The rise of green touring, and why everyone should care
Did you know that dancing your heart out at a concert with your favourite artist actually can be a way to help our climate? Meet the artists who combine climate action with the thing we can’t do without: culture.
Something green is on the rise in the world of music. A growing number of artists and bands are starting to raise awareness about the link between music touring and global warming. In December 2019, Coldplay even decided to pause touring until they were able to offer environmentally beneficial and climate-neutral concerts to their fans. Thankfully they are not alone.
That’s right. A growing number of artists are starting to take active responsibility for the carbon footprint of their touring by seeking green alternatives to make life on the road, and engaging with fans more sustainable. And even better: music fans all around the world are starting to request it.
So what’s the carbon footprint of a music tour, and why is it suddenly so important to address this invisible and polluting troublemaker?
Well, even though any form of touring is more or less on hold due to Covid-19, the most recent figures from the music industry suggest that live music only in the UK generates 405,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions every year. This is because most touring involves venues, bus trucks, lighting, food waste, plastic, the mass production of merchandise, and so on. On top of that comes energy-intensive consumption from travelling between countries and venues.
To put some numbers on it, here is the actual breakdown borrowed from Green Touring Network:
Ok, so the numbers don’t lie. Does this mean that artists should stop touring completely?
Although the boring answer is yes, we dare to say no. Simply because life without live music and culture experiences (as a certain pandemic has taught us) would be a pretty miserable one. For many artists, giving up touring would mean missing out on an important way to connect with their fans, and vice versa. It would also mean that a substantial part of the artist's income would disappear. According to Billboard, touring was the main source of income for 37 of the 40 highest-earning artists in 2018.
So how can we address the pink elephant in the room, reduce the emissions from touring, and make music even better for the planet?
Our pitch is simple. Since 2017, artists have been teaming up with CHOOOSE to combine climate action with culture. By weaving sustainability into their physical touring experiences, they have connected CO2 reduction into every aspect of their tours, from crews, to travels, to venues, to concerts and audiences.
This past year, girl in red, Astrid S, Grouplove, AURORA, Matoma, and Rising Appalachia have all stepped up to protect our planet with CHOOOSE by addressing and offsetting the carbon footprint from their touring. And for that, they have even been honoured as verified partners of the United Nations’s climate program.
At CHOOOSE we are extremely proud to work with such talented climate-conscious artists and bands. These are the brave ones. The pioneers. And now that they have shown that there is a solution out there – and that it works, it’s safe to say that we have only just begun.
We can’t wait for the climate positive tour life to return, and for the music to start playing again.
Are you an artist, hosting a festival, music tour, concert or a digital gig and want sustainability to be a part of it? Reach out to email@example.com and we’ll be happy to help!
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