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Scottish Event Campus commits to net zero by 2030

The Scottish Event Campus (SEC) has stated its ambition to achieve net zero by 2030 after making significant moves to reduce its carbon footprint in recent years.

The organisation’s strategy is based around five key goals: climate, governance, partnership, people and resource, as it develops an energy strategy to transition the venue to net zero, supporting Glasgow’s commitment to do the same across the city.

The 2030 target is in line with the commitment made by LIVE Green – the sustainability arm of UK live music umbrella trade body LIVE. All 13 association members of LIVE – including AIF, MVT, NAA and CPA – ratified a voluntary sector-specific commitment to deliver measurable and targeted action on climate change.

“More than ever we are focused on the impact our business has on the planet,” says SEC chief Peter Duthie. “As the proud host venue of COP26 we are fully committed to becoming net zero by 2030, and to taking a central role in supporting Glasgow’s ambitious targets.

“We recognise how significant a challenge this is, but we are determined to reach this goal. We have the vision and an excellent team, deep in planning mode, to get us there.”

Actions around water efficiency, green travel, supply chain engagement and waste management are also being implemented, while renewable sources already provide 100% of the SEC’s electricity.

The organisation launched a sustainable food strategy in partnership with Levy UK in the run up to COP26, with a commitment that all packaging used will be reusable or recyclable by 2023. The SEC is also a longtime contributor to Trees for Life, and hired a dedicated environment and waste manager in 2019 to fulfil the venue’s aim to be more sustainable.

The SEC is a founding partner of the NetZeroCarbon Events pledge

The SEC is a founding partner of the NetZeroCarbon Events pledge which is a collaboration of the world’s leading events industry players who have come together with the goal of eliminating greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. The SEC is also working towards A Greener Festival‘s (AGF) ‘Greener Arena Certification’.

The AGF certification will include external verification that carbon reduction and transition strategies are at the heart of all venue operations, from catering to materials used and circularity.

Last year, the OVO Hydro arena, which is located within the SEC campus, announced it will continue to develop its sustainability credentials. OVO is supporting the venue’s goal through funding of specific carbon-reduction and environmental initiatives recommended as a result of the annual accreditation process.

OVO Arena Wembley’s John Drury will be one of the speakers at the 14th edition of the Green Events & Innovations Conference (GEI) at the Royal Garden Hotel in Kensington, London on Friday 29 April, presented by AGF in partnership with the International Live Music Conference (ILMC). For the first time, an ILMC delegate pass includes full access to this year’s GEI, which takes place during the main conference programme.

In November last year, it was announced that Oak View Group’s new east Manchester development Co-op Live will become the UK’s first all-electric arena when it opens in 2023.

 


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BMTH reduce emissions by 38% on arena tour

Bring Me The Horizon (BMTH) reduced their tour emissions by 38% during their six-date arena run in the UK, according to sustainability experts A Greener Festival (AGF).

The ‘Post Human Tour’ reportedly achieved the reduction through using renewable fuel for trucks, plant-based meals, food waste reduction and energy-efficient equipment among other initiatives.

More than 27 tonnes of CO2e were avoided, 22 tonnes avoided by switching trucking fuel to HVO Renewable Diesel and 3,322 plastic bottles were prevented, according to a new report from AGF.

The September 2021 tour, promoted by Kilimanjaro Live’s rock arm Action! Presents, is said to be the first arena run in the UK since the pandemic.

The six-date run comprised shows at The Bonus Arena in Hull, The SSE Hydro in Glasgow, Motorpoint Arena in Cardiff, FlyDSA Arena in Sheffield, Utilita Arena in Birmingham and the O2 in London.

“These results are undeniable evidence that we can take huge strides to reduce emissions and protect ecosystems immediately”

AGF says that the tour was the first to achieve the aspirational reductions of touring thanks to “unprecedented collaboration between stakeholders”.

Raw Power Management, United Talent Agency (UTA), Kilimanjaro, and the O2 Arena shared the cost of sustainability implementation advice and tour impact audit.

AGF joined the tour to provide advice and consultancy, to implement and report upon proposed mitigation actions producing the Greener Tour Report and CO2 Analysis.

