Sustainability initiatives ramp up across the business
This week has seen major companies in the live music business ramp up their sustainability efforts with new initiatives, hires and partnerships.
ASM Global this week announced a new partnership with Honeycomb Strategies, a leading consultant in sustainability for the hospitality, sports and event industries.
According to a release, the partnership will support and improve the venue management giant’s sustainability efforts across its global portfolio of some 350 facilities, from stadiums to local convention centres.
Honeycomb Strategies, a woman-owned consultancy, brings extensive experience and a comprehensive understanding of events-related best practices in the sustainability field.
The consultancy will work closely with ASM’s corporate social responsibility platform, ASM Global Acts Foundation, which supports philanthropic and community-based endeavours, guided by its sustainability and diversity objectives.
ASM Global announced a new partnership with Honeycomb Strategies
Among Honeycomb Strategies’ clients are SoFi Stadium, Colorado Convention Center, Visit Denver, Greenbuild Conference and Expo, Vancouver Convention Center, Specialty Coffee Association, Coffee Expo, UUA General Assembly and Snowflake Technology Summit.
Meanwhile, AEG Europe is recruiting a director for the delivery of net zero, to be based out of its European head office in London.
The successful candidate will be charged with developing AEG Europe’s Net Zero Strategy, implementing and driving plans that deliver net zero and establishing AEG Europe as industry leaders and advocates for net zero.
Elsewhere, environmental nonprofit A Greener Festival (AGF) has launched ‘A Greener Supplier Kitemark’ to provide green suppliers with independent verification and recognition of their sustainability actions.
The new certification will help events, festivals and tours identify verified green suppliers more easily, reducing the time and overhead of having to undertake their own internal supplier assessments.
AEG Europe is recruiting a director for the delivery of net zero
For suppliers with the kite mark, it is hoped that it will reduce the effort required to demonstrate their green credentials to prospective customers.
To attain the kitemark, suppliers will have to demonstrate a commitment to supporting biodiversity, and reducing their organisations emissions and waste across the company’s operations, purchases and investment.
The supplier assessment will consider the organisation’s approach to applicable key elements of environmental sustainability including energy, food & beverage, transport, waste management, water, plastics & packaging, social responsibility, as well as its policy and strategies for dealing with hazardous materials and reductions in CO2 emissions.
Meanwhile, the US has gained a new nonprofit organisation studying sustainability and live events.
Sound Future launched with the goal to find solutions to making live events more sustainable in a way that supports business goals and improves the artist and fan experience.
The US has gained a new nonprofit organisation studying sustainability and live events
“Sound Future is a nonprofit born to harness the influence of the live event industry for the betterment of people, planet, and business,” reads a statement from the organisation.
“We partner with industry stakeholders to offer baseline climate accounting for live events. We use that data to inform the highest impact technology solutions, recommending only those that help our partners meet their business objectives and meaningfully improve the event experience for the talent and their fans.”
The nonprofit is led by CEO Cassie Lee, who has previously held roles at NASA, Paul G. Allen’s space programs and SpaceX.
Taking up the position of COO is Ashley O’Winter, an Emmy-award nominated documentarian and a philanthropist.
CMO of Sound Future is Brandy Schultz, founder and owner of the award-winning agency Adventure Nannies, whose knowledge of the live event space comes from touring the world with her husband, Wesley Schultz of The Lumineers.
Also serving in an advising role at Sound Future is Sara Full, current tour director of The Lumineers and who previously worked on the road with AC/DC and The Rolling Stones.
Later this year, IQ Magazine will publish the third edition of Green Guardians, an annual guide that aims to boost the profile of sustainability pioneers working to make the live business greener.
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Billie Eilish tour ‘can serve as blueprint’
The sustainability efforts of Billie Eilish’s Happier Than Ever Tour can serve as a “blueprint” for future tours, according to Live Nation promoter Kelly Chappel.
Eilish, who will become the youngest ever headliner of Glastonbury’s Pyramid Stage this Friday, partnered with environmental nonprofit Reverb to make the tour more sustainable and empower her fans to take action for people and the planet. The link-up extended to cross-campus climate festival Overheated at London’s The O2, which began on June 10 during Eilish’s dates at the venue.
