SEC goes local with new food strategy
The host of COP26, the Scottish Event Campus (SEC) in Glasgow, has announced its a new sustainable food strategy which will see it source at least 80% of produce from within Scotland and only use reusable or recyclable packaging by 2023.
The renewed approach has been developed over the past two years with its official catering and hospitality partner Levy UK + I, the sports, and hospitality division of Compass Group UK and Ireland. All produce will be sourced from high-welfare producers with sustainable agriculture processes.
As part of the new food strategy, SEC will champion high quality, environmentally friendly local suppliers in areas such as fruit and vegetables, meat and bread. The food and drink offering at the landmark Glasgow venue will offer a broader range of plant-based options alongside premium and low-impact, local animal protein sources.
“As our industry gears up to restart, there is no better time to drive forward positive change.”
The venue is also making strides in the fight against food waste and aims to have reduced kitchen wastage to under 1% of food purchases by 2025 or sooner. Food waste will continue to be diverted from landfill to anaerobic digestion processing.
SEC donates surplus non-perishable food to local charity Launch Foods. In 2020, SEC donated around 10,000 food items to the charity who distribute it through local community organisations and schools.
Debbie McWilliams, Director of Live Entertainment at SEC, said: “Our new food strategy is an integral part of our commitment to reducing the environmental impact of events that take place on our Campus.
“As our industry gears up to restart, there is no better time to drive forward positive change. We are proud to have a strong and ambitious strategy in place to help us champion the very best of sustainably sourced Scottish produce on the international stage.”
The new food strategy has been implemented ahead of SEC hosting the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26), taking place from 1–12 November 2021.
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Female urinals developed to eliminate festival queues
Historically, equality at festivals has fallen over when it comes to fans answering a call of nature. While male attendees are often catered to with urinal installations, their female peers have to endure waiting times of up to 30 times longer to use the facilities.
However, a number of companies are addressing the situation with the introduction of female urinals, designed to vastly cut queues for festivalgoers, which could, in turn, result in higher concession sales, with ladies able to spend more time waiting for food or drink without having to meticulously plan their day around toilet breaks.
At the Green Events and Innovations Conference in March, the order books of Lapee became busier after numerous festivals were impressed by its advantages, while the latest operation to enter the market is Peequal, which is making a similar system available to event organisers.
Former University of Bristol students Amber Probyn and Hazel McShane developed their hands-free Peequal after interviewing 2,000 women in focus groups and spending their summers working at music festivals. According to McShane, during their work breaks they had to choose between going to the loo or getting food, because the queues for the toilets were so bad.
“Peequal has been created by women, for women”
As a result, the pair took on the challenge of designing a better toilet solution as part of their master’s degree project, and the outcome could very well be seen in a field near you soon.
Like Lapee, Peequal provides users with a degree of privacy, and delivers a much greener solution for toilet facilities at events.
The standalone, touch free Peequal units claim to be six times quicker to use than a lock-door loo. The design is flat-pack and its developers say it is six times quicker to pack, as well as being made from 100% recycled material and they produce 98% less CO2 than portable toilets. The unit can be configured in three ways, making it easily adaptable to different environments.
“Peequal has been created by women, for women,” say the inventors. “We have been endorsed by WaterAid, Glastonbury and many more customers, who also see this problem and want a solution. Initially we intend to rent to early adopting and influential customers, and then scale up to reach the global market where we have identified a demand.”
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Natural Resources to help you go greener
Whether you’re looking for environmental consultation to make your event greener or accreditation to show off your sustainability, below are a slate of organisations around the world dedicated to improving and verifying the sustainability of the events sector.
These organisations provide knowledge, resources, and best practice for event organisers, artists, suppliers and vendors – meaning that the first step towards a more sustainable sector doesn’t have to be the hardest.
Sustainable Event Alliance
Based in New South Wales but with partners all over the globe, the Sustainable Event Alliance (SEA) unites live events professionals who are focused on improving the sustainability of the sector. In addition to its online knowledge bank, the SEA’s activities include accrediting sustainability professionals, helping events become greener, and providing spaces for networking and discussion.