The resulting report is intended to not only provide insight for the internal BMTH touring team to monitor achievements, areas for improvement, and required emissions removals, but also as a resource for other touring productions to use as another step on the road towards A Greener Tour.

Matt Ash, Raw Power Management, says: “Working with an artist in BMTH and a tour production team that was fully behind the approach to sustainable touring was something that we absolutely endorsed and are keen to implement on all future touring whenever possible.”

“Their vision from the start was to produce the tour as environmentally friendly as possible”

Claire O’Neill, CEO at AGF, adds: “During the pandemic, the touring music industry came together on the important topic of sustainability. We’re so happy with the results from walking the talk with the first UK arena tour off the mark. The report shows a direct link between well-being, stress, and environmental sustainability. Culture change and industry restructuring are essential to achieve a green future for artist touring. There is much still to be done, but these results are undeniable evidence that we can take huge strides to reduce emissions and protect ecosystems immediately. There’s no excuse to delay.”

Alan Day, promoter at Kilimanjaro/Action!, comments: “Bring Me The Horizon were the first band in the UK, possibly the world, to complete a full non-rescheduled arena tour after the height of the pandemic. Their vision from the start was to produce the tour as environmentally friendly as possible, whilst still giving the audience the best spectacle achievable. From savings in plastic waste, to transport, to accommodation, to stage production and more, I am proud to have produced such a landmark tour and hopefully an example for the future”.

Steve Sayer, VP & GM of The O2, says: “The O2 were delighted to collaborate with all the other partners on this important project to build back a more sustainable touring and live music industry. Venues are a big part of the live ecosystem and we are keen to learn how we can further reduce our footprint as we develop our plans to get to net zero; and support the tours do the same. Credit to BMTH for taking the lead on this and showing us the way.”

AGF recently announced the first speakers for its 2022 Green Events & Innovations Conference (GEI),  the leading gathering for sustainability at live events.

The 14th edition of GEI, in partnership with the International Live Music Conference (ILMC), will take place at the Royal Garden Hotel in Kensington, London on Friday 29 April. Click here for tickets and more information.

 


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Ecolibrium balanced six million travel miles in 2021

Ecolibrium says it balanced the equivalent of six million miles of live event travel carbon emissions in 2021.

Founded in 2015 by UK festivals Boomtown, Secret Garden, Shambala, Bluedot and Kendal Calling, Ecolibrium is a charity focused on galvanising the music industry to address the negative impacts of travel.

Members are supported to measure and record carbon emission from travel, engage in initiatives to reduce travel impacts and donate to carbon-balance remaining emissions.

Last year’s balance was achieved through donations from over 35 members, including EMI Records, Universal Music UK, Wilderness Festival and All Points East.

The donations are channelled into Ecolibrium’s two climate solutions programmes: Trees+, to support ecosystem regeneration and protection, and Energy Revolution, which invests in community-owned renewable energy generation.

“In 2022 [Ecolibrium] will support our network to explore systems and technology to reduce emissions from travel”

Ben Robinson, Ecolibrium trustee and director of Bluedot and Kendal Calling, says: “This year has shown that the Ecolibrium community has a hugely positive impact and that by working together as an event and music industry collective all our actions are amplified. In 2022 we will support our network to explore systems and technology to reduce emissions from travel and widen the community to help more events and artists tackle their emissions.”

Highlights of Ecolibrium members’ support in 2021 include partnering with Universal Music UK to measure and carbon balance staff travel miles from its UK offices. Ticket agent TicketSellers, meanwhile, supported 13 of their festival clients to balance the equivalent of over 690,000 travel miles (190 tonnes of CO2e) by embedding Ecolibrium’s carbon calculator as part of their ticket check out.

Music Declares Emergency, in association with Bird on Wire and Adapt, collected carbon-tackling donations from tickets sales of their Climate Music Blowout event, and The Showman’s Show measured and balanced all delegate fossil fuel miles associated with their 2021 event.

Other festivals, events and companies that balanced their audience or staff miles include: All Points East, Balter Festival, Brainchild, Camp Kin, Elderflower Fields South, Emc3, Festival of Thrift, Gaia Nova, GT Bicycles, Malvern’s Classic, Illusive Festival, Into the Trees Festival, Just So Festival, Love, Saves the Day, Shambala, Threshold Sports, Timber Festival and Wilderness.