The O2 has presented the 20-year-old with a special First Time Award to celebrate her six night sell-out residency at the arena, which wraps up this weekend.
“I’m personally so proud of our six Billie Eilish shows at The O2,” says Chappel, Live Nation’s EVP of global artist development and global tour promoter. “I’d like to thank everyone who was involved in delivering this tour. It’s testament to thoughtfulness and hard work, and it can serve as a blueprint for future arena tours, as this proves that artists performing on large scale tours can make vital changes to aid sustainability and be friendlier to our planet.”
Inspired by Eilish’s passion for sustainability, the award features a unique design and has been created using Jesmonite, a sustainable material which can be crushed and reused. It also features a piece of The O2’s own tent fabric that was retrieved following Storm Eunice, as well as photographs from her first show at the venue.
“The fight against climate change is incredibly important to us and with these initial steps and conversations there is now a chance to build on this”
Christian D’Acuña, senior director of programming at The O2, says: “It’s been incredible to welcome Billie Eilish to The O2, and we’re so proud to have hosted not only six incredible debut shows at the venue, but also the Overheated festival, which has sparked important discussions around making both our planet and our industry more sustainable.”
In conjunction with Eilish’s show dates, and the Overheated festival, The O2 also made several commitments to make the venue more sustainable, and in response to Eilish’s Green Rider, including offering a fully vegan menu in The O2 arena for all of Eilish’s show dates. The O2 also introduced recyclable paper cups and recycled PET fabric wristbands in the arena for the first time.
“A special thank you to The O2 for hosting us over what has been six incredible shows and the opportunity to create meaningful change through the launch of Overheated,” adds Eilish’s agent Mike Malak of Wasserman Music. “The fight against climate change is incredibly important to us and with these initial steps and conversations there is now a chance to build on this.”
The Happier Than Ever Tour continues its European stretch next week with stops in Belgium, Germany and Switzerland, before concluding in Australasia in September.
“This partnership allows us to continue investing in improving the customer experience”
Meanwhile, The O2 has also announced a multi-year partnership with instant commerce firm Gopuff, which has been named as the venue’s principal partner and official grocery, food and beverage delivery partner.
The deal, which was brokered by AEG Global Partnerships, means fans visiting the venue can now bypass concession lines through rapid click-and-collect services in The O2 app powered by Gopuff. It will also provide artists with instant access to their performance essentials while onsite.
“This partnership allows us to continue investing in improving the customer experience for our fans and premium clients, and with digital ticketing and other innovative solutions available for all customers via The O2’s app, we’re making the concert-going experience as seamless as possible through digital means,” says AEG Global Partnerships EVP Paul Samuels. “We are confident that over the next few years, Gopuff will significantly boost the onsite experience both for fans and artists, and we’re delighted to have them on board.”
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Billie Eilish hosts Overheated Climate Session
Over 250 music professionals and sustainability specialists came together at The O2 in London for a series of debates and performances today (16 June).
The event, which took place alongside Billie Eilish’s Happier Than Ever tour, was hosted by the BBC’s Abbie McCarthy (BBC), with representatives from REVERB, The Big Climate Thing, Live Nation, Julie’s Bicycle and The O2.
During the discussion titled Taking Charge – Efforts to Decarbonise Events, The O2’s VP and general manager Steve Sayer described the changes that hosting the Eilish tour had seen at the venue, including going fully vegan for the duration.
“We had Morrissey here five years ago and the question about whether we sold burgers was a huge topic, but on this tour, it wasn’t,” he said. “Going fully vegan was the right option for this tour and we’ll be entirely open with other venues about the results from that.”
The O2 recently committed to removing meat burgers from its menu, but other moves include installing water filling stations, and recyclable wristbands for floor-standing guests.
“We’re planning forward in partnership with our caterers, Levy, who are committed to being net zero by 2027,” he said. “As a flagship site for them, we’re aiming for 2025.”
“The solutions are there, and amazing simple, but you have to get people to move past where they are right now”
Sayer also outlined that all National Arena Association member venues will be banning non- biodegradable confetti over the coming months.
With much of the day detailing myriad practical steps now available to tour and events on their sustainability journey, Chiara Badialli, music lead of Julie’s Bicycle, listed carbon offsetting as one of the most exciting.
