The Need for Sustainability in Today’s Music Industry

Author : 6AM
February 23, 2017

The Need for Sustainability in Today’s Music Industry

More and more artists are prioritizing the need for sustainability in today’s music industry. They are slowly transforming music parties into greener more environment-friendly festivals. It all begins with small initiatives such the single-use of plastic bottles and the technology that allows tour trucks to utilize sustainable biodiesel to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. In ecology, sustainability (from sustain and ability) is the property of biological systems to remain diverse and productive indefinitely and as part of the ecosystem. It is up to each one of us that inhabit this beautiful planet to do our part to help attain homeostasis without causing further harm to the environment. More importantly in our industry, it’s imperative for each one of us to to act out and promote the need for sustainability.

As a producer, you can help out by producing more environment-friendly festivals and put a stop on wasteful party practices. Here are some of the biggest festivals that have adopted the “leave no trace behind” policy and practices recycling and other means just to cut down C02 emissions: Grassroots, Outside Lands, Sweet Life, Lollapalooza, and Lighting In A Bottle in the States, or DGTL in Amsterdam. There’s plenty more out there, with festivals, big and small, old and new, rising to the occasion to forward as many green initiatives as they can.

It is imperative for big operations such as festivals to keep sustainability top-of-mind. To meet this goal, promoters must make fundamental changes to festival set-ups and in their day-to-day activities. Environmentally-conscious festivals are constantly searching for the newest technological innovations to help reduce waste, lower CO2 emissions and increase awareness about sustainability amongst their visitors. Furthermore, keeping the dialogue open and candid, by sharing progress open and honestly along the way helps to increase awareness on the need for sustainability.

It is from awareness that action is built, by sparking the need and desire to explore new ways of thinking, new forms of design, new cultural adaptations and present these concepts in engaging, thought provoking ways. It is not enough to simply dream of possible solutions, it is up to each and every one of us to facilitate change through interaction, and by actually doing something effective to make those changes a reality.

Big names like singer and songwriter Jack Johnson has already adopted a firm green policy. He insists on putting focus on important changes and decisions such as where to host his concerts and shows, what kind of toiletries will be available, how recyclable are the merchandise available, and even what kind of light bulbs are going to be installed. These little steps go a long way. Top top it off, Johnson together with his management and crew created a non-profit organization All At Once which aims to make a positive change in local and international communities.

sustainable festival

Several artists have also shown their support for a greener music industry by doing some of their shows online. Aside from fans saving on tickets, parking fees, and other whatnots, this is a great way to help out with the world’s C02 problems. Moreover, virtual shows can reach tons of audiences from across the globe. Imagine how glad your fans will be to see you performing live from the comfort of their homes without spending a dime on airplane tickets. It’s a win-win situation for everybody. The artists are able to earn and at the same time advertise their music and gain more fans while also supporting the need for sustainability in today’s music industry.

To quote LA Times:

Craig Lyons and other indie artists are leading the charge in the virtual online world. It’s a way to earn a living, promote their music, expand their fan base and support causes they believe in.

As fans, you can also help out by consuming music digitally. Show your support by adopting legal streaming, mp3 purchases and downloads, reducing your carbon footprint in the process. But more importantly, be environment-conscious when you are out enjoying the world, whether at a festival or not. Leave no trace yourself and encourage others to do the same, recycle where possible and always think of personal initiatives you can take to reduce carbon dioxide emission, such as carpooling, using public transportation, etc.

So what is the deal with carbon dioxide? Why does it matter so much and how will it affect the music industry?

Along with other gases such as methane and water vapour, carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas. It absorbs heat energy and prevents it escaping from the Earth’s surface into space. The greater the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, the more heat energy is absorbed and the hotter the Earth becomes.

Well, even though living things yield carbon dioxide as a result of respiration, it is still considered as an air pollutant when associated with transportation vehicles, planes, factories, and other human activities that involves the burning of gasoline and natural gases. With more air pollutants, the ozone layer will suffer and further thin out. With most of its layers gone or thinned-out, humans will suffer from scorching heat and climate changes. Too much heat will melt glaciers and ice which will cause sea levels to rise, if that happens, a lot of places would be prone to flooding even with little rain. Everything is a cycle. You may think that what is happening to our environment may not affect the music industry but you are wrong. More importantly, it’s important to understand that it is the music industry that has an affect on what happens with our environment.

Remember that you are a part of the ecosystem and even the smallest of your actions can create a huge impact on the biological community and the physical environment at large. If you want the music industry to last, you have to take action and be responsible enough to protect your world. Without the environment (source of food and water), people and animals will eventually die. And without humans, music will perish.

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