With a growing concern for the environment, festivals are finally starting to catch up. Bringing thousands of people together, festivals can be an incredible experience for festival goers – but not particularly fantastic for the environment. When we think of festivals, the image of post-fest shenanigans spring to mind and they’re not exactly pleasant. As the lights dim and the attendees come down from the excitement of seeing their favourite acts lives; the space they have left behind is far from spotless. The post-fest images etched into our minds as we pack up to leave stings of the poison we have left in our wake; the massive amounts of litter, that we, for the most part, take no responsibility for. They’ve hired cleaners to take care of our mess, right? This mindset runs deep, unfortunately. However, promoter Live Nation has decided to take action in order to protect our planet – from ourselves.
Live Nation have control over a massive platform, holding events, concerts and providing / scouting / taking care of the venues for each event. According to Live Nation Entertainment president Michael Rapino, the promotion company hosts “over 35,000 concerts and festivals each year.” and with this being said, definitely have a responsibility to do what they can to make sure their actions are causing as little harm to our environment as is possible. Luckily, they have taken this responsibility head on. Similar to the announcement that Glastonbury festival will no longer be providing single-use plastic bottles from 2019, the plastic-free movement is continuing to grow at substantial rate.
In response to the current boom in doing what we can to ditch plastic for more sustainable resources, Live Nation are following in these footsteps as festival giants Reading & Leeds, Wireless, Latitude and Download are officially leaving plastic behind in a vow by Live Nation to completely eliminate single use plastics by 2021. In an even greater ambition, Live Nation Entertainment aim to do whatever they can to completely achieve zero waste by 2030. This initiative also extends to the promoters venues, most notably their UK venues London’s Brixton Academy and Glasgow’s King Tut’s, amongst others. This ambitious move on part of Live Nation is definitely a move to be celebrated; especially as we recall those shocking images of heaps of non-biodegradable litter post-event – and where all of that litter is going to end up.
This is an extremely positive and uplifting move on the part of the music industry, and especially a huge live promoter such as Live Nation. This shows that the promoters are truly taking steps to better the festival experience in an environmentally conscious way. As individuals, the more actions we take toward reducing waste and minimise harm as much as we can has an impact, even something so seemingly small as picking up after ourselves or recycling; makes a difference to the big picture.
Seeing the entertainment industry working toward environmental sustainability is extremely promising – and as our individual actions become a collective, we have the ability to not only change our individual lifestyles (which makes more of a difference than many may think) – but contribute toward the bigger picture together, and work toward fixing the mess we have created and save our environment before it’s too late.
Written by Jenna Dreisenstock