Green Operations Europe, known as GO Group, is a pan-European think tank that aims to inspire industry professionals to make their operations greener, smarter, and more sustainable. Initiated at the first International Green Events Conference in Bonn in November 2010, as a joint initiative of Yourope (the European Festival Association), Bucks New University in the UK, and Jacob Bilabel and Holger Jan Schmidt’s Green Music Initiative, the organisation connects festivals with scientists and environmental initiatives; delivers workshops and contributes to panel discussions; organises festival field trips; and helps certify Yourope’s member festivals as Clean’n’Green, among other activities.
Green Events International
Formed in 2014, Green Events works with Dutch and international partners to share knowledge, resources, and best practice for event organisers, artists, suppliers, vendors and more. Its areas of focus include water, energy, transport, and waste, with past projects having included the Plastic Promise, which saw leading festivals commit to eliminating single-use plastics, and ADE Green, a ‘green deal’ for European festivals launched at Amsterdam Dance Event 2019.
Greener Events, in full the Greener Events Foundation, was established in 2009 by international snowboarding ace Terje Håkonsen, and businessman and philanthropist Jan Christian Sundt. Offering environmental consultation and expertise in making events sustainable, Greener Events has worked with events including Tons of Rock, Øya Festival, Hove Festival, and Way Out West in Sweden, and consulted for Yourope and the European Festival Association.
A Greener Festival
A Greener Festival (AGF) is a non-profit organisation dedicated to improving the sustainability of the events sector. In addition to its annual Green Events and Innovations Conference – which returns for a special summer edition on 16 September – AGF provides certification, training, CO2 analysis, and consultation for organisers, venues, tours, artists, festivals, sports, suppliers, and local authorities for all event types internationally, and also presents the annual International AGF Awards.
Chaired by John Langford, COO of AEG Europe, LIVE Green is one of four newly formed specialist subcommittees for Live music Industry Venues and Entertainment (LIVE), the umbrella organisation representing 13 UK live music industry associations. Bringing together the leading sustainability practitioners across the sector to produce a single environmental vision for live music, it sits alongside LIVE Touring, LIVE Venues, and an as-yet unnamed group focusing on diversity and inclusion.
Sustainability in Production Alliance (SiPA) is a global association of individuals and organisations across the production sector, including stage managers, manufacturers, tour & production managers, venues, producers, engineers, and technicians, who are working towards creating a sustainable future for the industry and a ‘triple bottom line’ of people, planet, and profit. It offers a range of resources free of charge to industry professionals, including ‘ten easy wins’ that can be implemented as a starting point today.
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Building Back Greener: Next steps for the live industry
One of few feel-good stories that has emerged from the more than year-long shutdown of nearly all normal life is the perception that the natural world is getting a long-overdue ‘break’ from humanity.
Emissions are down across the board, with 2.3 billion tons less carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere in 2020 alone, and the quality of rivers and other large bodies of water has improved: parts of India’s Ganges and Yamuna rivers, for example, have become fit for drinking for the first time in decades.
Against the backdrop of such positive developments, as well as a heightened public awareness of the worsening climate crisis, the imminent return of concert touring – with its trucks and planes, its waste and its thirst for energy – could be a turning point for live music’s relationship with the natural environment.
This sense that the end of the pandemic is a fork in the road for the industry is heightened by the upcoming 26th UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow, which will be the most important global sustainability event since the landmark Paris Agreement was signed at COP21 in 2015.
With Earth Day just passed, and COP26 coming into view, will the business decide to draw a line under the bad old days and commit to building a sustainable future, or will the rush to get back to business-as-usual leave environmental concerns in the dust?
“With the way the news is, and what we’re seeing globally, people are finally realising that [climate change] is an emergency”
For tour manager Jamal Chalabi (Bring Me the Horizon), who serves as sustainability facilitator for the UK’s Tour Production Group (TPG), the sacrifices of the past year will have been for nothing if the industry doesn’t use the pause in touring to bring forward positive change on sustainability.
