Live Events Go Green

Written by Ryan Jebavy • Photography by Gabriel Olsen / Contributor, Getty Images • December 30, 2016

Technology and innovation are not only changing the way artists perform music, but also the way we interact with it. Every year there are breakthroughs in instruments and gear (as seen at international tradeshows like NAMM and Midem), but what about the live music experience? Well, it turns out that many live concerts and festivals are increasingly utilizing technology and innovation to make their events more eco-friendly.

Ridesharing

Is there anything more anticlimactic than getting out of an epic concert only to wait in a mile-long line of exiting cars? It's not only time-consuming, it also adds lots of pollution to the air. Here’s where some live event producers have stepped up to offer alternatives. Take Chicago's Pitchfork Music Festival—in recent years, they have incorporated a huge parking lot for bicycles and also encouraged fans to take advantage of ridesharing/carpool mobile apps.

Waste Disposal and Clean Up

Another downer? Trash-littered fields. Festivals like Lollapalooza have attempted to combat plastic waste by offering free filtered water for people re-using their own water bottles, while bands such as Phish with their Green Crew have encouraged fans to pitch in and clean up venues after shows. Meanwhile, South by Southwest in Austin, Texas has established an Eco conference, most recently discussing new ways to repurpose items such as vinyl street banners, plastic bags and empty food containers as part of the organization’s [Re]Verse Pitch project.

Some music and art festivals are just so huge that despite the best intentions they inevitably produce massive amounts of waste. Dealing with just such an event, the folks behind Burning Man recently purchased a 3,800-acre parcel of land known as Fly Ranch in order to experiment with ways of reducing their carbon footprint and helping large-scale crowds be more eco-friendly.

Virtual Reality

As virtual reality technology becomes more mainstream in the coming years, it could have a big impact by reducing fuel-burning travel to physical festivals. Virtual collaborations, such as the "Best Day of My Life" video for the Shell #makethefuture campaign, and cutting-edge virtual concerts planned for the near future have great potential to reduce travel-related carbon emissions, while providing ever-improving content and concert-going experiences.

Research

As efforts to reduce pollution and sustain our environment more forward, best practices are developing that can lead to eco-friendly standards. For example, sustainability-focused creative community Julie's Bicycle in London has made efforts to define operational standards and provide certifications in the fight against global warming. And ISO (The International Organization for Standardization) has also recently proposed ISO 20121 as a guide for eco-friendly events. Both have released numerous case studies, offering glimpses of what's possible when inspired individuals combine the joy of music with innovation that respects the health of our planet.

Sources:

Berg, Jenny. "6 Tips for Making Events Truly Eco-Friendly." BizBash., n.d. Web. 6 Dec. 2016. http://www.bizbash.com/pitchfork-music-festival/gallery/107756#.WEdAuNUwhaR.

"Citi, Live Nation, NextVR Launching Virtual Reality Concert Series." Billboard, n.d. Web. 6 Dec. 2016. http://www.billboard.com/articles/news/7525661/citi-live-nation-nextvr-launching-virtual-reality-concert-series.

"ISO 20121 - Sustainable events." ISO, n.d. Web. 6 Dec. 2016. http://www.iso.org/iso/iso20121

Krasilovsky, William, et al. This Business of Music. 10th ed. Watson-Guptill, 2007.

Roth, Ari. "Finalists for the [Re]verse Pitch Competition Announced." SXSW Eco, 1 Dec. 2016. Web. 6 Dec. 2016. http://sxsweco.com/news/2016/finalists-reverse-pitch-competition-announced

"The Urgent Need for a Sustainable Music Industry – And the Innovations that Make It Possible." N.p., 27 Aug. 2016. Web. 6 Dec. 2016. http://www.musicxtechxfuture.com/2016/08/27/the-urgent-need-for-a-sustainable-music-industry-and-the-innovations-that-make-it-possible/

"We Bought Fly Ranch." The Burning Man Journal, 10 June. 2016. Web. 6 Dec. 2016. http://journal.burningman.org/2016/06/news/official-announcements/we-bought-fly-ranch/

