Ben Harper: The Earth Day Advocate’s Plastic-Free Future

(Ryan Borba, Pollstar)

Ben Harper, a touring mainstay as a solo artist as well as leader of the Innocent Criminals, is no stranger to Earth Day and its causes. 
The prolific artist performed as leader of former band Relentless7 as part of a 2009 Earth Day celebration at Piazza del Popolo in Rome for Nat Geo Music and has long advocated for and directly supported environmental causes including Living Lands And Waters, which works to protect, preserve and restore major rivers and watersheds in the U.S., as well as the Plastic Pollution Coalition, which aims to end plastic pollution and its impact on humans, animals and the environment.

From Billie Eilish to Maroon 5, green touring is becoming the new normal

Nathan Sing, CNN

(CNN) Her neon-colored hair isn’t the only thing about pop superstar Billie Eilish that’s gone green. The five-time Grammy winner is part of the growing number of musicians who are going eco-friendly on the road.

For Eilish’s upcoming world tour, venues are banned from giving out plastic straws and are required to have water refill stations, which is expected to eliminate over 35,000 single-use water bottles from her shows. 

Artists Going Green

Rolling Stone


Nearly as averse to carbon footprints as they are to conventional song structures, Radiohead are renowned for their environmentalism. In addition to joining causes like Friends of the Earth, they’ve made their tours as eco-friendly as possible: they send their gear via ship instead of airfreight, their buses run on biofuel, they use water flasks instead of disposable plastic cups and they encourage their fans to take public transportation to their shows (the greener the better, of course).

BYOBottle Fall 2019 Highlights

Photo collage

The BYOBottle momentum is growing and we are proud to share out these highlights, tips, and resources.

BYOBottle – Recent Highlights:

  • BYOBottle Non-Profit Partners Countercurrent and The Plastic Pick-Up teamed up to create the #ForetheWaves sculpture made with 20,000 golf balls removed from the ocean floor below Pebble Beach, and showcased it at the Ohana Festival to engage festival goers. Ohana Fest partnered with Rob Machado Foundation to provide water refill stations, and HydroFlask contributed reusable bottles as prizes for fans who pledged to reduce plastic waste. Stories of sustainability were woven into the Storytellers Cove including BYOBottle Non-Profit partners WSL PURE and Wyland Foundation. BYOBottle Artists Lukas Nelson & Promise Of The Real, Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats, and John Craigie rocked the stage with reusables.
  • The Live Nation Sustainability Rocks initiative eliminated 350,000 plastic water bottles by providing refill stations to fans at nearly all of their venues. Live Nation is also piloting a BYOBottle effort backstage encouraging stagehands and staff to refill reusables.
  • BYOBottle Festivals BottleRock and Sonoma Harvest Music Festival took steps to reduce plastic waste, promoting the BYOBottle message and providing water refill stations for fans.  Artists & staff were given custom reusable bottles and encouraged to refill backstage. Sisters Folk Festival pledged to go plastic free and created souvenir reusable cups, and KAABOO partnered with #RockNRefill to promote water refills.
  • C3 Presents is tracking environmental impact at festivals including Sea.Hear.Now, ACL and Voodoo, offering additional water stations for fans, and expanding refill options for artists backstage. Prize tickets were offered to promote BYOBottle and they’ve teamed up with Non-Profit Partner Surfrider to support greening initiatives. BYOBottle Business Partner r.Cup created custom reusable cups for Sea.Hear.Now.

Australian BYOBottle artist Kasey Chambers announced their tour has eliminated single-use plastic bottles backstage, and Rhythm and Vines just signed on from New Zealand. Caloundra Music Festival, one of the original BYOBottle festivals working with Green Music Australia, just celebrated 7 years promoting BYOBottle. BYOBottle artists Ben Lee, Kate Miller-Heidke, Sahara Beck, & Missy Higgins rocked the stage.

Live Nation’s Sustainability Rocks Continues to Clean Up Sheds in Second Year

Recycling containers
Recycling containers

Photo: Courtesy of Live Nation.

“As businesses of all ilks have increasingly integrated sustainability with their offerings, Live Nation has continued to lead the way in the concerts sphere with its Sustainability Rocks initiative.

Launched in 2018, the program is part of the concert promoter’s broader sustainability charter, Green Nation, and has emphasized green initiatives at amphitheaters owned and operated by the live entertainment behemoth.

“I’m looking for ways that we can reduce the environmental impact of our concert venues,” says Lucy August-Perna, Live Nation’s manager of venue sustainability. “Obviously we’ve been super focused on waste production the last few years, but also things like energy use, water and, of course, fan, artist and community engagement.”

August-Perna has been at the forefront of a sustainable concert industry for some 15 years, dating back to her time at Effect Partners, a leading organization in uniting prominent clients with salient social causes, including the environmentalist movement.”

BYOBottle Summer 2019 Highlights

BYOBottle Partner Photos – From top left: Steelys, Guster, Event Water Solutions. From bottom left: Nalgene prize at Lollapalooza, Wax’o Paradiso w/ Green Music Australia at Splendour in the Grass, Outside Lands Steelys pints

230 million people around the world celebrated Plastic Free July by committing to reduce single-use plastic. It’s become crystal clear that plastic waste is a global issue and music fans want to be part of the solution. A new study from Ticketmaster shows that waste reduction at festivals is the number one concern for fans this summer

BYOBottle – Recent Highlights:

•BYOBottle celebrated Plastic Free July around the world! Explore our Plastic Free July instagram story featuring BYOBottle Partners – HYDY, SQUAD Bottles, Effect Partners, Kokua Hawaii Foundation, Mahina Mermaid, UPSTREAM, and the Rob Machado Foundation. BYOBottleArtists Didirri and SWMRS rocked their reusable bottles on stage and Live Nation venue staff refilled reusables at work saving over 10,000 single-use plastic water bottles! For more info, check out this Plastic Free July blog by Plastic Pollution Coalition.