Since Ecolibrium launched, the charity has planted more than 40,000 trees, protected more than 15,000 acres of rainforest, launched 10 renewable energy projects and balanced more than 19,000,000 travel miles.

 


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Encore Musicians makes carbon negative pledge

As world leaders convene at the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow, UK booking platform Encore Musicians says it has become the world’s first carbon negative music agency.

Encore has announced it is double-offsetting the CO2 emissions created when musicians travel to events, planting a tree for every booking, and reducing, then offsetting the carbon footprint of all business operations.

The company has also reduced its carbon footprint by going paperless, using renewable energy in their office, offering the option of green pensions for employees, and a Cycle to Work scheme to encourage commuting by bike.

“We wanted to create the world’s most sustainable way to book musicians, and we wanted to do it today, not in five years’ time,” says James McAulay, Encore’s CEO and co-founder. “We’re sick and tired of hearing other companies talk about their vague, long-term plans to reduce emissions by 2030. The climate crisis is here, today, and drastic action is needed right now. There is no time to waste.

“Collectively, Encore musicians travel millions of miles every year to perform for our customers, and from today, we’re taking full responsibility for those emissions.”

The platform automatically estimates how much carbon dioxide will be produced by an artist’s transport to and from a gig, with Encore then purchasing double the amount of carbon offsets needed to cover the transport emissions.

As an industry, we can make a huge impact and collectively inspire others to follow us

“This isn’t something we’re asking customers or musicians to pay for as an optional upgrade – this is included as standard on every booking, and the cost is footed by Encore,” adds McAulay.

“We’re the first music company in the world to be doing this, and I hope other companies will join us in taking responsibility for their emissions. As an industry, we can make a huge impact and collectively inspire others to follow us.”

UMA Entertainment, DF Concerts, Julie’s Bicycle, Musicians In Exile, Enter Shikari, and Brian Eno represent just a few of the live music individuals and organisations hosting climate-related events at COP26.

The events follow the announcement that all 13 association members of LIVE have ratified the Beyond Zero Declaration – a voluntary commitment to deliver measurable and targeted action on climate change, with the aim of reaching net zero emissions across the sector by 2030.

LIVE Green will campaign to support the sector’s transition to a regenerative future over the course of 2022.

“Music has the power to create change – and the looming climate emergency requires all of our support,” says John Langford, AEG Europe COO and chair of LIVE Green. “It’s fantastic to see the live music sector represented in such a positive way at COP26, and this is a great sign of things to come as we build on the progress we have made so far to set out a clear path for to decarbonisation across the sector.”

 


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Green Guardians: Food & Drink

The Green Guardians Guide, spearheaded by the Green Events and Innovations Conference (GEI) and IQ Magazine, is a new yearly initiative boosting the profiles of those working at the forefront of sustainability, in the hope that it might also inspire others.

The 2021 list, which originally ran in IQ 103, includes 40 entries across eight categories, highlighting some of the organisations and individuals who are working so tirelessly to reduce the carbon footprint of the live entertainment business.

This year’s winners have been chosen by a judging panel that includes experts from A Greener Festival, Greener Events, Julie’s Bicycle, the Sustainability in Production Alliance, the Sustainable Event Council and the Tour Production Group.

IQ will publish entries across all categories over the coming weeks. Catch up on the previous instalment of the Green Guardians Guide which looks at event infrastructure.


8th plate
Four hundred tonnes of food is thrown away at UK festivals every year, this means 953,352 meals go to waste. With one tonne of waste equal to four tons of CO2, 8th Plate was founded to tackle this challenge.

Combating food waste is extremely important, not only because of the environmental impact, but because there are people in the UK forced to get food from food banks. 8th Plate’s aim is to help prevent food waste, and this has been welcomed by the events and catering communities alike.

NCASS (The Nationwide Caterers Association), who support small independent food and drink businesses across the UK, teamed up with A Greener Festival to find a solution to food waste at events, food markets and festivals.

