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Coldplay to support research into reducing impact of live music

Coldplay, who have taken steps to reduce the environmental impact of touring in the past, are to support Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Environmental Solutions Initiative in their research to investigate the carbon footprint of the live music industry.

The Warner Music Group and Live Nation will also be co-funding the research.

In 2022 Coldplay partnered with companies including BMW and DHL as part of their ambition to make their Music Of The Spheres Tour as sustainable as possible and reduce CO2 emissions by more than 50%.

They also pledged to plant a tree for every ticket sold and to draw down significantly more CO2 than the tour produces through investment in a diverse range of carbon offsetting initiatives.

The new research will produce an Assessment Report of Live Music and Climate Change, which is anticipated to be completed in July 2024. This will aim to establish the relationship between live music and climate change, identify what the industry and concert goers can do to reduce emissions and provide an analysis of the latest developments in green technology and sustainable practices.

The way concert-goers get to the venue is an often overlooked environmental impact and, in 2022, Live Nation partnered with Coldplay and major public transportation providers to offer fans free or discounted rides to the venue. This saw a 59% average increase in public transport journeys on show days across four US cities.

Within the venue itself, the band used an industry-first mobile rechargeable show battery, made from recyclable BMW i3 batteries, and powered concerts by using renewable resources including solar power and even stationary bicycles.

MIT Prof. John E. Fernandez, Director of the ESI said: ‘I’m delighted to receive support from our funders to co-create recommendations for a sustainable future in music. As well as jointly funding the research, I applaud the spirit of openness and collaboration that will allow us to identify specific challenges in areas such as live event production, freight and audience travel, and recommend solutions that can be implemented across the entire industry to address climate change.’

Live Nation already have sustainability division called Green Nation, which is working on reducing carbon emissions, energy use, waste and plastics its own venues and festivals.

Lucy August-Perna, Director of Global Sustainability at Live Nation said: ‘We’re proud to share best practices and solutions developed by Green Nation in this report. Helping accelerate sustainable practices benefits everyone who enjoys live music, while ensuring a strong future for the industry. We look forward to sharing the report with industry partners and fans alike.’


Further reading (Premium Content):

Green Noise – Analysis and directions for more sustainable live music events


Photo: Stevie Rae Gibbs

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