Splendour in the Grass provided water refill stations in Australia and encouraged fans to #BYOBottle. Green Music Australia worked with 3 venues in Melbourne to install refill infrastructure and eliminate plastic bottles, released the Lost Lands Refill Revolution case study, and is promoting BYOBottle artists from down under –  Kasey Chambers, In Hearts Wake, Severins and Parkway Drive. We-Refill has been busy providing water refill stations in Australia with outreach support from Tangaroa Blue, and we welcome the War Memorial Theatre, the first BYOBottle venue in New Zealand!

Lollapalooza teamed up with Flume to offer a lucky BYOBottle winner premium viewing during their set. The festival provided free water refill stations for fans and invited REVERB to promote BYOBottle and RockNRefill, rewarding fans who refilled with Nalgene bottle prizes and hip packs. Also in Chicago, our new BYOBottle non-profit partner Shedd Aquarium is promoting solutions to plastic pollution and engaging with artists and music events.

Outside Lands provided reusable water bottles to staff, expanded a reusable cup program with Steelys and Plastic Pollution Coalition, and hosted Event Water Solutions water stations for fans. BYOBottle artists Altin Gün, Flume, Nahko, and The Lumineers rocked the stage throughout the weekend.

The Green Stop launched a water refill station model at several festivals in Canada, cross-promoting #BYOBottle and #HydrateLike – a campaign raising awareness about alternatives to plastic water bottles, run by our non-profit partner Lonely Whale.

r.Cup is partnering with artists and venues to expand their rentable, reusable cup program for live events, including the inaugural Miami Beach Pop Festival this November with BYOBottle artists Jack Johnson and Magic Giant featured in the lineup.

Caloundra Music Festival Encourages All Attendees to Keep It Clean and Green

Festival guests at a water station
Festival guests at a water station

“In 2019, Caloundra Music Festival (CMF) continues to be a beacon of environmental consciousness as it works toward creating a sustainable and responsible event.

Now in its 13th year, Caloundra Music Festival remains committed to achieving its vision of environmental sustainability, introducing new initiatives and encouraging all festival-goers, artists and crew to play their part.

In 2013, Caloundra Music Festival set out to be the first Australian festival to eliminate the single-use plastic water bottle. The festival introduced the #BYOBottle campaign and has had overwhelming success with the initiative.”

At Outside Lands, Not a Plastic Bottle or Straw in Sight

As the crowds milled throughout Outside Lands on the festival’s first day, the grass was trampled, but not untidy.

San Francisco’s largest summer music festival is making a push for a greener festival, with plans to eliminate nearly all plastic water bottles and straws, and offer reusable cups for beer and wine.

The effort coincides with the city and state’s recent war on plastics. Last month, local officials enacted a ban on the sale and distribution of plastic straws and other plastic dining items, following similar ordinances in Alameda, Berkeley and Oakland in recent years. Other regulations are still rolling out. Starting next year, the San Francisco Department of the Environment will require organizers of events on city property with more than 100 people make reusable cups available to at least 10% of attendees.

You Can’t Bring Water Into Lollapalooza Any More, But It’s Never Been Easier to Refill That Empty Bottle

Filling a water bottle at a water station
Filling a water bottle at a water station

“A festival goer gets a water container filled at Lollapalooza Thursday, August 1, 2019, in Chicago. (Erin Hooley / Chicago Tribune)

Some things about Lollapalooza never change: the crowds, the snaking lines for beer and hot dogs, the music pumping from all corners. But regular Lolla attendees have noticed at least one change this year. It’s never been easier to fill a water bottle, and never more encouraged; “Hydration Stations” line the park, blue-colored booths staffed with volunteers and ambassadors from Love Hope Strength, who man stations in three different shifts and promote registration for their bone marrow database.

This year, according to Farid Mosher, senior crowd services manager of C3 Presents, Lollapalooza’s sustainability efforts were placed in the spotlight. The goal was to improve hydration in order to reduce single-use water bottles and focus on “what we can do to keep our fans hydrated and focused on the experience, which is the music.”

There are 32 hydration units overall, each with four spouts. The units, which were increased by 20 percent this year, are in six separate locations throughout the park (including the field surrounding the T-Mobile stage and adjacent to Buckingham Fountain).

New this year is the fact that there are two separate “super stations,” each with 12 units, amounting to 48 total faucets on all sides of the booth. One is near the Perry’s stage, which, according to Mosher, was a strategic choice.

“People congregate in certain areas, and it sounds like with Perry’s specifically, we have a lot of people who need that,” Mosher laughed, referring to the stage’s size and rambunctious nature.”

Tips to reduce your environmental footprint as a touring musician

“Touring musicians spend a lot of time eating in transit; servo pies, countless cups of coffee, a big mac here and there. The van floor ends up littered with chip packets and plastic water bottles after a few days. It’s gross and inescapable – or is it?

Green Music Australia are an organisation committed to making environmental change in the music industry. Their #BYOBottle campaign aims to end the use of single-use plastic water bottles, instead encouraging bands and punters to choose re-usable bottles instead.

Eliza Klatt, lovely frontlady of Eliza & The Delusionals, has just become a #BYOBottle ambassador. She joins Missy Higgins, Birds of Tokyo, Luca Brasi and many more in the fight against preventable pollution in Australia.”