Climate change is real and one of the most imminent threats facing the mere existence of our generations.
It is also not news the amount of trash and irreversible damage large gatherings of 50,000-60,000 people can make on the environment, read: Music Festivals. One of the world’s leading live entertainment companies, Live Nation, announced that its global sustainability coalition, Green Nation, to do their bit on the matter. The charter released by them earlier this year shows them committing to new environmental goals for all venues, clubs, theaters, and festivals owned and operated by them.
They began trying to make changes one at a time in what began with a ban on all plastic straws. In 2018, Coachella, Stagecoach and Live Nation laid a ban on plastic straws from their events. Live Nation and Coachella parent company Goldenvoice teamed up with the For A Strawless Ocean campaign on the matter. Becoming a global stakeholder for the campaign, Live Nation pledged to remove plastic straws from its 45 amphitheaters and sheds in the US. Goldenvoice began removing plastic straws from Coachella and Stagecoach the same year (2018), with both festivals becoming the first in the US to ban plastic straws outright.
Taking it forward, in the goals laid out in the new agenda for their sustainability goals in the future the company is looking at banning all single-use plastics by 2021 and also reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by 2030.
Their immediate goals are as follows –
- Deliver a 50% reduction in scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas emissions by 2030
- End sale of single-use plastics at all owned and operated venues and events by 2021
- Work to reduce or eliminate the use of fossil fuels where possible and pursue a low-carbon economy by sourcing renewable energy
- Aim for our offices, venues, and events to be zero waste to landfill and achieve a 50% (or higher) material recovery rate by 2030
- Work with partners and sponsors toward shared sustainability goals
- Transparently track, measure, and share an adherence to our charter
A few of the items which are set to be banned from Live Nation festivals by 2021 are, single-use plastic drinks bottles, straws, cutlery, plates, cups, etc. They are also already testing out alternatives, for example in lieu of eliminating the sale of single-use plastic at festivals and venues, Live Nation will be trialing plant-based water bottles (PLA) across Europe in 2019.
Green Nation’s executive board of Melvin Benn, Managing Director, Festival Republic; Tom See, President, Live Nation Venues – US Concerts; and Charlie Walker, co-founder, C3 Presents will champion these initiatives along with support from regional sustainability managers and their teams at the local venue and event level.
Michael Rapino, President and CEO, Live Nation Entertainment said,
“Hosting over 35,000 concerts and festivals each year, Live Nation has the opportunity and responsibility to provide our artists and fans with a live music experience that protects our planet. The adverse effects of climate change are undeniable, and we want to use our place on the world stage to be part of the solution. Together with our concerts, venues, festivals, and offices around the world are setting new sustainability standards for live events.”
This new charter builds on Live Nation’s existing environmental efforts, which include their “Sustainability Rocks” program which inspires fans to recycle; the introduction of climate-friendly plant-based menu items like the Impossible Burger; the elimination of plastic straws across all US venues; the institution of stringent environmental guidelines for concessions and vendor partners; the addition of on-site venue compost programs; the installation of free water refill stations to reduce single-use bottle waste, and more.
Hopefully, with a massive company like Live Nation taking the lead, others will follow suit to try and minimize the damage these events have on the environment before its too late.