“If these costs are factored into tour planning – and an example is that Pearl Jam has recently committed to paying $200 per tonne of carbon emissions – it gives artists a budget at the start of their tour to actively reduce emissions,” she said.
A focus of the discussion was collaboration across the business to bring change. And while Sayer insisted that senior management at each company must be engaged in the conversation, it was bottom-up pressure that instigated it.
“The most powerful agent of change was when our employees started coming to The O2 and AEG management team to ask what we were doing,” he said. “That employee push was incredibly powerful.”
And Jamal Chalabi of Backlash Productions reported that there are open ears across the supply chain now as well.
“It’s the culture change, particularly within crew and production houses. The solutions are there, and amazingly simple, but you have to get people to move past where they are right now,” he said.
“It’s a system change,” added Badialli. “You have to ask how we can do things differently.”
The event included performances from Sigrid, Nick Mulvey and Love Ssega, while Billie Eilish took the stage to thank the room for attending.
“I want to thank you all for informing people like me, and for everything you’re doing,” she said. “It doesn’t go unnoticed. It might sometimes fell like what you’re doing is pointless, but it’s not. There is a point and it’s really important.”
The conversation came just weeks after the 14th Green Events & Innovations Conference (GEI), the leading gathering for sustainability at live events.
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Live Nation invests in Everything Legendary
Live Nation has made a strategic investment in plant-based meat company Everything Legendary.
In the latest example of the touring industry’s enhanced sustainability focus, the partnership will see Everything Legendary become the featured plant-based burger at select Live Nation venues and festivals across the US, including all House of Blues restaurants.
LN will also become an equity partner in the company, investing as part of the company’s recently closed $6 million Series A funding round. Other investors include CircleUp Growth Partners, General Mills and Mark Cuban.
“We’re excited to bring plant-based items to our events so fans have even more sustainable options to choose from”
“Fans create lifelong memories enjoying live music, and everything they enjoy while at the show has the potential to make that memory even better,” says Venue Nation COO Tom See. “By partnering with Everything Legendary we’re excited to bring plant-based items to our events so fans have even more sustainable options to choose from.”
A Black-owned and operated business launched in 2021, Everything Legendary products were recently featured at Broccoli City Festival in Washington DC and will also be available at upcoming editions of Rolling Loud Miami, Hard Summer, Roots Picnic, and EDC Orlando.
“We’re on a mission to not just win over taste buds but also eating habits, encouraging people across the country to adopt healthier alternatives, and I’ve been especially proud that we’ve helped power this movement in the Black community where veganism is on the rise,” says the firm’s co-founder Duane “Myko” Cheers. “With the investment and partnership of Live Nation we’ll be serving up our amazing flavour to millions of music fans.”
Earlier this week, The O2 in London announced a series of new sustainability measures as it prepared to host multi-day climate festival Overheated, which starts today to coincide with Billie Eilish’s Happier Than Ever, The World Tour dates.
The venue is going 100% vegan for the residency and will also be implementing various changes to reduce single use plastic and better enable customers to make informed and responsible choices.
A handful of UK arena executives gave insight into the strides being made to turn the sector into a greener business at the recent Green Events & Innovations Conference (GEI), the leading gathering for sustainability at live events.
The O2 enhances sustainability measures
The O2 in London has announced a series of new sustainability measures as it prepares to host multi-day climate festival Overheated.
Overheated is set to take place across six days – 10-12, 16 and 25-26 June – during Billie Eilish’s Happier Than Ever, The World Tour dates at the AEG-operated venue.
The O2 will be implementing various changes within the arena to reduce single use plastic, promote a plant-based menu, and better enable customers to make informed and responsible choices. Working with the singer and her tour team on their Green Rider, it has committed to going 100% vegan on all available food items for the six shows,
Following Eilish’s residency, The O2 will continue with a plant-forward philosophy, which will see the concession stand staple ‘beef burger’ being removed from the menu permanently.
“We’re proud to be leading the charge as a company”
“Finding ways to make both our venues across Europe and worldwide, as well as the wider live entertainment industry, more sustainable has never been more important,” says AEG Europe COO John Langford. “We’re proud to be leading the charge as a company to help find and trial innovative solutions and help reduce our impact on the planet.”