Established in summer 2020 by around 60 tour and production managers, the formation of the TPG was driven by a feeling that “it was a really important time for us to come together to press reset,” explains Chalabi.
“We looked at all the things that we’d seen that we wanted to discuss and change – that was things like mental health and welfare, diversity and inclusion, and, of course, sustainability.”
From the TPG’s conversations with promoters, agents, venues, and vendors, Chalabi says he hopes there is a broad industry consensus emerging about the need to make touring sustainable. “I think people are finally ready for this change,” he continues.
“With the way the news is, and what we’re seeing globally, people are finally realising that this is an emergency.”
“If we can look at sustainability from a holistic point of view, it will make the live music sector more resilient [to future crises]”
The events of 2020, he adds, have demonstrated that the live industry isn’t divorced from climate change, many of the causes of which – including deforestation and habitat loss – are believed by scientists to contribute to the emergence and spread of epidemic diseases.
“The pandemic has shown that our industry isn’t as resilient as many people thought,” says Chalabi. “We were first to stop working and we’ll be the last back. If we can look at sustainability from a holistic point of view – intelligent spending, wasting less, streamlining our processes and adopting better practices – it will make the live music sector more resilient [to future crises].”
Several high-profile artists, notably Ellie Goulding, Massive Attack and Radiohead, have publicly criticised the environmental impact of concert touring – and Coldplay have gone so far as to say they will not tour until it’s possible to do so in a net-positive way – but for many, it’s obvious that real change will need a joined-up, pan-industry approach to the issue. As Massive Attack’s Robert Del Naja said earlier this year, “One band not touring doesn’t change a thing.”
Same old story?
The importance of the TPG’s crusade is illustrated by research that shows the idea of nature being given a chance to recover by Covid-19 ignores the reality in much of the world. According to Conservation International, “there is a misperception that nature is ‘getting a break’ from humans during the Covid-19 pandemic. Instead, many rural areas in the tropics are facing increased pressure from land grabbing, deforestation, illegal mining and wildlife poaching. People who have lost their employment in cities are returning to their rural homes, further increasing the pressure on natural resources while also increasing the risk of Covid-19 transmission to rural areas.
“There have been less emissions because aviation has almost stopped, but global emissions still hit a record high this year”
“Meanwhile, there are reports of increased deforestation in Asia, Africa and Latin America. Illegal miners and loggers are encroaching on indigenous territories, which could expose remote indigenous communities to the virus. Areas that are economically dependent on tourism face reduced resources as tourism has come to a halt, resulting in a rise in the consumption of bushmeat (from wild animals) in Africa. Meanwhile, illegal mining for gold and precious stones in Latin America and Africa is on the rise, as prices spike and protected areas are left unguarded.”
Hadi Ahmadzadeh, founder of sustainable nightlife consultancy Ecodisco, says that while a good narrative – nature ‘recovering’ from human impact – is often useful to get people on board with a movement, it can “sometimes hinder you in the long-term.”
He continues, “With Covid, yes, there have been less emissions because aviation has almost stopped, but global emissions still hit a record high this year. Also the use of single-use plastics has rocketed, with single-use bans being delayed and the widespread need for PPE [personal protective equipment]. So there hasn’t been a magic wand. It’s not a template for how we move forward.”
According to Moo, the British design and printing business best known for its create-your-own business cards, the mass production of single-use PPE during the pandemic is overwhelming recycling systems, leading to a large proportion of the 129 billion face masks used globally every month ending up in the sea.
The company recently partnered with the Ocean Agency, the non-profit creative agency behind projects such as Netflix’s Chasing Coral, to raise awareness of how PPE-derived plastics are exacerbating ocean pollution.
[Ecodisco] has plans in the works to bring recyclable, reusable cups targeted at venues to market in the months ahead
“Both reusable and single-use face masks break down into plastic microfibres, which are easily consumed by marine life and enter the food chain,” explains Richard Vevers, founder of The Ocean Agency. “The pandemic’s impact on plastic pollution is a major human health concern and is now under investigation by scientists.”