They work with festivals, events, and street food businesses to redirect food to charities such as Open Kitchen, Fare Share and Refresh, who ensure that the food is given to people who need it.

In order to make sure 8th Plate itself is a sustainable initiative, the team train festival and event teams to work alongside ambassadors who, with the support from NCASS and A Greener Festival, deliver the initiative in-house and train future ambassadors in the process.

Pre-pandemic, in 2019 alone, 8th Plate salvaged 18 tonnes of food; the equivalent of 42,560 meals, across 11 festivals. Imagine what could be achieved if this was replicated across the whole industry.

Le Festif has also has ceased sales of merchandise such as t-shirts and hoodies to further reduce its carbon footprint

Le Festif!
Le Festif! is recognised in Quebec, Canada, as a pioneer and leader in environmentally sustainable festivals.

The event’s strategy for food and drink is simple but admirable. For alcohol, everything is 100% local, be it craft beer and cider, or wine, vodka and gin. And organisers take a similar approach to catering, as the food for the artists, the staff and the participants is also sourced from local producers.

As part of its sustainability drive, the festival has also stopped selling bottles of water by building free water stations; cigarette ends are recycled; the festival relies on bulk food orders for catering to eliminate plastic waste; no promotional paper is used; a tree planting programme compensates for carbon emissions; and it has ceased sales of merchandise such as t-shirts and hoodies to further reduce its carbon footprint.

“A food waste project [that started at] Roskilde has resulted in the delivery 7m + meals to socially vulnerable citizens”

Det Runde Bord
Due to Covid, Det Runde Bord has been unable to attend festivals and events to collect and distribute surplus food, as it normally does, but it has still used its experience and network to help deliver food to socially vulnerable citizens in Denmark.

When the country locked down, hundreds of canteens and restaurants also locked down. Meanwhile, food wholesalers were unable to find buyers for huge quantities of produce. So, charity Det Runde Bord stepped in, collecting and distributing between 3-5 tonnes of surplus food daily, feeding socially vulnerable fellow citizens including addicts and the mentally ill.

In the weeks after lockdown, the organisation and its partners delivered fresh produce corresponding to 1 million meals at a value of more than €2 million.

When organisers learned that Denmark’s soup kitchens had all been closed due to the danger of Covid infection, they launched The Necessary Food Club in a shuttered restaurant, before moving to a huge production kitchen, where between 300 and 1,100 single-packed meals could be prepared every day.

“Imagine that a food waste project [that started at] Roskilde Festival in 2014 has resulted in the delivery of more than 7 million meals to socially vulnerable citizens in Denmark, in addition to being an inspiration to people and organisations around the world,” says Det Runde Bord’s Peter Haugelund. “I am very proud, especially of the more than 500 fantastic volunteers who have made an effort far beyond expectations.”

“If you change conditions, you change behaviour! Your guests will act sustainably, when sustainability is the standard”

Tollwood Festival
Tollwood Festival unites a zest for life, an enjoyment of culture, and a commitment to a tolerant, peaceful and sustainable world. Since the first festival in 1988, ecological and social commitment has formed the way the festival thinks and acts, and its key focus is to keep its carbon footprint as small as possible.

Tollwood is known for its international gastronomy, which is provided by around 50 restaurateurs. Since 2003, the festival’s catering has been certified in accordance with EU organic council regulation.

This means that the event’s visitors can enjoy a diverse selection of 100% organic, vegetarian and vegan food from 20 or so nations. This dedication to organic, plant-based cuisine saves the festival 116 tonnes of CO2 per year.

As a leader in its field, Tollwood is often contacted by other festivals and venues requesting information about its return-able system and waste sorting systems.

“If you change conditions, you change behaviour! Your guests will act sustainably, when sustainability is the standard. It’s your turn, it’s your responsibility, act now!”

“We are really optimistic about the future of reusable cups”

Stack Cup
Despite the pandemic, the team at Stack-Cup has continued its mission to reduce single-use plastic and replace it with the company’s unique reusable cups.

The company has launched the Stack-Flute in the UK and Europe, as well as expanding its reach internationally, and improving its service. Stack-Flute has a unique, patented design, which was successfully launched at Pub in the Park with Slurp and We Are Quantum. The flutes are washed and re-used at each event.