Throughout The O2 arena, the venue will be installing several water dispensers for fans to easily access on their visit, thereby reducing the need for plastic water bottles. Visitors to the arena will be encouraged to bring soft, reusable water bottles which will need to be emptied prior to entry and fully collapsible.
The O2 is also taking strides to reduce the amount of single-use plastic used in the arena moving forwards and has committed to using recyclable paper cups in all areas of the arena, including backstage. It has also removed all plastic bags from merchandise units and is implementing fabric wristbands made from 100% recycled PET plastic for standing arena attendees for the first time this month.
“As one of the world’s leading venues, it’s important that we help drive industry change in the space of sustainability”
“We’re so proud to be taking real strides this month to becoming an even more sustainable venue here at The O2,” says Steve Sayer, the 21,000-cap venue’s VP & general manager. “Going fully vegan in the arena for six sold out show dates with Billie Eilish is no small task and is something that we know will really resonate with fans attending the shows.
“The reduction in single use plastic in The O2 arena is another huge step forward for us, as we work towards our A Greener Arena accreditation, and ultimately one day towards becoming net zero as a venue. As one of the world’s leading venues, it’s important that we help drive industry change in the space of sustainability and show that we can all make a difference, whilst continuing to still provide a best-in-class experience for the fans and artists.”
Through its partnership with catering partner Levy, The O2 is also working with Klimato to calculate, communicate and report the climate impact of the food available for fans to purchase. Levy has committed to reaching net zero at the arena by 2025 – an integral part of The O2’s overall strategy to hit net zero.
The O2 and AEG Europe are currently working with A Greener Festival on establishing an accurate scientific baseline for scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions before publishing its full plan for net zero later this year.
LIVE CEO Jon Collins on next steps for key issues
Jon Collins, the recently appointed CEO of live music industry umbrella group LIVE, has spoken to IQ about sustainability, diversity, consumer confidence and the spiking crisis, in the second instalment of a two-part interview.
In the first part of the interview, published last week, Collins discussed his approach to tackling VAT reduction, government engagement, post-Brexit touring and the cost of living crisis.
Here, the CEO sets out the remainder of his key priorities and his plan of action for each, going forward.
“We’re out of the habit of going out and we need to find ways to get people back out”
We’re post-Covid restrictions but still dealing with the impact they’ve had on customers’ confidence to go out to gigs. We’re just finalising some consumer research which found that 14% are reticent. And there is still that tranche of people who did go to gigs beforehand and are saying they’re not quite there in terms of being comfortable to go out. The average person is holding 2.3 tickets from events that have been rolled over so they’re waiting to go to those events before buying something else – in some cases because they don’t have as much disposable income.
You’ve got 55% whose attitude towards attending gigs, in general, has changed – with 20% of those saying they’re going to fewer events overall. Not having as much energy to go out and not thinking about going out counts for 15% each, and 13% say travelling to events now feels like a lot of effort. We’re out of the habit of going out and we need to find ways to get people back out.
One thing we would like the government to do is to encourage people to come out. I think it’s Spain where they gave people a couple of 100 euros to go and spend in their local economy. That drives activity, which drives tax take, so there’s demonstrable value there. But beyond that, we also think there could be a positive communications campaign, a bit like Let’s Do London. We’re world-class at live music, so let’s bang the drum about it.
“We’re looking to do is build out a Green Information Hub which will have the information there in an understandable way”
Live Green chair John Langford has done a brilliant job of corralling everybody around that net zero by 2030 commitment. There’s a whole workstream that flows out of that about how can LIVE support the organisations on our board to then support their members to be able to hit that target – which is not that far away.
There are lots of passionate, informed expert actors in this space – such as Earthpercent, Julie’s Bicycle, Music Declares Emergency etc – and we’re not going to claim to have the same level of knowledge and understanding – but what we do have is an ability to broadcast to the live music industry in an effective way through our structures. So what we’re looking to do is build out a Green Information Hub which will have the information there in an understandable way, sometimes drawn from our own auspices but often we will just be signposting to those brilliant organisations.
I feel very encouraged by how serious LIVE, and the organisations within LIVE, are taking this issue and also by the practical steps that they are taking to really reshape how the industry operates for things like green riders – which is an addendum to an artist’s contract. We’re looking at putting something around sustainability into the contract itself because once both parties have signed that, there’s no wiggle room.