Nor is it sustainable to simply stop doing the things that make us happy, continues Ahmadzadeh: “If you look at the sustainable development goals from the UN, it doesn’t just cover plastic cups and carbon emissions – you’ve got cultural sustainability, social sustainability, people looking after each other, the harmony between races and sexes… everything.”
While plastic cups, then, aren’t the be-all and end-all of sustainability, it’s on cups that Ecodisco (which spun out of an earlier eco-friendly party promotion business established by Ahmadzadeh) is currently focusing much of its attention, with plans in the works to bring recyclable, reusable cups targeted at venues to market in the months ahead.
“The whole idea of our system,” explains Ahmadzadeh, “is a reusable cup rental service. So, if you’re a venue, we would deliver reusable cups on Friday morning, for example, and you’d use them Friday night, Saturday night and Sunday day, if you’ve got an event.
Then on Monday we’d collect them, take them away to get washed and simultaneously drop off more clean ones for the week ahead. Every week we’d have two or maybe three collections and deliveries, depending on how many cups the venue can store. The goal is to use each cup around 500 times before recycling them.”
“Don’t just cover up what you’re doing, don’t just offset; reduce the impact as much as possible and then be regenerative”
The Ecodisco system would be funded by a £1 (€1.15) ‘green fee’ for each attendee, with the choice left up to venues as to whether to absorb the cost into the ticket price or levy it on top.
“Whether you integrate it into your ticket price or you make a thing out of it to get people on board with the system – which is what we’d recommend – is ultimately irrelevant,” he adds. “The whole point is, it’s funded by event attendees. We want to remove the cost to the venue.”
“Sustainability just isn’t enough anymore – we actually need to be regenerative,” says Philippa Attwood, who leads corporate partnerships for Barcelona-based Tree-Nation, which helps corporate clients offset their carbon dioxide emissions by planting trees.
“If we just sustain ourselves the way that we are now, that’s actually not good enough. That’s why, in our conversations with clients, we say, don’t just cover up what you’re doing, don’t just offset; reduce the impact as much as possible and then look at how you can be regenerative [ie have a positive effect on the environment].”
So far over 85% of people have said they would be happy to pay the £1 green fee for the [Ecodisco] cup
Like most businesses, Tree-Nation’s plans for 2020 were derailed by the pandemic – it had partnerships with around ten new festivals and live events lined up for the summer and was in conversations with some of the biggest names in live music about offsetting their emissions – though it continues to work successfully with several events, as well as a large pool of e-commerce partners, and its API is integrated with Eventbrite.
Attwood explains: “It could be that you design the event to trigger a tree to be planted every time a ticket is purchased, for example.”
Like Ecodisco’s cups, the decision on whether to include the cost of planting a tree – typically between one and two euros – in the ticket price or make it a separate charge, is left up to event organisers and ticketing platforms.
In the green
Whatever the mechanism that promoters and venues use to fund new green policies, research increasingly shows that fans are willing to pay a little extra if they know they are attending a sustainable/regenerative show.
“You do get some people who turn around and say, ‘I don’t want to put the extra cost onto my customers,’” explains Ahmadzadeh. “In those cases we turn around and say, ‘Okay, cool, let’s ask your customers!’ Working with industry bodies like Music Venue Trust we have started to send out newsletters with survey links, and so far over 85% of people have said they would be happy to pay the £1 green fee for the cup. So, we can show that to someone who says this isn’t what people want, because we’ve got people saying they’re fine with it!”
“Looking into the future, it will probably be more damaging for you if you’re not involved in something like [Tree-Nation]”
It’s a similar story in the festival world. According to Ticketmaster’s State of Play 2019 report, which surveyed 4,000 UK festivalgoers following the most recent summer festival season, a growing number of attendees take sustainability into account when buying festival tickets, with almost two-thirds saying the reduction of waste is a priority.
