My favorite activity, as a singer, is to be onstage and sing live. My biggest dream is to tour the world alongside friends and musicians, to be able meet different people and discover different cultures through my art… But when I look at it closely, touring the world has a tremendous effect on the environment. A recent study (2021) suggests that live music in the UK alone generates 405,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions every year.
Today I am brainstorming on this question: How can we limit the impact of live music events on climate change?
While festivals generate a lot of travels, transportation and traffic, we can encourage festival goers to save energy at home while they are away. For example, if you leave your house for a weekend or a few days, you can unplug devices that do not need to stay on, turn off all the lights, deactivate your internet, etc. You can also make sure that your food will not go to waste by packing items that may need to be eaten right away as snack! On the road, as much as possible, using public transportation such as buses or trains to reach the festival is also a way to limit emissions. During the festival, recycling waste and using water fountains instead of buying plastic bottles will help limit the impact of the festival on the environment. In terms of production, a lot of festivals take place during the day, which is a good way of limiting energy use by not using many lights… I know that sometimes a show needs to be lit to keep its magic, solar powered LED lights might be the right path to reduce pollution in this case. After the concerts, solar powered flashlights and lanterns could be distributed to festival goers and performers to enjoy while they are in their individual tents; this would help reduce the levels of greenhouse gas emissions.
Concerts at stadiums or large venues.
First and foremost, artists can choose to be sponsored by organisations that are actively engaged to fight climate change. Each concert could be a wonderful platform to keep people informed and engaged in climate related information. A band and its crew can choose to limit their flights to necessary ones and travel in hybrid vans/buses to reduce emissions while going from city to city. Some artists could decide to dedicate part of the tickets revenues to non-for-profit environmental groups. During the tour, it could be possible to only source out local providers to cater for the audience and the band crew (farmers, vineyards, artisans), this would lessen the impact of accommodating the event and shine a new light on local producers. For the audience, carpooling with fellow concert goers or using public transports would help, as it would for a festival. Digital tickets are also helpful to reduce the paper consumption during these events. In the venue, instead of using plastic cups, sustainable reusable cups (such as Circular and Co) could also be a good path towards reducing waste – people could pay a deposit on their first drink, then have the choice to keep the cup or return it.
Street / Subway Performances.
In Canada, where I live now, street performers (buskers) need a permit to legally perform in the streets. They can pick the spot that they want and perform for as long as they would like. These performances are often tips-based and do not require tickets or promotion. A lot of artists offer the option to tip online which reduces the need for liquid money. They can engage easily with the audience and be sponsored by organisations or non-for-profit groups. Buskers usually use their own equipment and car to set up their stages, so if their finances allow, they could try and use an electric car, or use a shared auto instead of a personal one… Lighting can also be an important part of a busker’s show. Developing public LED lights and solar powered outdoor plugs could be a good way to reduce the use of energy during these street performances. The city could provide such devices to artists with a valid permit.
A few artists have already come up with their own environment friendly idea, feel free to take a look on the links below:
This concludes my little brainstorm session of the day. I am certain that tons of other ideas could help limit the impact of live music events on climate change.
If you have any suggestions, please comment below to let me know!!!