“There’s a risk that diversity, equity and inclusion become a talking shop… we’re pivoting to focus on actions”
There’s a risk that diversity, equity and inclusion become a talking shop. It’s so broad that you can be paralysed. We’re pivoting away from talking about the issues to focusing on actions. The first step is looking at how we diversify the entrance into our industry. We know that there’s huge vacancy across all parts of live music, across broader hospitality, so actually, there’s sound commercial and economic logic to asking: are you looking at the most diverse talent pool possible? By doing that we foster a more diverse, inclusive workforce. You have to supplement that with action taken for people mid-career too and action taken for people who have stepped away from the industry but want to come back. So as ever, these things are multi-dimensional.
We’re doing an immediate piece of work right now with the home office around spiking and tackling that threat within the wider context of delivering safe spaces. It’s such an opaque issue and the evidence base is very difficult to get to. Some people say it’s being underreported and other parties say it’s been overreported. What we care about ultimately, is the safety of our customers. So what we want is to make sure is that we tackle spiking in a way that doesn’t suck resources away from spotting vulnerable people in other circumstances.
Concert for Earth to take place inside volcano crater
The first-ever Concert for Earth, a nonprofit music festival and global conservation summit, is to take place from inside a volcano crater on the Azores Islands in Portugal.
Organised by Extreme guitarist Nuno Bettencourt – who was himself born in The Azores – via his production company Atlantis Entertainment, the event will feature live and virtual performances from artists, and showcase the work of leading conservationists and organisations from around the world.
Black Eyed Peas, Pitbull, Stone Temple Pilots, Bush, Mod Sun and Girlfriends are set to headline the event, while organisations including Re:wild, Sea Legacy, Blue Azores, The Ocean Cleanup, Innerspace, Juccce, Grounded, and Brian Eno’s Earth Percent will be featured.
“Biodiversity, from wildlife to ecosystems, underpins the existence of life on Earth”
“Biodiversity, from wildlife to ecosystems, underpins the existence of life on Earth,” says Wes Sechrest, chief scientist and CEO of participating partner Re:wild. “We are excited to be a part of Concert for Earth, a celebration of the symphony of life on our unique planet and an invitation to come together to protect and restore nature for the benefit of biodiversity, the climate, and all of us”.
The event promises to be zero- to low emission and any remaining carbon emissions from the event will be offset with support from environmental nonprofit A Greener Festival (AGF).
The festival is set to take place in Sete Cidades, in the Azores, on 22 and 23 July. Select artist performances will be livestreamed worldwide for free on the second day via Veeps, while in-person tickets are available to those local to the Azores.
Those watching remotely can ‘click to donate’ during the livestream, with 100% of donations going directly to the festival’s conservation partners.
UK arena bosses discuss green goals
UK arena executives have given an insight into the strides being made to turn the sector into a greener business.
Representatives of London’s The O2 and OVO Arena Wembley, Scottish Event Campus and Manchester’s Co-op Live spoke of the direction of travel at the Green Events & Innovations Conference (GEI), the leading gathering for sustainability at live events.
“I think it does prove that people are a) passionate and b) and also doing lots about but also see there’s still a lot to be done all together with the entire industry’s help,” said panel chair Lucy Noble of the Royal Albert Hall (RAH). “So let’s keep going and hopefully if we reconvene next year we’ll have lots more exciting news and be able to talk about new developments.”
Arenas have taken huge strides to strategically reduce their carbon emissions, eliminate waste, green up their food and beverage offerings. Noble recently detailed the RAH’s sustainability focus in an interview with IQ, while the SEC hosted last year’s COP26 climate summit prior to its OVO Hydro in Glasgow becoming the first arena in the world to achieve A Greener Arena (AGA) certification for its commitment to sustainability.
Oak View Group’s new east Manchester development Co-op Live, meanwhile, will become the UK’s first all-electric arena when it opens next year.