“Looking into the future, it will probably be more damaging for you if you’re not involved in something like [Tree-Nation],” adds Attwood. “If you’re still using throwaway plastics, diesel generators, etc, and all of that is visible, it’s going to make your event less appealing than a rival event that has reusable everything, deals with trash in the right way and has good environmental policies.
“So, what I would say to people is to think about the long-term, think about who your target market is and decide whether you want to be part of that positive change.”
The economic argument will be key to bringing everyone, particularly those for whom the environment hasn’t been a priority to date, on board with this green new world, suggests Chalabi. “Some people say things like, ‘Sustainability is all well and good, but who’s going to pay for it?’” he explains, “when in actual fact, if we run it right, it will probably cost us less than it did before.”
Chalabi cites the example of a recent conversation with a lighting designer, who told him it’s “difficult to spec certain [eco-friendly] lights, because a festival only has so much money in the budget and the lighting company can only afford to rent these fixtures.
“All these little things will become like second nature. And that’s what we’re trying to educate people about”
We turned it around and concluded, ‘If you’re using fixtures that cost more money but are using less power, then you’re saving money on the power bill.’ It’s really about stepping back and seeing the bigger picture. Yes, it’s going to cost you a little bit more on the lights, but you’re going to save 95% on your bill.”
As time goes on, he continues, “all these little things will become like second nature. And that’s what we’re trying to educate people about. It’s amazing, for instance, how many vendors we’ve gone to asking if there’s a sustainable option on a certain product, and there is – but nobody’s ever asked for it. A lot of production managers have been doing the same thing for years and years, so they’re going to keep on doing it the same way unless they know there are other choices.”
On the artist side, meanwhile, the world’s biggest tour promoter, Live Nation, is seeking to educate its clients about the options available with its new Green Nation Touring Program [sic], which it hopes will help musicians and their teams develop sustainable tours after live music returns.
The Program [sic], part of the Green Nation initiative launched in 2019, will advise Live Nation-promoted artists on how to adopt eco-friendly touring practices that “prioritise people and planet,” according to the company – including in tour planning, production and sourcing.
“Live Nation has the opportunity and the responsibility to provide artists and fans with live music experiences that protect our planet,” said Michael Rapino, LN’s president and CEO, on Earth Day. “We’re inspired by artists who are continually pushing for greener options, and as we develop those best practices the Green Nation Touring Program will help make them standards in the industry, so collectively we can all make the biggest impact possible.”
“Climate change won’t recognise borders – we’re all in this together”
Regardless of the efforts of individual companies, trade associations such as A Greener Festival and the TPG will be crucial to securing any pan-industry consensus on environmental standards, and Chalabi says it’s been “a joy bringing people together” on the TPG’s bi-weekly calls.
“We have the heads of sustainability for AEG and Live Nation on a call, and it’s so refreshing because it’s a recognition that climate change won’t recognise borders – we’re all in this together.”
The spirit of collaboration is behind AGF’s decision to run a second edition of its Green Events and Innovations Conference (GEI) in 2021, following the most recent event ahead of ILMC on 2 March. This one-off, late-summer GEI will build on the momentum of March’s GEI 13 “towards not just rebuilding but becoming a regenerative force for our sector and all of the people it reaches,” explains AGF co-founder Claire O’Neill.
“We intend to set an example that we, the creative and can- do organisations and individuals, are leading the way, and the future that we want to co-create is fully within our grasp,” says O’Neill. “There’s no time to waste, and so we’re keeping our foot firmly on the (zero-emissions) pedal to make sure our industry steps up to be a positive force to create a future we can all be proud of.”
In the US, the Touring Professionals Alliance is “on the same page” as the TPG, according to Chalabi, while in Scandinavia, the Norwegian Live Music Association recently teamed up with other industry bodies to launch Norway’s first ‘green roadmap’ (grønt veikart) as a resource for live entertainment professionals who wish to reduce the environmental impact of their work.
“Sustainable tours needn’t mean smaller tours, just cleverer ones”
Speaking at the launch of the veikart, the association’s general manager, Tone Østerdal, explained: “Most people do not associate the cultural sector with climate and sustainability, but we have a great responsibility. The purpose of preparing this green roadmap is both to become better yourself, and to inspire others to contribute to solving the climate challenge.”
