America Recycles Day: Orca Sound Project Is Helping the Music Industry Make Progress

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Author : Daisy Magana
November 15, 2020

America Recycles Day: Orca Sound Project Is Helping the Music Industry Make Progress

One man’s trash is another man’s treasure. Recycling is important because it helps preserve the planet, and America Recycles Day (November 15) is a perfect time to acknowledge players in the music industry who are making an impact. Recycling is a fairly simple thing to do yet companies face several challenges including a lack of industry expertise to help streamline processes. Knowing that festivals have a bad ecological footprint, eco-friendly music festivals are on the rise. UK-based project Orca Sound Project is setting the bar for many music event organizers.

Orca Sound Project recycles on America Recycles Day and every day because we only have this one planet, so it’s important to figure out how to live on it without destroying it. They’ve partnered with major music festivals including Glastonbury Festival, Ultra Music Festival, and ADE to elevate recycling practices. Check out the interview with Orca Sound Project’s founder Jolyon to see how they’re bringing eco-friendly conversations to the forefront and how little changes from everyone can help create a positive impact on preserving the earth and its oceans.

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Jolyon, Orca Sound Project Founder

Orca Sound Project was part of a major VR festival earlier this year, Lost Horizon. Events have changed so much in this past year. Knowing how much music festivals affect the environment, and while some argue there’s nothing like the real thing, do you think once events resume people will forget about VR?

Everything that Orca Sound Project is involved in is about connectivity, connectivity to ourselves, to the people around us, and ultimately a connection to the planet. What was delivered with Lost Horizon was a hugely positive step for the music industry and for the wider community at a time of total disconnect. It was great from an audience perspective because it was an insight into the future of connectivity.

Specifically from a brand or artist’s perspective, the project was hugely successful as we were able to deliver a powerful and engaging experience that left people with life-impacting thoughts and memories. Ones that could then be converted into real-life behavioral change.

Is it scary or is it fascinating that a virtual experience can leave you with these lasting moments and memories just as much as you can create them in real life? The longer we are in this pandemic and ‘closed off’ from life, the faster it becomes the norm, so yes, perhaps the relationship between digital and live events will shift?

This ‘disconnect’ everyone is feeling at the moment, and the space people have in their lives currently without the fast-paced social and consumer life we are used to is allowing people the opportunity to explore what they actually like and therefore become closer to it. The fact that digital events happen means that people can still connect to each other, albeit in a digital landscape, and enjoy a magnitude of opportunities whether those are brand activations or music festivals. There is no travel involved and therefore you can do more things and experience more with minimized costs involved.

In the long run, all of this will be highly beneficial for the Live entertainment industries as audiences will feel closer to artists and brands involved, nurturing a deeper sense of belonging that will, in turn, will drive demand for the live experience but with an equal amount of powerful social interaction called for online.

Ultimately it is the connectivity aspect that has been central to these experiences – people need to be connected. Since the start of lockdown, we’ve seen the streamed content movement take over the entertainment channels online, especially in the music and festival industries. Streaming solutions minimize compatibility issues and are the most accessible viewing tool currently available. They’ll continue to be the most accessible platform.

In a similar way to pay-per-view in boxing, it’s easy to see how friends will organise mini-parties at home to watch a festival they all can’t physically go to.

Jolyon comments the future of live streaming

In terms of streaming, we will naturally continue to see the rapid increase of participation and innovation of this platform. In a similar way to pay-per-view in boxing, it’s easy to see how friends will organize mini-parties at home to watch a festival they all can’t physically go to. Organizers will be able to layer buying experiences within the stream that allow for steps towards what a real-life experience would offer, a layer of interactivity and connectivity.

Looking at your industry peers, what are some ways touring artists can contribute to ensuring more eco-friendly practices?

During this hugely difficult time with the lack of touring and live shows, there is a unique opportunity for artists to breathe a little and to work out what is important to them. Artists have a platform that can be so much more than just music. Orca Sound Project works with artists and helps them to implement sustainability strategies and conversations seamlessly into their profile. We hope through the power of their music and their communities they can inspire people to do the same.

For example, we recently worked with South African duo Goldfish on delivering a plastic-free rider to their UK tour. Developing and insisting on a plastic-free rider is something that I have personally instilled in all my gigs over the last 3 years, I’ve also worked with clubs such as Printworks in London and festivals including Glastonbury who have supported the initiative too. It’s great to be able to tell people that the clubs, festivals and promoters have been so supportive in delivering this movement as these actions ‘catch on’ within the industry.