Here is a sample of what the GEI: ‘Stepping Into A Greener Arena’ panellists had to say about their green efforts to date…
“We’ve gone red meat free in the arena”
John Drury, OVO Arena Wembley
“We’re part of ASM Global, so we’ve got our own plan in place there, and we obviously work closely now with OVO Energy. Within ASM, we’ve got what’s ASM Global Acts, we’ve got these three main pillars that we work towards that encompass environmental sustainability, community, and diversity and inclusion. So we work with those headings across what we do. One big thing that we did a few years ago as a venue is we replaced all of the house lighting with LED. It was a big investment, nearly quarter of a million pounds, but the payback on that was three years. We only purchase renewable energy. We don’t sell any waste to landfill. We have recycling bins on the concourse, we do all the usual things that you would expect most venues will do. We’ve gone red meat free in the arena, so you can’t get a burger at the venue. You can get chicken burger. It’s bad news for chickens, but it’s been good for the venue and nobody buys a ticket for a show because they want a burger. If they’re hungry, they’ll get veg, chilli, loaded fries or they’ll get something else. It’s a really good initiative and clearly makes sense.”
“We’ve been trialling wind turbines on site for a year or so now to see if that can play a part in our roadmap to net zero”
Steve Sayer, The O2
“AEG has been focused on sustainability for 10-plus years. We have a global framework strategy called 1Earth, which is very much focused on water conservation, waste reduction and reducing carbon emissions. We’ve been harvesting rainwater for the last 10 years, focused on reducing water in all of our bathrooms and washrooms. We’ve been purchasing green energy from a verifiable source for about eight years. All of our energy is tracked and metered throughout the building and we’ve been doing that for a long time. We segregate all of our waste, a minute proportion – less than 1% – goes to landfill, the rest of it is dealt within a sustainable source. We’ve been trialling wind turbines on site for a year or so now to see if that can play a part in our roadmap to net zero. We set a green team up. I always say I was learning about climate change 30 years ago when I was in school, it’s not a new phenomenon. But I think in the last five years it’s just in everybody’s consciousness and Blue Planet 2, definitely in the UK was a real catalyst, particularly at The O2. That then led to us setting up or creating a CSR programme. We have four pillars: sustainability, charity, accessibility and community, and it’s called Good Vibes All Round. It was our first foray into more of a socially purpose driven venue. It’s very much a journey, and it’s a journey that is going to continue for a number of years.”
“OVO Hydro is the first arena in the world to get the Greener Arena award”
Jennifer Ennis, Scottish Event Campus
“We launched our sustainability strategy at the start of this year. The key headlines around our strategy include a net zero 2030 commitment. We did a carbon footprint assessment last year to establish what our baseline is and we’re working towards reducing that. Another key goal for us is our people goals, so that’s about how we engage with our own team to be more sustainable. We’ve got a sustainability committee now, so that has representation from all the different departments of our business. Another key one is resource so that’s all about reducing our waste and increasing recycling. We’ve got a few targets around that which align to zero waste Scotland’s targets, like reducing waste volume by 10% and increasing recycling to 70%. OVO Hydro is the first arena in the world to get the Greener Arena award, so that was a fantastic project to work towards. It is an incredibly comprehensive assessment. But equally, it gives you really good areas to focus on where you could be making improvements.”
“All of our venues are going to be driving the carbon neutral positioning as fast as we can possibly achieve it”
Sarah Tomkins, Co-op Live
“I’ll start by talking about a venue which is open, which is [OVG’s] Climate Pledge Arena in Seattle. It’s the first arena to actually achieve zero carbon certification, which is amazing, so we can learn from that. How do they create their own energy? They’re using solar power. How are they reducing gas? They’re 100% electric. They’ve got aluminium cups and are reducing all of their compostable waste. They’re also looking at how their fans travel to the building. At Co-op Live, we’re doing a very similar thing. We’ve got a football pitch and a half of solar on our roof. We’re collecting the lovely Manchester rainwater and we’re going to use that to flush our toilets and to irrigate all of our plants. We are also going to look at heat source. And then we’re also looking at all the different elements of technology from the lighting to the bin systems that will drive the most efficient building possible. And then the operational side is the bit we’re really starting to get our teeth stuck into now. We’ve got to work together to achieve the ambitions but at Oak View Group, we’re really proud to say that this is a top priority for us and all of our venues are going to be driving the carbon neutral positioning as fast as we possibly can achieve it.”
LN Middle East launches sustainable touring scheme
Live Nation Middle East and Emirates Nature-WWF have launched a new initiative to enhance the sustainability of concert tours.