According to Attwood, it’s a misconception that concert touring will need to be scaled back to minimise its environmental impact – sustainable tours needn’t mean smaller tours, just cleverer ones, she says. “A lot of industries are looking at their supply chain and asking how they can do things better, whether it’s using electric cars instead of those that run on gasoline or sourcing products locally instead of shipping something in from China,” explains Attwood, suggesting a similar model can easily be applied to live entertainment.
For those aspects whose impact can’t be reduced further, that’s where offsetting comes in, she continues: “For example, you have 100 tonnes of CO2 you can’t get rid of, but you can plant 1,000 trees, and you can make a commitment to cleaning up the ocean, so indirectly you are compensating for what you’re doing. And it’s possible to give back more than you’re actually taking, so you’re being regenerative: You could generate two tonnes of trash at your festival but fully recycle it, then pick two tonnes of trash out of the ocean, and you’re doing more.”
While under no illusions about its urgency, noting that “we have ten years to get this right,” Chalabi is upbeat about the live business’s ability to meet the climate challenge that lies ahead.
“I think compared to all the industries out there, we touch on so many different economies – whether it’s from the travel sector to the freight sector, to power to audio to lights, you name it – we touch absolutely everything. And the fact that we also reach out to so many people because of the medium that we’re involved in, our artists and the people that we produce, we have a huge voice.
“That voice can change the way the globe feels, and I think we underestimate that power. Which is why we need to make sure our backstage is clean.”
Read this feature in its original format in the digital edition of IQ 99:
Positive changes in touring start with baby steps
Continuing our series of columns by leading production and tour managers, IQ speaks to Rebecca Travis who has been on the road for over two decades with artists including Florence + The Machine, Ellie Goulding and Arcade Fire. Catch up on the previous Production Notes comment from Chris Kansy here.
IQ: What was the last tour you did before the pandemic took effect in 2020?
RT: I was in Australia with Freya Ridings, and the fear of the pandemic was definitely bubbling. After our second show, in Melbourne on 12 March, we knew we had to get everybody home. We got back and they shut the Australian border shortly after – the timing was so tight.
How has lockdown treated you?
My partner and I moved to the Scottish borders and it’s a beautiful part of the world. I’ve been on tour for 20 years and this is the longest I’ve been at home. There are parts of this that are really positive. There were so many years where I decided to have a quiet year but was then offered an amazing opportunity I couldn’t turn down, so the enforced downtime has definitely had positives. But enough already… can we please get back to work now?
During lockdown you joined the newly formed Touring Production Group (TPG). Can you tell us more about that?
TPG started as weekly Zooms with production and tour managers (organised and chaired by Wob Roberts) getting together to produce a document on how we might tour post-Covid. It developed into something bigger and subgroups were formed in sustainability, diversity, equity and inclusion; and mental welfare and personal wellbeing.
I really hope when we finally get back on the road that we can actually put [TPG’s] ideas into practice and make a difference
We have now opened up membership and have had a great response from people keen to make positive changes in touring. It’s important that people in this sector support each other and share knowledge and values and ideas about how we can make the industry a better place to be. I really hope when we finally get back on the road that we can actually put these ideas into practice and make a difference.
In which areas of touring do you hope TPG will make an impact?
Hopefully, in all of the areas we are working on. For example, sustainability. If we’re all asking venues for certain things to make the industry greener, hopefully it’ll become the norm to provide them. I think a lot of these changes have to come from the artist and then it’ll just become a part of what we have to do – it’ll be normal to say “we’re not going to do that trip” or “we’ll offset that trip.”
We’ve also spoken to agents about routing tours in a greener way, asking that they don’t make us double back on ourselves, but we have to be realistic – post-Covid tour routing will be a challenge for agents. We’ve spoken about sustainability all this time; we have to start now and at least implement small changes and keep the discussions going even when we’re back to work.