Explore More From Shell FFWD

The Power of Questions
Smart Earplugs? Yes, Smart Earplugs
Can Live Streaming Pay Off?
Get interactive with Jennifer Hudson, Steve Aoki and more!
Remix your own “Best Day of My Life”
Get interactive with Jennifer Hudson, Steve Aoki and more!
What are other musicians doing today in order to promote a clean, sustainable environment?
Artists Supporting Sustainability
What are other musicians doing today in order to promote a clean, sustainable environment?
Lights, DJ, Action!
Music Apps—From Bizarre to VR
Twitter Moments Go Mobile
The innovative #makethefuture campaign from Shell brings gravity-powered light to Kenya
Sometimes, Great Ideas Do Fall From the Sky
The innovative #makethefuture campaign from Shell brings gravity-powered light to Kenya
Now Playing: The Soundtrack of Your Life
Music & Environment: A Community-by-Community Initiative
Musical Instruments of the Future
The Nigerian singer talks innovation, collaboration – and why the Shell #makethefuture initiative is so close to her heart
Yemi Alade: ‘I’m pleased to be part of the energy train’
The Nigerian singer talks innovation, collaboration – and why the Shell #makethefuture initiative is so close to her heart
New remix app relieves royalty-related worries
Mix It Up With 8Stem
New remix app relieves royalty-related worries
Artists innovate ways to get fans involved
From Singing Along to Lighting Up: Audience Tech Gets Interactive
Artists innovate ways to get fans involved
Oscar-winner Jennifer Hudson and Brazilian superstar Luan Santana have teamed up with Shell to #makethefuture by championing groundbreaking energy innovators and initiatives that will help provide cleaner and more sustainable energy.
6 Artists Join Shell in an Energetic Collaboration
Oscar-winner Jennifer Hudson and Brazilian superstar Luan Santana have teamed up with Shell to #makethefuture by championing groundbreaking energy innovators and initiatives that will help provide cleaner and more sustainable energy.
Get the rundown from phonographs to smartphones
Innovations That Changed Music
Get the rundown from phonographs to smartphones
Music and Art Connect via Kinect
Learning from the Best with Masterclass
Groupmuse: Uber for Live Music?
The musician, working with #makethefuture, helps spark interest in renewable energy via the world’s most popular sport
Akon and Shell Light Up Lagos
The musician, working with #makethefuture, helps spark interest in renewable energy via the world’s most popular sport
Nano What? Printed Electronics Are Here
Green Day Gets Greener—with Coffee
Music Meets Innovation in Rio’s Santa Marta community
Rio Gets Lit, Sustainably
Music Meets Innovation in Rio’s Santa Marta community
If you already know and love Shazam, you’re about to love it even more
Songkick + Shazam: Like a Song? See the Show!
If you already know and love Shazam, you’re about to love it even more
The historic music studio is making its place in the future
Abbey Road Red: Fueling the Future of Music Production
The historic music studio is making its place in the future
Entrepreneurs find inspiration in unlikely places
Six Energy Innovations That Will Help #Makethefuture
Entrepreneurs find inspiration in unlikely places
Here One: Recognized as one of Time Magazine’s Best Inventions of 2015
Bionic Earbuds of the Future?
Here One: Recognized as one of Time Magazine’s Best Inventions of 2015
Does high-definition audio really matter? That depends on you.
HD Audio: Is the Best Yet to Come?
Does high-definition audio really matter? That depends on you.
Get acquainted with FestEvo!
New App Enhances Festival Fun
Get acquainted with FestEvo!
Secrets behind Daft Punk, Katy Perry and Beyoncé costumes revealed
Tour Wardrobe Taps Tech
Secrets behind Daft Punk, Katy Perry and Beyoncé costumes revealed
Sasquatch, Treasure Island and Outside Lands are doing it...
Festivals Are Going Green
Sasquatch, Treasure Island and Outside Lands are doing it...
Never miss a live stream from your favorite artists
Heads Up! Facebook Live Gets Predictable
Never miss a live stream from your favorite artists
Phone-blocking gadgets could change the concert experience
Thumbs Up for Phones Down?
Phone-blocking gadgets could change the concert experience
We’ll keep you connected to people and events moving the industry forward.
Shell + Live Nation Present Future Forward
We’ll keep you connected to people and events moving the industry forward.
What AI Evolution Means for Machine Music
Future, Meet DJ-Bot 3000!
What AI Evolution Means for Machine Music
GitHub Turns Traffic Into Tunes
Berklee College encourages students to make positive impact
Teaching Music Gets Greener
Berklee College encourages students to make positive impact
RFID—Your New Favorite Band?
Wearable audio technology could change the way we experience music.
Coming Soon: Body-Rocking Beats
Wearable audio technology could change the way we experience music.
Coming to a Stage Near You
Holo-Tech, The Next Generation
Coming to a Stage Near You
The recording artist and his wife Kim will receive an award for their work promoting sustainability
Jack Johnson Recognized for Being Green
The recording artist and his wife Kim will receive an award for their work promoting sustainability
Music recommendations are reaching a new level—here's how.
Music Apps That Think! (Or Very Close To It)
Music recommendations are reaching a new level—here's how.
Amazon Music Unlimited is set to rival any of the best out there.
Amazon's Music Service Ups the Ante (With Discounts!)
Amazon Music Unlimited is set to rival any of the best out there.
Imagine: watching any artist on VR, at any concert, at any time.
VR Concerts Coming Soon…Finally!
Imagine: watching any artist on VR, at any concert, at any time.
Here's how tech can help artists in the business!
Hey, Mr. DJ: Do You Take Cryptocurrency?
Here's how tech can help artists in the business!
Six stars. Seven clean energy initiatives. It's time to #makethefuture brighter.
Jennifer Hudson, Steve Aoki, Pixie Lott, and More Team Up with Shell to Cover “Best Day of My Life”
Six stars. Seven clean energy initiatives. It's time to #makethefuture brighter.
She and Jimmy Fallon push technology to the limits.
Ariana Grande Made a Music Video Using Only Snapchat Filters
She and Jimmy Fallon push technology to the limits.
We hopped a bus to Chance's extra special Chicago event.
Take a Look Inside Chance the Rapper's Magnificent Coloring World Event
We hopped a bus to Chance's extra special Chicago event.
Music. Energy. Innovation.
#makethefuture with Shell, Jennifer Hudson, Steve Aoki + More
Music. Energy. Innovation.