a green rider. You might need to talk power generators or biodegradable confetti canons. All of the artists I spoke with were concerned about the practicalities of having a Green Rider, and if it would be adopted or respected by presenting festivals (and honestly every artist I spoke to had a story about not having a tap to fill reusable water bottles with). So there is a way to go for all of us. This is definitely a journey. 

Finally, before you read an example of an actual rider I've come up with, if you were wondering about the photo above, it's because having an environmentally-focussed Rider is a fantastically practical thing to do, but not necessarily the most exciting topic, so I painted myself green, borrowed my sister's appropriately-coloured bicycle and got the photographer Jayne Jackson to photograph me being an actual 'green rider'. 

BELOW is the Green Rider for our show, GEOPHONIC. You might use it as a template, or you might already have a WAY better one - in which case please share it with me! I have looked at LOTS of examples of Green Riders from across the performing artist industry to create it.

This rider has been put together with support and advice from lots of people - including Mark Denbigh from Norwich and Norfolk Festival, Julie's Bicycle, 101 Outdoor Arts, OAUK, Anaïs, Tess and Mimosa at Without Walls and the WW Artists Advisory Group. The most brilliant conversations I've had about this are with artists though - including Joli Vyan, Francesca Baglione, and Motionhouse.





We all have a responsibility for the preservation of the earth. We’re doing our best to reduce the negative impacts of touring on the planet and through communication, we hope that together we can help develop a greener way of touring.


In our practice as a company, when making and presenting our work we have: 

  • Committed to a green production process meaning we have attained at least the Theatre Green Book’s baseline standard (at least 50% of all materials we use to make our show will be derived from sustainable sources and methods, with a minimum of 65% going on to have a future life).

  • Wherever possible we will work to reduce the impact of our technical and production processes.

  • Greening our back end/office (services, food, transport and equipment).

  • A commitment to not waste resources and to recycle and reuse wherever possible.


Here are our GREEN RIDER requests from the presenting festival or promoter: 



We recognise that getting power to our shows when outdoors isn’t always easy. 


  • Where possible, please provide us with mains electricity so that we can avoid running generators. Ideally you’ll be working with a green energy provider (one which uses over 80% energy generated by wind/water/solar power).

  • We need to recharge reusable batteries between shows so please make sure that a charging area is secure and available to us. 

  • If you have local solar power facilities or other ‘alternative’ energy sources we’d love to hear about them and will do as much as possible (bringing appropriate cables etc) to make sure we can use them.

  • If there is a green room, any fridges, kettles, toasters, lights etc. in dressing rooms to be energy efficient insofar as possible (but don’t buy anything new just for us – just keep it in mind for your next replacement). Please use environmentally friendly and non-toxic cleaning products if you have a venue. 


In communication with the promoter, we would prefer that our company travels by public transport (train or bus), even though this might not always be the cheepest or fastest option for the presenting festival. We aim to car/van share where possible.

  • We aim to keep flying to an absolute minimum and use trains, busses (or shared journeys in vans) when possible.

  • If the promoter is purchasing travel in advance for the company, please look into alternatives for flights like train / van. If your city/town has an environmentally friendly cab service (for example, Green Tomato Cars in London), please book any vehicles for us through them. Otherwise request fuel-efficient and/or hybrid cars. 

  • If we can keep the total travel time under 8 hrs we will absolutely avoid flights. 

  • We’d love your festival to make information available to audience members about public transport, cycling, and car sharing options and promote these wherever possible and we’d encourage you to have parking for bicycles marked on site maps. 

  • If we agree on the neccessity of a flight, please make sure to add carbon compensation. Carbon offsetting does not reduce emissions at the source and purchasing offsets should be a last resort, after other measures to reduce or avoid emissions have been explored.



If you are booking accomodation for us, ideally we’d be walking distance from the performance site. We would prefer to be as near to the performance site as possible or be near to easy and regular public transport. If it’s not possible to be near the venue, please ensure that we can park near to the venue so that we can van share with one vehicle. 


The main goals for the accommodation should be energy neutral or positive, reuse and/or upscale “waste” and the wellbeing of the accommodation staff. 



  • We bring our own refillable water bottles. Please make sure that drinkable tap water, filtered mains water (or standpipes or bulk water dispensers) are available to our company and crew at all times for refilling. 

  • We request that you provide clearly labelled recycling facilities backstage and in all dressing rooms for paper, cans, plastic and glass and if your venue collects biodegradable waste/compost, please also provide bins for this in dressing/green rooms. 

  • In case of a buy-out/issue of per diems, it’d be really helpful if you could compile a list of supermarkets and / or vegetarian / vegan / organic restaurants within walking distance of the venue.

  • We prefer clean, reusable items, no single use plastics, straws or plastic cups - we’re really happy to wash up after ourselves.

  • Please make sure to double check before purchasing food to avoid unnecessary buys. In case of edible leftovers, please donate them to a local charity or share them with the crew/audience.


And finally…. 

Please send us a copy of your venue/festival/event’s environmental policy if you have one and let us know if there’s anything we can do to support your efforts while we’re with you. 


If you disagree with a request, or if you feel you are unable to deliver it, we ask simply that you contact us and we can find a solution together. If you’ve any suggestions for us, we’d love to hear them.

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