We can’t just jump straight back on a bus and do 18-hour days. We’re not match fit
Have you had any revelations about the way the touring industry operates?
There have been a lot of revelations about the madness of zipping all over the world; moving in ten trucks’ worth of equipment, setting it up for a show and then putting it back in the trucks and moving it to the next place. Perhaps we will see bands adopt a more simple stage set-up, rather than lugging around all these bells and whistles. Also, Covid-wise, are we going to want to have 14 or 16 people on a tour bus? Maybe things will be scaled down a bit when we return.
Has the enforced downtime put into perspective just how demanding your job is?
Yes. It would be ideal to perhaps do a little less touring and maybe not take 18 months of solid work at a time. We do long hours on the road – you might get up at six in the morning and might not get back into the bunk until 3 am, and you’re going to do that three times in a row before you have a day off and can collapse in a heap.
In the TPG’s mental health and welfare chats, we’re discussing how to make that better, especially because we’ve just had completely different lives throughout the pandemic. We can’t just jump straight back on a bus and do 18-hour days. We’re not match fit. I think, in terms of all these things like mental health and sustainability, it’s about gently easing ourselves back into this. Baby steps.
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.
Dutch agencies develop green artist rider
UIMA (United Independent Music Agencies), the association of Dutch booking agencies, has released a green rider for artists wishing to tour sustainably.
The rider, which follows the launch of the first green artist rider at GEI in 2019, focuses on eating in a more eco-friendly way, cutting down on flying, reducing waste and using renewable energy. For example, by eliminating the 7,500 short-haul flights UIMA artists take a year in favour of trains, they can reduce carbon emissions from transport up to 80%, the rider explains.
UIMA members, which include Blip Agency, Octopus Agents, Good Music Company, Earth Beat and Sedate Bookings, represent more than 500 acts who play over 15,000 shows annually. The association was formed in April 2020 in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The rider focuses on food, transport, waste and energy
In addition to looking at what artists can do to reduce their footprint, the rider also advises how venues and festivals can make a difference, for example eliminating single-use products and using only green energy.
In a statement, the association says it hopes “more artists and agencies at home and abroad will embrace this initiative and help develop it so that we can collectively move towards a cleaner future”.
Download UIMA’s green rider (in English) by clicking here.
Climate Live announces debut livestream show
Climate Live, a youth-led global environmental campaign, has announced a 24-hour concert live stream kicking off tomorrow (24 April).
Beginning in Japan, the Climate Live April 24 event will also include performances from countries including Portugal, Uruguay, Brazil, Germany, Canada, Mexico, the Netherlands, Colombia and the UK, where Declan McKenny will perform from a secret location at 8.30pm UK time. Other participating artists include Milky Chance (Germany), Anly (Japan), Barenaked Ladies (Canada) and Any Gabrielly (Brazil).
The live stream is intended as a warm-up for a bigger Climate Live event which will take place across 43 countries on 16 October, ahead of the UN Climate Change Conference (Cop26). The line-up and venues for the October event will be announced in the coming weeks.
Led by members of Friday for Future, the youth groups organising the school strikes started by Greta Thunberg, Climate Live aims to raise awareness of the challenges faced by “those on the front lines of the [climate] crisis.”
The live stream is intended as a warm-up for a bigger Climate Live event which will take place across 43 countries on 16 October
By asking, “Can you hear us yet?”, the campaign urges young people to make their voices heard and put pressure on world leaders to take action to combat climate change in the run-up to Cop26.
Climate Live founder Frances Fox, 20, says: “I started Climate Live in spring 2019, after being inspired by an interview in which Brian May said there should be a Live Aid for the climate crisis. I thought this was a brilliant idea to engage more young people in the movement, with our own spin, so immediately started messaging activists from all over the world.”
To tune in to the Climate Live April 24 streaming event tomorrow, or find out more about the campaign, visit climatelive.org/stream.
Yesterday saw the international music community come together for Earth Day 2021, and a number of events continue across the weekend.