Meanwhile, Stack-Cup has made its debut in Australia and New Zealand with the launch of a cup hire and washing service that is expanding rapidly from the company’s base in Adelaide.

Finally, the organisation has focussed on how it serves and communicates with customers. For example, with pub chain Greene King, it has removed the £1 customer deposit and replaced it with a micro charge, with profits going to the Macmillan Cancer Support charity. This is facilitated through better technology and customer communication.

“We are really optimistic about the future of reusable cups,” says managing director James Roles. “Being more sustainable isn’t optional now but a necessity, and we are fortunate to have built up a decade of experience in running reusable cup programmes. We recognise that partnerships are key to success and our aim for 2022 is to cement transformative relationships with partners that care as much as we do. Actions speak louder than words.”

 


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UK live sector commits to reaching net zero by 2030

The UK’s live sector has committed to reaching net-zero emissions by the year 2030, as part of a new campaign to deliver climate action.

The campaign, spearheaded by LIVE Green – the sustainability arm of live music umbrella trade body LIVE, will set out a roadmap for how live music businesses can accelerate their transition to a low carbon future in line with the Paris Agreement.

The initiative will also provide research, expertise and cross-industry innovation in order to support the sector’s transition to a regenerative future, and will aim to ensure meaningful climate investments are made to achieve the sector’s collective targets.

All 13 association members of LIVE – including AIF, MVT, NAA and CPA – have ratified a voluntary sector-specific commitment to deliver measurable and targeted action on climate change.

“We are now at a tipping point for our climate: this is not a rehearsal”

Signatories of the ‘Beyond Zero Declaration’ agree to:

· Work with LIVE Green to set reduction targets and reduce operational and business travel Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions, reporting on progress annually.

· Develop a net-zero roadmap and action plan – taking responsibility for actions in energy, waste, procurement, transport, food and governance.

· Understand and define emissions within value chains, follow best practice to affect change in areas outside of direct control and collaborate with suppliers and clients to reduce them.

· Ensure staff undertake climate education and have an ongoing commitment to knowledge sharing within the live music sector and beyond.

Members of Live Green’s working group include Julie’s Bicycle, AGreenerFestival, Powerful Thinking, Vision: 2025 and The Tour Production Group.

John Langford, AEG Europe COO and chair of LIVE Green, says: “We are now at a tipping point for our climate: this is not a rehearsal.

“Although there has been significant progress across the live music sector, now is the time to accelerate our efforts”

“We want to tap into the power of music to help deliver a step-change in the environmental impact of our sector – from carbon emissions through to plastic waste – helping us demonstrate that moving faster towards decarbonisation is a route to a competitive advantage.”

Tom Schroeder, Partner at Paradigm Talent Agency, added: “There can be no shying away from the environmental impact of our global business, and although there has been significant progress across the live music sector, now is the time to accelerate our efforts.

“By bringing together the active specialists and initiatives under one banner, LIVE Green is pioneering a means to fast-track decarbonisation across the sector through education, awareness and tangible action. We look forward to building on the sector’s progress so far, to make our low carbon future a reality.”

LIVE builds on significant efforts across the sector to boost sustainability, ranging from the end of single-use plastic at festivals to sector-wide efforts to reduce the environmental impact of touring.

The Beyond Zero Declaration was revealed at today’s (16 September) Green Events and Innovations Conference (GEI), followed by a discussion between Langford, Stuart Galbraith (Kilimanjaro Live), Clementine Bunel (Paradigm), artist Sam Lee and Chiara Badiali (Julie’s Bicycle).


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Massive Attack rallies gov for carbon emissions plan

British band Massive Attack are calling on the government to introduce a plan to cut carbon emissions in the live music business.

It comes after the band commissioned the University of Manchester for a report on the issue using their tour data.

The result of the report is a resource entitled ‘Roadmap To Super Low Carbon Live Music’ which is designed to support the sector’s reduction of emissions in line with the UN Paris Agreement.

While the report makes a number of recommendations for sectors across the live industry, Massive Attack’s Robert del Naja (aka 3D) says the sector ultimately needs more government support in order to achieve its goal.

