Pollstar: Q’s with Jack and Kim Johnson on Sustainable Concerts Working Group’s BYOBottle Campaign

“On Earth Day this year, the final day of Bluesfest Byron Bay in Australia, Jack Johnson has formally announced the BYOBottle campaign, the first coordinated campaign of the Sustainable Concerts Working Group to effect change in the industry.

The campaign was modeled after Green Music Australia’s campaign, which enlisted artist ambassadors to adopt language in their riders to avoid use of disposable/plastic bottles at events and instead to provide jugs, taps or refilling stations and, if desired, to add reusable bottles as tour merchandise.

Along with helping the venues and promoters try alternate systems, a big goal of the campaign is to promote the use of reusable bottles among audiences, helping make the connection between their favorite artists and this behavior that reduces waste.

The Aussie campaign was comprised almost entirely of Aussie artists (including Paul Kelly, Missy Higgins, and Midnight Oil) but included Jack Johnson as its international ambassador. Now the SCWG – of which Johnson and his wife Kim are a part, along with Live Nation, AEG, C3 Presents, REVERB, Effect Partners, Plastic Pollution Coalition, festival producer Synergy Global Entertainment, and booking agency Partisan Arts – seeks to bring the same strategy global.

Artists already signed on for the campaign include Pink, Dead & Company, Maroon 5, The Lumineers, Bonnie Raitt, Ben Harper, Lukas Nelson, Jackson Browne, Keb’ Mo’, Wilco, Steven Van Zandt, Steve Earle and Empire Of The Sun. Festivals on board with the campaign include C3 events, (Lollapalooza, ACL Festival, Sea.Hear.Now), Telluride, Splendour In The Grass and Falls Festival.

The Johnsons spoke to Pollstar about some of the goals of the campaign and their experience working with sustainability in the concert industry.”

6 Top Music Industry Greening Challenges & Solutions

When I started working with the live event industry to reduce the environmental footprint of large events, festivals and tours almost three decades ago, recycling bins didn’t exist. Bands weren’t touring on biodiesel-fueled buses and seeking out organic and locally-grown meals. Live Nation didn’t exist, and hadn’t yet hired sustainability coordinators at 14 venues.

Copy of Can the music industry go green?

Itt may not feel like it now, but the summer festival season is right around the corner—and then it will be gone again all too soon, and music fans will be left with nothing but the memories. And the venues will be left with garbage. Lots and lots of garbage.

But that’s starting to change.

The Industry Steps Up For Earth Day: How The Major Concert Players Are Going Green

“The entertainment industry is often progressive and (usually) on the right side of history, putting on events promoting peace, equality, justice and for many decades a safe and healthy environment. 

More and more these days, the major corporations behind the touring business are gearing up their efforts to conserve, reuse and reduce coinciding with a growing concern over the future and safety of our environment. Live Nation, the world’s largest concert promoter, venue owner/operator and ticketing company with its Ticketmaster division, in 2018 eliminated all plastic straws at all of its owned and operated venues as well as House of Blues locations…”

Rolling Stone: How Glastonbury is Leading the Plastic-Free Festival

“There will always be the peace, the love and the music, but the legacy of any large music festival will also always include a heap of trash. For 50 years, oceans of waste have washed over fields from Bethel, New York to Indio, California to Somerset, England. And though this garbage isn’t the worst driver of climate change, it’s only in the past few decades that festival organizers have committed to keeping things cleaner.

This year, Glastonbury, the U.K.’s biggest festival with a five-day annual attendance of 200,000, will ban the sale of single-use plastic bottles and eliminate them entirely from their backstage areas. Vendors, instead, will be allowed to sell canned sodas and water; and though attendees will not be prohibited from bringing their own plastic bottles, officials are strongly encouraging them to bring a reusable bottle instead…”

Corporate Knights: Can the Music Industry Go Green?

“It may not feel like it now, but the summer festival season is right around the corner—and then it will be gone again all too soon, and music fans will be left with nothing but the memories. And the venues will be left with garbage. Lots and lots of garbage.

But that’s starting to change.

In past years, for example, the aftermath of the U.K.’s Glastonbury Festival has resembled a poorly managed garbage dump—thanks in no small part to an estimated 1.3 million single-use plastic bottles sold during the five-day event…”

Jack Johnson: 2017-18 All At Once Sustainability Awards for venues, festivals, promoters

“Jack is proud to announce the 2018 All At Once Sustainability Awards to acknowledge outstanding music industry recipients, honoring elite venues, festivals and promoters who excelled in waste reduction and sustainability and made every effort to meet Jack’s Environmental Rider during his 2017-18 World Tour. The recipients join the ranks of previous winners, including the Santa Barbara Bowl, Merriweather Post Pavilion and the Nikon at Jones Beach Theater, all of which continue to take their venue greening to the next level…”

Billboard: Industry Leaders Discuss what they are doing to Make Concerts More Sustainable

“When a powerhouse like Katy Perry speaks, folks tend to pay attention. Just ask Aran Rush, VP of arena operations at the sustainable concert venue Golden 1 Center in Sacramento, California.  

“We did have plastic straws for our general population, because we were still nervous about transitioning over,” said Rush when discussing the venue’s environmentally-friendly practices. “But we used plant-based straws everywhere else. And then we had Katy Perry come and she asked us to switch over. And ever since she came in January, we switched over to only plant-based straws,” he continued. “Sometimes you just need a little spark to start it…”

Nat Geo: Jack Johnson Wages War on Ocean Plastic

“Singer, songwriter, and musician Jack Johnson is known for his soothing melodies and go-with-the-flow personality. But when it comes to plastic pollution tainting the ocean, Johnson refuses to go with the flow.

As a surfer and someone who was born and raised on Hawaii, Johnson spends much of his time in the ocean. Over the years, he has seen the beaches near his home become more and more junked up with litter. So he has begun to speak out about the issue, and work on it through his foundation, Kokua Hawaii Foundation…”

Live Nation, Coachella, Stagecoach Enact Ban on Plastic Straws

“The world’s largest concert promoter and the world’s most influential festival have each teamed up with ocean protection group Lonely Whale to ban plastic straws, which result in thousands of tons of seawater pollution each year.

Live Nation now is an official Global Stakeholder of Lonely Whale’s “For A Strawless Ocean” campaign and has committed to removing all single-use plastic straws in favor of a marine-friendly paper alternative at the company’s 45 owned and operated amphitheaters across the U.S. Meanwhile, Goldenvoice — organizers of this weekend’s Coachella festival and next weekend’s Stagecoach festival — have also phased out plastic straws from their events and will be the first festivals in North America to go 100 percent straw-free…”