Other things artists can do are things like actively using a “keep bottle” during touring which is a great way to hugely reduce waste. Touring is a huge carbon consuming activity through excessive travel of all kinds so it is massively important that an artist actively carbon offsets all travel where and whenever they can.

An artist must also be transparent and vocal about their conscious efforts and practices. This is key to inspiring their fans and the wider music community to do the same, which will ultimately lead to real impact. If anyone needs any support with any of this, please feel free to get in touch through our website or our Instagram (@orcasoundproject).

How have you leveraged your influence within the music space to fuel your activism on sustainability issues?

I’ve been very fortunate in my career to have been a touring artist, a promoter, and a club owner and have forged long-term relationships with some of the world’s most influential musicians and their teams. My fascination and day-to-day interaction with fans and audiences from these different perspectives is what allowed me to shape Orca Sound Project. These relationships and insights have allowed me to integrate my life long passion for the natural world and its preservation. Through Orca Sound Project I am able to explore my long-term mission to change the perception and dynamic of how musicians interact with their audience from a one-way conversational flow to a 2-way discourse where the musician asks their audience to work with them to create measurable change.

From the strong bonds and trust that have been built, I’ve been able to work with more and more influential artists and brands as the project have grown, two notable success stories that have come from these were our ‘world first’ concepts and strategies at Glastonbury 2019 and Lost Horizon Festival 2020. In 2019 we worked with Glastonbury Festival and the Shangri La team to introduce Orca Sound Project to the world stage. For the first time ever, an external sustainability-driven strategy was integrated into the festival, we collaborated with several partners to collect ten tonnes of plastic that Orca Sound Project tech turned into construction material for the Gas Tower stage, we were thrilled that our work hit global news broadcasters like Sky News, The BBC and Huffington Post and truly highlighted the power of community action fused with councils, business, brands and musical talent.

I think being able to work on and deliver events of this type with the amazing teams and talent involved is an amazing example of how being part of a music community has provided the platform and the opportunities to integrate the sustainable concepts and strategies that are central to Orca Sound Project. -the power of music and the power of the community, it’s really special – one tribe, one beat.

You recently unveiled a project with UK jewelry designer Hannah Warner inspired by the beaches of Ibiza. So far, what kind of response has this collaboration received?

We’re so proud to have been able to present this very special campaign and product, the collaboration has been incredibly well-received, the jewelry collection is so unique and each item is symbolic of an ever-growing conscious community that are putting their values at the heart of their purchasing decisions. Through the range we are able to transparently show the positive action on the island and connect buyers to their purchase on a new level, having a piece of ocean plastic from the shorelines of Ibiza is something quite special.

I believe the strong engagement we’re receiving is because we’ve set a clear mission and goals which have driven home the purpose of the collection and emphasized that this is a community project to make change, profits from sales of the collection will have an immediate and tangible effect on the island and by using our technology, we will turn 100% of the collected plastic waste into building materials. One of our campaign goals is to turn the plastic into a government proposed installation at the airport to position sustainability as a priority for Ibiza and its tourism, this will raise awareness whilst encouraging the islanders and its visitors to be more responsible about their actions and footprint whenever they visit the island.

For all the above reasons we have had huge support from famous faces including the likes of Jamie Jones, Damian Lazarus, wAFF and Archie Hamilton to name just a few. Sales have been positive and through the campaign, we now have a real boost toward raising the funds we’re looking for to upcycle the 1.5 tonnes of plastic we’ve already collected on the island into circular building materials.

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wAFF wearing the Hannah Warner Jewellery Collaboration x Orca Sound Project

Do you have any tips for how people can implement more sustainable practices into their everyday lives?

I think I would say to everyone that they CAN make a difference, even the smallest change towards a more conscious and present lifestyle is a start. Keep a lookout for brands/events/artists who are providing a platform for positive action and conversation that you relate to and try and involve yourself because it will make you feel good and really does provide some purpose; the purpose is linked to happiness and doing something is always better than doing nothing. Community and shared goals are key to our future and music provides the perfect start.

America Recycles Day: Check out Orca Sound Project Soundcloud