“Our sector is operating in a government void”

“Our sector is operating in a government void,” says Robert del Naja (aka 3D), Massive Attack. “Nine weeks out of COP26, where is the industrial plan, or any plan at all, for the scale of transformation that’s required for the UK economy and society?

“Fossil fuel companies seem to have no problem at all getting huge subsidies from government, but where is the plan for investment in clean battery technology, clean infrastructure or decarbonised food supply for a live music sector that generates £4.6 billion for the economy every year & employs more than 200k dedicated people? It simply doesn’t exist.”

The report lists a number of actions for local and national governments including:

“We hope that this roadmap can help to catalyse change by outlining the scale of action required”

Some of the key recommendations for the live music industry include:

Professor Carly McLachlan from the University of Manchester’s Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, says: “We hope that this roadmap can help to catalyse change by outlining the scale of action required and how this maps across the different elements of a tour. To reduce emissions in line with the Paris Agreement on climate change, touring practices need to be reassembled differently as the industry emerges from the significant challenges that the pandemic has created.

“This starts from the very inception of a tour and requires the creativity and innovation of artists, managers, promoters, designers and agents to be unleashed to establish new ways of planning and delivering live music tours.”

Christopher Jones from the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research will be presenting the ‘Roadmap To Super Low Carbon Live Music’ at the Green Events and Innovations Conference’s (GEI) upcoming Summer Edition – tickets for which are on sale now.

 


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AEG Presents forms Climate Positive Touring group

AEG Presents is forming a team of industry professionals from production, marketing, and operations dedicated to ‘moving the live business towards a greener future’.

The team, dubbed Climate Positive Touring (CPT), comprises staffers who work across various business divisions of AEG Presents including Concerts West, Global Touring, International Touring, Marshall Arts, Messina Touring Group, and AEG Global Partnerships.

Reducing tour-related carbon emissions, supporting locally led environmental and climate justice programmes, and creating impact on both the operating and consumer-side of touring are at the top of the group’s agenda.

“AEG Presents has the ability and structure to really make a global impact in moving our entire business – which has had a traditionally significant carbon footprint – toward a zero-emissions future,” says Jay Marciano, chairman and CEO, AEG Presents.

“AEG Presents has the ability and structure to really make a global impact in moving our entire business”

“The company’s reach enables us to execute at every level of the live experience: from clubs and theatres to arenas, global tours, and festivals. I’m looking forward to seeing how the CPT group begins to implement their plans as the business starts to reopen this year.”

Jointly leading CPT is AEG Presents’ Amy Morrison, who adds: “With light at the end of the tunnel, we feel it’s the right time to announce CPT and our short- and long-term strategies. We’ve been working on this since the earliest days of the shutdown. Now that live music is coming back, we can put our goals into action. As promoters, we will literally put our message on the road, modelling achievable sustainability, with the power of music in our sails.”

CPT has already deployed two major initiatives: the Venue Environmental Survey and the CPT Green Touring Guide.

The survey will gather data that allow venues, artists and CPT to work together to identify sustainability priorities and solutions while the touring guide is to provide guidance and insights that promoters can utilise in the hopes of showing both venues and artists a path forward to net zero or better carbon emissions.

“The company’s reach enables us to execute at every level of the live experience”

The first installment of the guide, titled The Starting Seven, is a compendium of seven actions promoters can take to start to make a positive environmental impact.

CPT is co-headed by Amy Morrison and Nicole Neal, who are joined by Jon Baden, Amy Buck, Caroline Burruss, Kelly DiStefano, Kate Lewis, Mike Luba, Ben Martin, Alexandra McArthur, Kate McMahon, David Rappaport, and Connie Shao.

CPT works in collaboration with AEG 1Earth, AEG’s corporate sustainability program.

The news of CPT comes shortly after Earth Day (22 April), when a host of new initiatives were announced, including a special summer edition of the Green Events and Innovations Conference (GEI) and Live Nation’s new Green Nation Touring Program.

GEI, the leading conference for sustainability in the international events sector, will hold its summer edition on 16 September 2021. Tickets are on sale now.

 


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