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Scotland’s TRNSMT ramps up sustainability efforts

DF Concerts CEO Geoff Ellis has also opened up on the Scottish festival's ongoing efforts to improve its gender balance

By James Hanley on 11 Jul 2024

Lewis Capaldi has played every Trnsmt to date


DF Concerts boss Geoff Ellis has addressed TRNSMT’s decision to ban single-use vapes and reflected on the Scottish festival’s ongoing efforts to improve the gender balance of its lineups.

In a new interview ahead of this weekend’s 50,000-cap event on Glasgow Green, Ellis says fans will also be prohibited from taking in flags, glass and selfie sticks.

“It’s purely from a sustainability point of view in the same way that we’ve banned plastic on site as well,” he tells the BBC. “We try to do what we can in terms of sustainability and we try to encourage the audience to do the same.”

Single-use vapes are already banned at events such as Glastonbury, with the Scottish government also planning to ban the sale and supply of the electronic devices in the country by 1 April next year due to environmental concerns.

“If you get the message out there to people, people listen,” adds Ellis. “If you tell them not to bring stuff, they tend not to bring them. We’ve got a fairly rigorous searching system at the gate with the stewards anyway.”

“I think all festivals do what they can to improve gender balance and at TRNSMT this year, we’ve actually over 50% of acts that identify as female”

TRNSMT, which runs from 12-14 July, has faced frequent criticism for booking non-diverse lineups in the past and will again feature three all-male headliners this year – Liam Gallagher, Gerry Cinnamon and Calvin Harris.

Other artists will include Garbage, Courteeners. Chase & Status, The Snuts, Rick Astley, Tom Grennan, Declan McKenna, Dylan John Thomas, Blossoms, Sugababes, Natasha Bedingfield, Alison Goldfrapp, Lauren Spencer Smith and The Vaccines. While only seven out of the 24 acts on the main stage feature women, the gender split across the wider bill is close to even.

“All three headline acts are male acts, there’s no denying that,” says Ellis. “But I think all festivals do what they can to improve gender balance and at TRNSMT this year, we’ve actually over 50% of acts that identify as female.

“It’s not the three headliners so there’s still work to be done, and work to be done with developing artists. Gerry Cinnamon played the very first TRNSMT on the King Tut’s stage and now he’s headlining this year.

“We’ve got people like Dylan John Thomas and The Snuts coming through on a very similar path as well. It’s very important to help develop new artists.”

“We are really happy with how the inaugural Stirling Summer Sessions went”

Elsewhere, DF is toasting the successful debut of its Summer Sessions in Stirling, which recently joined Edinburgh and Glasgow as hosts of the annual concert series in Scotland.  Held at the foot of Stirling Castle, Stirling City Park, from 27 June to 2 July, acts included Shania Twain, Tom Jones, James Arthur, Busted and Young Fathers.

Stirling’s Business Improvement District reports its footfall data showed a 51.1% increase in visitors over the duration of the event, with local businesses reporting substantial sales growth.

“We are really happy with how the inaugural Stirling Summer Sessions went,” says Ellis. “Hosting such a huge line-up – including the incredible Shania Twain, who played to over 20,000 enthusiastic fans after her memorable Legends Slot at Glastonbury – was truly a highlight for everyone involved and something very special for the area.

“The setting of Stirling City Park, in the shadow of the historic Stirling Castle, provided the perfect backdrop for a great few days of live music.

“We are incredibly thankful to the fans who attended for their energy and passion, and also extend our gratitude to the people of Stirling and all our stakeholders for their unwavering support and dedication, which were instrumental in making this event a success.”

“The industry is seeing increased demand for sustainable buildings and sustainable venue practices”

Also in Scotland, Aberdeen’s P&J Live has unveiled details of a multi-faceted sustainability campaign set to boost the venue’s environmental credentials as part of its commitment to achieving Net Zero carbon emissions target by 2050.

The 15,000-cap venue recently commissioned sustainability specialist Positive Planet to act as its Net Zero consultants and has started the implementation of a Carbon Reduction Plan to actively reduce the site’s carbon footprint. Several complementary initiatives around its energy strategy, transportation, food supply, waste and marketing will further help the venue’s bid to halve greenhouse gas emissions before 2030.

“From conferences to live entertainment, the industry is seeing increased demand for sustainable buildings and sustainable venue practices, with artists such as Coldplay and Billie Eilish actively pushing towards fully sustainable tours,” says P&J Live MD Rob Wicks.

“With everything that was originally designed into the building and wider site, including a low carbon energy centre to power, heat and cool the venue, an anaerobic digestion plant that generates gas from local food and crop waste, as well as our various certifications and initiatives, I feel we are well placed to cater for what artists, event organisers and delegates need as we improve our combined sustainability performance.

“There is still a lot of work to be done, but by measuring our carbon emissions we have a clear benchmark to work from as we commence our carbon reduction plans. It’s also been most encouraging to see the support from the team internally and we work towards consolidating all our green initiatives into a set of meaningful goals and our own in-house pledge.”


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