Live Nation creates green touring programme for artists
Live Nation Entertainment has announced the launch of new guidance that will help artists and their teams develop sustainable tours after live music returns.
The Green Nation Touring Program [sic], part of the Green Nation initiative launched in 2019, will advise Live Nation-promoted artists on how to adopt eco-friendly touring practices that “prioritise people and planet”, according to the company.
The four-pronged approach will focus on:
- Planning: Selecting green venues, maximising tour-routing efficiency, evaluating transport options and more
- Production: Measuring and optimising everything from stage design to power requirements
- Sourcing: A “conscious and equitable” approach towards sourcing merch, catering and other supplies
- Community: Seeking engagement with everyone involved in a tour, from fans to crew to brand partners
- green venue selection, maximize efficient routing, evaluate transportation options, and more
According to a recent sustainability survey, 82% of of Live Nation’s customers globally say they strive to maintain an environmentally sustainable lifestyle. The Green Nation Touring Program will, then, aim to provide concertgoers with sustainable options for attending shows.
“Live Nation has the responsibility to provide artists and fans with
To oversee these efforts, Live Nation has promoted Lucy August-Perna to director of global sustainability. August-Perna has been with Live Nation since 2016, leading programmes to integrate sustainability measures like waste reduction, energy efficiency and fan and employee engagement across the company’s US venues.
To track and measure the impact of the Green Nation Touring Program, Green Nation is establishing standardised measurement tools on a worldwide basis, and has partnered with UK think tank Julie’s Bicycle to collaborate on new tools, resources and a green tour-certification scheme to help adoption of these touring practices.
“Live Nation has the opportunity and the responsibility to provide artists and fans with live music experiences that protect our planet,” says Michael Rapino, president and CEO of the world’s largest live entertainment business.
“We’re inspired by artists who are continually pushing for greener options, and as we develop those best practices the Green Nation Touring Program will help make them standards in the industry so collectively we can all make the biggest impact possible.”
GEI announces special summer 2021 conference
The Green Events and Innovations Conference (GEI) has announced the launch of a special GEI Summer Edition taking place on 16 September 2021.
The launch, which coincides with Earth Day today (22 April), follows this year’s 13th edition of the Green Events & Innovations Conference (GEI), the leading conference for sustainability in the international events sector, in March. The decision to host a second edition in 2021 reflects the doubling of efforts to create a greener events industry post-Covid-19, according to organisers.
“We intend to set an example that we, the creative and can-do organisations and individuals are leading the way, and the future that we want to co-create is fully in our grasp,” says Claire O’Neill, co-founder of conference organiser A Greener Festival (AGF).
“There’s no time to waste, and so we’re keeping our foot firmly on the (zero-emissions) pedal to make sure our industry steps up to be a positive force to create a future we can all be proud of.”
“The future that we want to co-create is fully in our grasp”
Previous editions of GEI have welcomed speakers including Nuno Bettencourt (Extreme), Dale Vince (Ecotricity/Forest Green Rovers), Emma Banks (CAA), Tom Schroeder (Paradigm), Fay Milton (Music Declares Emergency), Alex Hardee (Paradigm), Patricia Yague (Live Nation), Adam Pearson (O2 Arena/AEG), Mark Stevenson (ClientEarth/MoD), Bob Wilson (Greenpeace), Niclas Svenningson (UNFCCC) and Virginijus Sinkevicius (European commissioner for environment, oceans and fisheries).
GEI Summer Edition takes place just two months prior to COP26 (the 2021 UN Climate Change Conference). Conference topics are expected to include social justice, biodiversity, clean air, clean water and healthy soils, wellbeing and mental health, as well as exploring how events and tours can make positive impacts through their design, energy, purchases, water, sanitation, materials, food and drinks.
Organisers expect 200+ delegates to attend the first GEI Summer Edition, limited launch price tickets for which are on sale now.
GEI is AGF’s annual flagship event, delivered in partnership with the International Live Music Conference in London. It has been running for over 13 years and welcomes delegates and speakers who are leaders in the event sector, sustainability and regenerative economies.