Based on Live Nation’s Green Touring Programme, the scheme will look at all aspects of event production, including flights, ground transportation, hotel accommodations, merchandise and venue operations to develop guidance and best practices.
The scheme will kick-off with Maroon 5’s show at the Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi on 6 May. Once the baseline data is collected from the study, a science-based guideline will be created to inform upcoming concerts and influence sustainable touring practices moving forward.
“Climate change is at the centre of the industry’s narrative and host cities must be ready”
“We are very excited to be launching a first of its kind project locally which will help transform the live entertainment industry for the betterment of people and planet,” says Laila Mostafa Abdullatif, director general, Emirates Nature. “With the UAE being the host for the forthcoming COP 28, Emirates Nature-WWF will aim to create a standard for wider market transformation of the event industry, encouraging the adoption of more sustainable measures.
“This initiative aims to create a path to enable market transformation of the live entertainment sector and beyond, and this is a significant partnership on the journey to delivering sustainable live events in the future.
“Climate change is at the centre of the industry’s narrative and host cities must be ready. A new era of sustainability is rising. Consumers around the world are increasingly determined to be more environmentally conscious and are using their power and voice through the products they buy and the events they attend.”
A key element of the program will be providing concert-goers with more sustainable options while attending shows.
“This is an exciting opportunity to put sustainable live entertainment centre stage ahead of COP28, furthering the environmental work we are doing in the region and across the globe,” says Patricia Yagüe, head of sustainability for EMEA Live Nation. “We are excited to partner with our global team to bring the Green Nation touring programme to our region, which is focused on measuring and reducing emissions through a science-based approach and investing in scalable, sustainable solutions.”
In line with the UAE’s target to reduce carbon footprint by 23% by 2030, the collaboration between Live Nation
Middle East and Emirates Nature-WWF will focus on the next 18 months in the lead up to COP28.
“This initiative will give us the data we need in order to provide artists and fans with more sustainable options for touring going forwards”
“This initiative will give us the data we need in order to provide artists and fans with more sustainable options for touring going forwards and will build on the global commitments Live Nation has made,” Live Nation Middle East president James Craven.
“We are very excited to be making this announcement with Emirates Nature-WWF and couldn’t be happier that Maroon 5 will be the first show in our study. With concerns around climate change never more at the forefront of our minds, it is crucial that we all look at where we can make impact.”
Lowlands opens world’s largest solar carport
Organisers of Lowlands festival in the Netherlands have opened the world’s largest solar carport in the event’s on-site car park.
A collaboration between promoter Mojo Concerts and renewable energy producer Solarfields, the car park opened on 3 May and covers 35 hectares.
Providing space for 15,000 cars, its 90,000 solar panels produce an annual capacity of 35 MWp of electricity, meaning around 10,000 households can be supplied with green energy – equivalent to the power consumption of roughly 100 Lowlands weekends.
“It is essential for our company that we commit ourselves to a sustainable society”
“We are proud of the realisation of Solar Carport,” says Mojo Concerts director Ruben Brouwer. “It is essential for our company that we commit ourselves to a sustainable society and with this initiative we ensure that more sustainable, green energy is generated. In our transition to using only renewable energy, this is a huge step.”
Held in Walibi Holland in Biddinghuizen, the 55,000-cap Lowlands (aka A Campingflight to Lowlands Paradise) returns from 19-21 August, when it will welcome acts such as Arctic Monkeys, Bring Me The Horizon, Glass Animals, Sam Fender and Arlo Parks.
“We are proud that this solar carport has been opened in collaboration with Solarfields after many years of development,” says Lowlands director Eric van Eerdenburg. “As a festival organisation we want to propagate an optimistic vision of the future and play a role in solving climate problems. We hope in this way to be a source of inspiration for our visitors to contribute – no matter how small – to making the world more sustainable.”
“We want to be part of the solution, not the problem”
Van Eerdenburg added to Dutch publication Omroep Flevoland the festival wants to run on green energy within two years.
“We are going to connect to the Smart Grid of Flevoland,” he said. “This consists of seven wind farms, solar farms and a number of large batteries. The dream is to connect to those batteries so that we can reduce aggregate use and diesel to zero. We want to be part of the solution, not the problem. It is super-important for our young audience, for the future of the Netherlands, for green energy and a better future.”